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Roger Federer tennis
Photos by franz88 (licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) and Doha Stadium Plus (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Roger Federer gave a young tennis player the surprise of a lifetime.

Most kids who play a sport have a favorite player they look up to, but most kids don’t get the chance to meet their idol face to face, much less have the gumption to challenge them to a competition.

In 2017, a 6-year-old boy named Izyan Ahmad (better known by his nickname, Zizou) had the opportunity to talk to tennis great Roger Federer at a press conference at the U.S. Open. Zizou asked the tennis great the cutest question: “Hi, Mr. Federer. Can you please continue to play for eight, nine years so that I can play you when I go pro?” Federer said yes. “Is that a promise?” Zizou prodded. “Pinky promise,” Roger responded with a huge grin.

It was a sweet encounter, but one most wouldn’t expect to go beyond a cute viral moment.

Fast forward to 2022. Zizou is now 11 years old and has ranked as the No. 1 player under age 12 in the U.S in both singles and doubles. He serves as Eastern ambassador for the U.S. Tennis Association and is clearly on his way to a successful tennis career.


In a special surprise orchestrated by Federer and his sponsor Barilla, Zizou had the best day of his life (so far) in Zurich, Switzerland. Zizou's coach accompanied him to Europe, allegedly for a training event. As they sat down to eat together, the waiter told them his boss was a huge fan of his and wanted to meet him.

Zizou was surprised but thrilled when the woman came to the table to take a picture with him and revealed a T-shirt with his face on it. Meanwhile, Roger Federer watched giddily from behind the scenes, grinning from ear to ear at Zizou getting the star treatment.

Suddenly, voices start chanting "Zizou! Zizou!" and the young man turns toward them. "What the…" he says, confused about what's happening.

The chanting and clapping were coming from the tennis court, where Zizou was led to receive the surprise of a lifetime.

Watch:

How delightful is that?

Zizou shared the video and his thoughts about the day on Instagram while wishing Federer a happy birthday on August 8.

“When the GOAT makes a promise, he keeps it! That’s what makes him such an idol! We spent half a day with him, but his humility, grace, smiling personality, ability to make everyone around him instantly comfortable, magnifies his persona and shows me that you cannot be a great sportsman unless you are a great person first. Thank you Mr. Federer, for the best day of my life, for these memories and I am forever grateful that you kept your pinky promise!” HAPPY BIRTHDAY G.O.A.T!”

Definitely a day this young man will never forget. He may not have gone pro just yet, but with this kind of dedication and support, he's surely on his way.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

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More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


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