She Got A Birthday Card From Her Mom, But The Name On It Broke Her Heart

Her story is just one of millions of people who are on the same journey. Watching a loved one deteriorate can be extremely difficult. As strong as caregivers are, sometimes they just need to know they're not alone.

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This is Beth.

This is Beth's mother Marilyn.

7 years ago, Beth noticed that Marilyn wasn't able to balance her checkbook anymore -- something she'd always done.

Beth noticed that Marilyn would return from the grocery store with items she didn't need and had never intended to buy.

One day when Beth was out of town, her sister called with the news. Her mother had a diagnosis: late first-stage Alzheimer's disease.

Having worked on an Alzheimer's unit, Beth knew exactly what was in store for her and her family.

The day after recieving her mother's diagnosis, she opened a birthday card her mother had sent. Her mother had mispelled her own name. Seeing the disease's effect so clearly spelled out was devastating.

That was the beginning of a journey that's all too familiar to so many people.

The facts:

Still, there's hope in the face of Alzheimer's.

Scientists are trying hard to find ways to delay and prevent it. Treatment after early diagnosis might help relieve some symptoms and allow a person to live independently longer. In the meantime, families are focusing on management of the disease. Support groups are there to help them cope. And a little understanding goes a long way.

Watch Beth and Marilyn's story:


Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Jada Sayles/Twitter

Jada Sayles got both a newborn baby and her college degree.

You know what they say about the best laid plans? Well, it's true. And no one knows that better than Jada Sayles. On May 15, Sayles was all set to graduate from Dillard University, a historically Black university in New Orleans. Around 4:30 a.m., she realized that her plans were about to change in a big way. Instead of getting ready for her graduation, she was in labor and being admitted to the hospital.

"I thought I was gonna walk across the stage to get my degree, instead I got my baby," Sayles tweeted, along with a series of photos. "My sweet face decided to make his way on MY big day (now his). Shoutout to my university for still bringing my graduation and degree to me."

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Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21

Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

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