Take note, world: This girl's a genius and we really need to start listening to her.
Remember the name Tavi Gevinson. It's going to be a household name someday (possibly with "President" in front of it).
Gina, Nathalie and Helga share their reactions to being diagnosed with MS and how they stay informed and positive in the face of ever-changing symptoms.
It’s been 155 years since neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot gave the first lecture on a mysterious progressive illness he called “multiple sclerosis.” Since then, we’ve learned a lot. We know MS causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue, including damaging the brain and spinal cord. Resulting symptoms can be debilitating and include fatigue, blurred vision, memory problems and weakness. Huge advancements in our understanding of MS and its underlying causes, as well as treatment advances, have been made in the past few decades, but MS remains a complex and unpredictable reality for the 2.8 million+ people diagnosed around the world.
Ironically, the only real constant for people living with MS is change. There’s no set pattern or standard progression of the disease, so each person’s experience is unique. Some people with MS have mild symptoms that worsen slowly but sometimes improve, while others can have severe symptoms that drastically alter their daily lives.
All people with MS share some things in common, however, such as the need to stay informed on the ever-evolving research, find various lines of support and try to remain hopeful as they continue living with the disease.
To better understand what navigating life with MS really looks like, three women shared their MS stories with us. Their journeys demonstrate how MS can look different for different people and interestingly, how the language used to talk about the disease can greatly impact how people understand their realities.
Gina loves riding her horse, Benita.Courtesy of Sanofi
When her youngest son was 4 months old, Gina started having problems with her eye. She’d soon learn she was experiencing optic neuritis—her first symptom of MS.
“Immediately after the diagnosis, I looked up facts on MS because I didn’t know anything about it,” Gina says. “And as soon as I knew what could really happen with this disease, I actually got scared.”
As her family’s primary income provider, she worried about how MS would impact her ability to work as a writer and editor. Her family was afraid she was going to end up in a wheelchair. However, for now, Gina’s MS is managed well enough that she still works full-time and is able to be active.
“When I tell somebody that I have MS, they often don't believe me the first time because I don't fulfill any stereotypes,” she says.
Overwhelmed by negative perspectives on living with MS, Gina sought support in the online MS community, which she found to be much more positive.
“I think it’s important to use as many positive words as you can when talking about MS.” It’s important to be realistic while also conveying hope, she says. “MS is an insidious disease that can cause many bad symptoms…that can be frightening, and you can't gloss over it, either.”
To give back to the online community that helped her so much, Gina started a blog to share her story and help others trying to learn about their diagnosis.
Though she deals with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction sometimes, Gina stays active swimming, biking, riding horses and playing with her sons, who are now 11 and 6.
Cognitive dysfunction is common in MS, with over half of people affected. It can impact memory, attention, planning, and word-finding. As with many aspects of MS, some people experience mild changes, while others face more challenges.
Gina says that while there’s still a lot of education about MS needed, she feels positive about the future of MS because there’s so much research being done.
Nathalie is an award-winning rower with multiple international titles.Courtesy of Sanofi
Nathalie was a teenager and a competitive athlete when she noticed her first symptoms of MS, but it would take four years of “limbo” before she was diagnosed.
“Ultimately, the diagnosis was more of a relief, than a shock,” she says. “Because when you have signs and you don’t know why, it’s worse than knowing, in the end, what you have.”
However, learning more about the disease—and the realities of disease progression—scared her.
“That glimpse of the future was direct and traumatic,” she says. Her neurologist explained that the disease evolves differently for everyone, and her situation might end up being serious or very mild. So, she decided to stop comparing herself to others with MS.
She said to herself, “We’ll see what happens, and you’ll manage it bit by bit.”
By 2005, Nathalie’s MS had progressed to the point of needing a wheelchair. However, that has not dampened her competitive spirit.
Nathalie began her international rowing career in 2009 and has won multiple world titles, including two Paralympic medals—silver in London and bronze in Tokyo. Now, at 42, she still trains 11 times a week. Fatigue can be a problem, and sometimes hard workouts leave her with muscle stiffness and shaking, but she credits her ongoing sports career for helping her feel in tune with her body’s signals.
“Over the years, I’ve learned to listen to my body, letting my body guide when I need to stop and take breaks,” she says.
Nathalie explains that she used to only look backwards because of the initial shock of her diagnosis. In time, she stopped thinking about what she couldn’t do anymore and focused on her future. She now lives in the following mindset: “Even when doors close, don’t miss out on those that open.” Instead of focusing on what she can’t do, she focuses on the opportunities she still has. Right now, this includes her training for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, where she will compete for another rowing medal.
“I only go forward,” she says. “Well, I try, anyway…It’s easy to say, it’s not always easy to do. But that’s what I try to do.”
Helga's Great Dane has become a helpful and beloved companion.Courtesy of Sanofi
When Helga first started having balance issues and numbness in her feet, she chalked it up to her training as a runner. But when the numbness moved to her face, she knew something was wrong. She never guessed it was MS.
“When I was diagnosed, I felt completely overwhelmed and clueless,” Helga says. “I felt that I had nowhere near enough information. I did not know anything about the disease…I had no idea that it was going to be a process of continually monitoring and adjusting your lifestyle.”
In the beginning, Helga’s symptoms developed slowly, and she didn’t appear ill to others. She was even able to run for a few years after her diagnosis, but she couldn’t do marathons anymore, and she began to fall frequently due to balance issues and right-foot dragging. Then her cognition issues became more problematic, especially in her job as a trainer in a printing company.
“My executive function, decision-making and short-term memory were affected to the point that I was eventually medically unfit for work,” she says. She stopped working in 2017.
However, she didn’t stop living life. Even though she could no longer run, she continued to swim competitively. She got a Great Dane puppy and trained him as a service dog to help her walk. She also serves as vice chair of the patient support organization Multiple Sclerosis South Africa, and she advises others who have been diagnosed to join a patient advocacy group as soon as possible to get reliable information and meet others with MS.
Helga says she is “hopeful” about the future of MS. “I must say that I am so grateful that we have all the new medications available, because my life would not be the same if it wasn't for that,” she adds.
Part of how she manages her MS is by looking at the positives.
“If I could tell the world one thing about MS, it would be that MS is an incurable disease of the nervous system, but it's also the greatest teacher of valuing your health, family, friends, and managing change in your life,” she says. “My life is diversified in a way that I never, ever thought it would, and MS has been honestly the greatest teacher.”
Each MS journey is unique – with each person impacted experiencing different struggles, successes, and feelings as they manage this unpredictable disease. But the common thread is clear – there is a critical need for information, support, and hope. We are proud to participate in World MS Day and share these incredible stories of living life while living with MS. To learn more about MS, go to https://www.sanofi.com/why-words-really-matter-when-it-comes-to-multiple-sclerosis.
This article was sponsored by Sanofi. Participants were compensated when applicable.
"I told him that we have the opportunity to make things right."
What do you do when you find out your kid bullied someone? For many parents, the first step is forcing an apology. While this response is of course warranted, is it really effective? Some might argue that there are more constructive ways of handling the situation that teach a kid not only what they did wrong, but how to make things right again.
Single dadPatrick Forseth recently shared how he made a truly teachable moment out of his son, Lincoln, getting into trouble for bullying. Rather than forcing an apology, Forseth made sure his son was actively part of a solution.
“I got an email a few days ago from my 9-year-old son's teacher that he had done a ‘prank’ to a fellow classmate and it ended up embarrassing the classmate and hurt his feelings,” the video begins.
At this point, Forseth doesn’t split hairs. “I don't care who you are, that's bullying,” he said. “If you do something to somebody that you know has the potential end result of them being embarrassed in front of a class or hurt—you’re bullying.”
So, Forseth and Lincoln sat down for a long talk (a talk, not a lecture) about appropriate punishment and how it would have felt to be on the receiving end of such a prank.
From there, Forseth told his son that he would decide how to make things right, making it a masterclass in taking true accountability.
“I demanded nothing out of him. I demanded no apology, I demanded no apology to the teacher,” he continued, adding, “I told him that we have the opportunity to go back and make things right. We can't take things back, but we can try to correct things and look for forgiveness.”
@thehalfdeaddad Replying to @sunshinyday1227 And then it’s my kid 🤦♂️😡 #endbullyingnow#talktoyourkidsmore#dadlifebestlife#singledadsover40#teachyourchildren#ReadySetLift♬ Get You The Moon - Kina
So what did Lincoln do? He went back to his school and actually talked to the other boy he pranked. After learning that they shared a love of Pokémon, he then went home to retrieve two of his favorite Pokémon cards as a peace offering, complete with a freshly cleaned case.
Lincoln would end up sharing with his dad that the other boy was so moved by the gesture that he would end up hugging him.
“I just want to encourage all parents to talk to your kids,” Forseth concluded. “Let's try to avoid just the swat on the butt [and] send them to their room. Doesn't teach them anything.”
In Forseth’s opinion, kids get far more insight by figuring out how to resolve a problem themselves. “That's what they're actually going to face in the real world once they move out of our nests.”
He certainly has a point. A slap on the wrist followed by being marched down somewhere to say, “I’m sorry,” only further humiliates kids most of the time. With this gentler approach, kids are taught the intrinsic value of making amends after wrongdoing, not to mention the power of their own autonomy. Imagine that—blips in judgment can end up being major character-building moments.
Kudos to this dad and his very smart parenting strategy.
This article originally appeared on 3.24.23
"The Bun 91.3" is giving unknown artists massive followings and even record label deals.
TikTok is a place where obscure music is celebrated, retro comedy is king and lives can be changed overnight. But it’s a rare feat for all three of those corners to intersect on the platform.
As is the way with many TikTok sensations, faux radio show “The Bun 91.3” started off as a fun hobby. The DJ, known only to listeners as “The Bun,” highlights songs by up-and-coming artists all while sporting aviator sunglasses and mastering that cheesy, old-school radio voice.
Much to his surprise, The Bun’s passion project has actually been bringing major attention to aspiring musicians who might otherwise go unnoticed, just like real radio shows did back in the day.
Take for instance the band Bird Photos. In his video playing their song “Dove,” The Bun said that the group had only 85 monthly listeners. After the clip was viewed over 650,000 times, Bird Photos’ reach skyrocketed to over 36,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
@thebun91.3 Next song up: Dove - Bird Photos #rock#indierock#indie#indiepop#thebun913#radiohost#spotifyplaylist♬ Dove - Bird Photos
“Man really gave them a 7800% increase in listeners in four days. We LOVE small artist promoters,” one person commented.
Or singer/songwriter Sarah Crean, whose song "2:00 AM" blew up with over 4.6 million views after The Bun professed he "couldn’t get enough of it” (one of his signature phrases). Crean went from having only 295 monthly listeners to 170,000 monthly listeners and ended up signing with well-known record label AWAL.
@thebun91.3 Next song up: 02:00 AM - Sarah Crean #indiepop#indierock#menitrust#japanesebreakfast#indie#sarahcrean#thebun913#radiohost#spotifyplaylist♬ 02:00 AM - Sarah Crean
“My gratitude for it all is immense," Crean told Insider. "He's putting really incredible artists forward to such an open-minded following and it's opening so many doors for them…I think he's got something really special there."
Following successes like these, The Bun’s creative outlet has turned into something of a mission—one which he is fully committed to. The DJ also shared with Insider that he not only spends every morning scouring the internet for cool tracks, but he’ll also find local bands and solo artists to see them play at nearby venues.Of course, with his newfound internet clout, musicians often reach out to him for coverage. Like Minova, who submitted their song “I Miss You So” and got so many new followers they released a whole new single. (Of course, The Bun covered that, too.)
@thebun91.3 Next song up: I Miss You So - Minova #minova#dayglow#wallows#clairo#sarahcrean#indiepop#sadgirlstarterpack#thebun913#spotifyplaylist#radiohost♬ I Miss You So
For The Bun, helping aspiring artists potentially get out of any side hustles and instead focus on what they love is the best part of the job. "I just get a lot of joy out of them winning," he told Insider.
We see plenty of videos on TikTok with folks sharing their art, but it’s not every day that we see someone going out of their way to showcase someone else’s. The Bun is out there doing the dang thing, and doing it all with a huge dose of quirky charm. It’s something we can’t get enough of.
By the way—you can also find The Bun’s special curated playlist featuring these artists, and more, over on Spotify.
We all love a romantic love story, but it's just as fulfilling to witness these platonic love stories play out.
"Ted Lasso" has wrapped up its third and final season, leaving people analyzing and debating and feeling all kinds of feelings about the series and its characters.
Since watching the final episode, I've been thinking about what I've loved most about the show, because seriously, there's a lot to love. Ted himself, of course. The quirky cast of characters. The humor. The triumph and redemption. Roy Kent's grumbles. Sam Obisanya's everything.
Then there are the relationships, which is where the show really shines. Not so much the romantic relationships—those were somewhat meh in the end—but the way the show portrayed genuine platonic love in its various hues. Considering how many shows (over)utilize romance and sex for dramatic effect, it was refreshing to see multiple relationships develop and deepen over three seasons without any romance involved.
Here are (in my humble opinion) the six best platonic relationships on "Ted Lasso."
One of the most touching scenes of the series was when Richmond player Colin and journalist Trent Crimm (Independent) sat in front of a memorial in Amsterdam that honors the LGBTQ+ people who were persecuted, imprisoned and killed during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and talked through Colin's feelings about his double life. He was afraid to come out to his teammates, and Trent Crimm had the personal experience and wisdom Colin needed in a mentor.
Crimm offered that mentorship humbly, without being pushy or preachy. The love he showed Colin was a love born of understanding and empathy, which was exactly what Colin needed. And the love Colin had for Crimm was born of gratitude and appreciation. Some of our most valuable relationships in life are the ones we have with a mentor who helps us find the courage to bloom into our truest and best selves.
This relationship began with Ted's disdain for psychologists and Dr. Fieldstone's expert response to his ire. As she patiently let him process his anger, the two developed a healthy therapist-client relationship.
But what was lovely about this storyline was how, despite her attempts to keep a professional distance, Sharon also let Ted into her world, which turned out to be beneficial to both of them. They formed a genuine human relationship in which they each become vulnerable in order to break through their own barriers. The love they shared was based on a reciprocal sharing of pain and fear and a mutual honoring of those feelings, which allowed them both to find healing.
At first blush, Rebecca and Keely don't seem like likely friends. Rebecca is a refined, polished, high-powered businesswoman going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, and Keely is a young start-up who wears pigtails and miniskirts and appears flighty despite actually being quite whipsmart. It's a Jaguar-meets-Volkswagon bug friendship, but somehow it works.
The love they share is based on their shared identity as women in the sports business as well as the qualities they bring out in each other. Rebecca helps give Keely the confidence she needs to find success in her PR business, and Keely gives Rebecca the dose of fun and girlish silliness she needs to stay sane in a male-dominated world. Every woman needs a "girl talk" confidant, and these two provide that for each other.
Ted and Coach Beard have been through a lot together, and the final season gave us a little insight into how their relationship came about. It should come as no surprise that Ted's unconditional love and acceptance won Beard's undying loyalty, but the love these two share is recognizable to anyone with a bestie. They read each other's thoughts. They aren't afraid to be real with each other. They know when to give each other space. The fact that the other is always beside them and behind them is just a given.
Even though Beard stays in England in the end, we know that their love for one another will remain forever strong. If either one needs something, the other will be there in a blink, no questions asked. This is rock-solid, reliable, forever friendship.
Bitter-rivals-to-best-friends is always a winning storyline, but the relationship between these two is particularly enjoyable to witness. In reality, they share a lot in common—a good heart buried beneath a big ego, an intense work ethic and similar taste in women—which is why they butt heads so much. The love they end up sharing has been hard-won through uncomfortable moments of reaching out and letting their compassion and vulnerability trump their pride.
They understand each other more than most. They've both been living on emotional islands, largely of their own making, and they're probably the only ones who could truly reach one another. And ultimately, they both become better people because of their friendship, which is exactly what friendship should do.
Over the three years that they built the Richmond team together, Ted and Rebecca became good friends. That's it. Good, close friends who love one another very much. They're both attractive and were both available much of the time, but they remained just friends. Yes, she was technically his boss, but that didn't stop her from getting involved with Sam, so it's not like it would have been completely out of bounds for the show makers to put Ted and Rebecca together. They teased us with it a few times, but I'm so glad they didn't do it.
We've really shot ourselves in the foot as a society by making it seem like women and men can never truly be friends. (Thanks a bunch, "When Harry Met Sally!") Rebecca was the last one to say goodbye to Ted at the airport, and it was an emotionally intimate moment that portrayed how pure the love between them was without romance or sex getting in the way. And it was absolutely beautiful.
One of the words people use to describe "Ted Lasso" is "wholesome," which is a bit ironic considering how many f-bombs got dropped in each episode. But much of the show's wholesomeness hinged on these platonic relationships that grew deeper and stronger without crossing the line into romantic involvement. Advertisers and executives think people want sex, when what we really want to see is genuine human connection and a full spectrum of relationships that evolve without always ending up in bed.
We all love a romantic love story, but it's just as fulfilling to witness platonic love stories play out. Thank you, "Ted Lasso," for showing us how it's done.
Watch the cast talk about the real friendships they developed on set while filming the show:
She's beautiful either way, but man, the filters are wild.
Social media has made it very easy to alter your appearance using filters. They may come in handy when you need to record a video but look a bit under the weather—just turn on a soft glow or a makeup filter, and boom, you're camera-ready in less than two seconds. But there has been a lot of talk around the use of filters and teen girls' self-esteem and unrealistic expectations seemingly placed on women.
One woman has taken it upon herself to strip away the filters to prove that, while she is beautiful, her face doesn't actually look the way it does with the filter on. The most interesting thing about these filters is that they're so good, you can't tell they're filters. Gone are the days of filters that made everyone look like a Glamour Shot from the 90s. These filters move with you and even have pores so no one can tell it isn't actually your face.
Well, it is your face—kinda.
Mimi Webb starts off the 20-second clip using the infamous Bold Glamour filter. It's the filter that has people questioning their perception of their own faces because the contrast is so jarring. But Webb doesn't stop with one filter. She puts on another and makes sure she emphasizes her use of a ring light. After turning the ring light off and taking all the filters off as the video is ending, the woman removes her makeup, revealing an inflamed, irritated and blemished face.
People flocked to the comments to thank her for exposing the truth behind filters.
"You're beautiful & this message is SO important thanks for the reminder," one person wrote.
"You are beautiful. In real life, we all have imperfections. As a mature woman, I appreciate your honesty. Thank you," another said.
"Thank you so much. You did not know how much this was needed," a woman commented.
Social media can really do a number on people's self esteem, especially when they're comparing themselves to something that's not real. Messages like the one Webb shared can help pull back the curtain on the reality of social media. Watch her video below.
He knows a thing or two about career advancement.
If you’re looking for career advice, there are few better people to ask than former President Barack Obama. After all, he got the most prestigious job in the world after only spending four years in the U.S. Senate and seven in the Illinois State Senate.
Obama clearly knows how to work his way up in the world.
Now, he’s investigating what it means to have “good” work in his new Netflix show, “Working: What We Do All Day.” According to Netflix, the show explores compelling ideas and issues about labor and work, while focusing on the lives of individuals in various professions.
Obama sat down with LinkedIn Editor-in-Chief Daniel Roth to talk about employment-related topics, including the role of work in our lives, disruptions in the workplace in the new Millenium, and the coming AI revolution. During the 15-minute conversation, Obama shared his most important career advice for young people, and it was simple, especially for such a thoughtful, well-spoken man. The former president said, “Get stuff done. Just learn how to get stuff done.”
He then unpacked what he meant by his simple motto.
“I've seen at every level people who are very good at describing problems, people who are very sophisticated in explaining why something went wrong or why something can't get fixed, but what I'm always looking for is, no matter how small the problem or how big it is, somebody who says, 'Let me take care of that,'” Obama said. “If you project an attitude of, whatever it is that's needed, I can handle it and I can do it, then whoever is running that organization will notice. I promise.”
Obama is spot-on with his analysis. You can talk about things all day, but what really matters is taking action and making things happen. Maybe that’s why his campaign slogan in 2008 was a simple three-word phrase about taking care of business, “Yes, we can.”
"The best way to get attention is, whatever is assigned to you, you are just nailing. You're killing it. Because people will notice, that's someone who can get something done," Obama continued.
As someone who has managed people at the top levels of government, Obama has a rare understanding of the importance of relying on people to carry out essential orders and knowing who to trust to get it done efficiently and correctly. When you’re president of the United States, you must have complete trust in the people you delegate work to because thousands or even millions of lives could be at risk.
Obama also added that young people shouldn’t focus on a specific job title but on things that interest them. "The people that I find are the most successful are the people who say, 'I'm really interested in computers and figuring this stuff out,' and they end up being a Bill Gates," he said.
People will be happier with careers that are rooted in their interests because they’re doing what they love. We only get 24 hours in a day. Most people sleep eight, work eight and enjoy eight for themselves. Everyone loves sleeping and time off, but you can be happy 24 hours a day when you love your job.
We don't always get to see what happens after a heroic deed.
We all know that Upworthy loves a good hero story. Suddenly humanity seems a little less dark after hearing about students coming to their teacher’s rescue, moms taking on entire swarms of bees to keep their kids safe or entire bank heists being thwarted by a single hug.
However, we rarely get a glimpse of what happens after those feel-good stories take place. It’s not often that we get to witness firsthand the lasting impact made from one good deed. That’s what makes this story so special.
Xavier Dimples was only 2 years old when his house caught fire, leaving him trapped inside. Without a firefighter named Jeff Ohs bravely entering the burning building to pull the toddler out of the wreckage and resuscitating him, Dimples would have perished.
Twenty-three years after the incident, Dimples was able to reunite with Ohs, introducing him to his son who was the exact same age as Dimples when Ohs rescued him.
“After I was resuscitated I was in a coma for a month after that. I could never repay [Ohs] for giving me a chance at life, I can only live a great life for him & my son. I owe him my life,” Dimples wrote on Twitter, along with a side-by-side photo showing him as a toddler in the firefighter’s arms and a picture of Ohs holding his two-year-old.
When I was 2 years old my house caught on fire & I was trapped inside, I ended up dying that day & this firefighter, Jeff Ohs, saved me from that building & brought my back to life. Now 23 years later he is holding my 2 year old son. I literally wouldn’t be here without him pic.twitter.com/FLxmKG19DF— XD (@XavierDimples) May 30, 2023
The moment was equally profound for Ohs. Soon after Dimples published this post, Ohs replied. “Dude!!!! You are a fighter through and through. And honestly you scared the sh*t out of me that day. So so blessed for the outcome. Love you guys.”
“I thank God that you lived to tell your story. I thank God for my firefighter brother Jeff! Sometimes firefighters/medics don’t always know the outcome of the ppl they rescue once they’re delivered to the hospital. But hearing [your] story brings tears to my eyes!” one person wrote.
“The look on her face in the older picture? He’s definitely determined not to let you go down. I’m so happy that he got you back!” added another.
“I worked with Jeff and I know his story well. You make our jobs worth everything we go through. Thank you for sharing,” a former coworker of Ohs commented.
Since that fateful day a little over two decades ago, Dimples and Ohs have been friends. Dimples later quipped that he could pull up to Ohs’ house right now if he wanted. That kind of closure is rare. Firefighters risk their lives for complete strangers out of a genuine desire to help, but they don’t often get to see how their efforts truly paid off. This must have been such a rewarding experience for Ohs.
We never really know where any of our good deeds may lead. But knowing the results isn’t what drives people to commit brave acts. It’s that impulse we all have to help one another and the inner knowing that somehow we are inexplicably connected. The impulse is louder for some than others, or more or less frequent, but answering it can lead to amazing things.