She's Jewish. Her BFF is Muslim. And their costumes just won Halloween.

Last year, best friends Casey Pearlman and Yasmin Idris were chatting about what their two religions have in common during a car ride.

Casey is Jewish, and Yasmin is Muslim, and a spectacular new word was born: Juslim.

The term — coined by Casey's dad, Jeff — was a perfect descriptor for any ideas or values that the two faiths share.


Yasmin Idris (left) and Casey Pearlman (right). Photo courtesy of Catherine Pearlman, used with permission.

Fast forward to Halloween 2016, and the two 13-year-olds from California may have just won the holiday by turning the term into an original costume creation.

Internet, meet the Juslims: an intolerance-fighting superhero team for the ages.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Pearlman, used with permission.

"The delightful thing about their costume is that it was thoughtless," Casey's mom, Catherine, said. "It was so authentic to the nature of who they are and their friendship."

Jeff shared a photo of his daughter and Yasmin as the Juslims online.

And even for him — a best-selling author with thousands of Twitter followers — the photo took off, going viral overnight.

Reactions to the photo have been "absolutely amazing and mind-blowing," Catharine said, garnering attention from places like Egypt and the U.K. — even landing a coveted retweet from author J.K. Rowling.  

"If you’re a kid and you make a fun costume with your friend, and you don’t think anything of it," she said. "And then there’s people all over the world who are responding to your homemade superhero costume, it’s pretty special."

Twitter users began chiming in on what the costumes meant to them using the #Juslims hashtag.

What's truly remarkable to Catherine, however, is that her daughter's friendship with Yasmin couldn't be more ... unremarkable.

And that's probably a reassuring breath of fresh air to many people who've been discouraged by a divisive election season.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Pearlman, used with permission.

"To me, their biggest statement is that it wasn’t a statement to them," Catherine said. "They don’t feel different to each other. They feel like eighth-grade girls."

Their superpower — watching each other's backs — is another reason why the pair totally owned Halloween 2016.

"We’re a super team," Yasmin told BuzzFeed. "Like, friends forever."

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less
via Fox 5 / YouTube

Back in February, northern Virginia was experiencing freezing temperatures, so FOX 5 DC's Bob Barnard took to the streets to get the low down. His report opens with him having fun with some Leesburg locals and trying his hand at scraping ice off their parked cars.

But at about the 1:50 mark, he was interrupted by an unaccompanied puppy running down the street towards the news crew.

The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

Barnard stopped everything he was doing to pick the dog up off the freezing road to keep it safe. "Forget the people we talked to earlier, I want to get to know this dog," he told his fellow reporters back in the warm newsroom.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less