+

Everyone loves Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

The guy isn’t just an all-around superstar — he’s an inspiration, too. That’s why so many people flock to his Instagram every time he shares a photo or video.

Johnson’s posts are usually fun and motivational, but one he shared March 6 was much more somber in tone. In a touchingly open video, he shared that his daughter, Jasmine, had a medical emergency the Saturday before and was taken to the hospital.

"Something happened to me and my family that I would never want to happen to any of you guys out there," Johnson said right before letting viewers know that Jasmine spent all night in the emergency room.

Fortunately, his daughter was doing just fine shortly after, but Johnson knows that she may not have been without a lot of help.

He quickly shouted out the 911 operator who calmly walked him through what he needed to do next as well as the first responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department and the doctors and nurses at UCLA’s medical center.

"I just want to say thank you so much to everybody who was involved, so caring and compassionate and responsive," Johnson said, the gratitude and relief palpable in his voice.

And his gratitude is sending another message, too: We should all be more aware of the amazing work first responders do and the challenges they face on a daily basis.

911 operators are the first line of defense when it comes to emergencies. Though these jobs can be rewarding, they can also carry a heavy emotional weight.

As the people who are supposed to help you stay calm during some of the hardest moments of your life, they’re required to provide support to callers while dispatching emergency services. Sometimes they don’t even have time for breaks.

One 911 dispatcher told Cosmopolitan in a 2017 interview about not even having time to pee:

"We did have a quiet room where we could go if things got too overwhelming, but truthfully, we didn't really use it. Things got so crazy during the day that often times you couldn't even get up to pee for eight hours. You can't abandon your station just because you're uncomfortable or you're upset. You're still a public service."

Emergency service providers — those who are first to arrive on the scene — have an even more complex duty. They must not only assess the situation but decide on a course of action in situations that are often life or death. As Medstar paramedic Jason Hernandez told The Atlantic in 2016, "there’s not a whole lot of downtime."

"There are challenges all over the place," Hernandez added. "Everybody’s got a different thing going on. You have to worry about the dangers of a chaotic environment, from violent people to safety on the road."

[rebelmouse-image 19346206 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption="Image via ER24 EMS/Flickr." expand=1]Image via ER24 EMS/Flickr.

Emergency service workers are trained to work in high-stress environments, but that doesn’t mean they’re not at risk for developing stress-related disorder from their jobs.

In a study done at Northern Illinois University, 911 operators were found to suffer from traumatic stress as a result of their jobs, with some meeting criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Paramedics, police officers, and firemen were also more likely to develop PTSD as well as experience symptoms of depression and anxiety.

But progress is being made. Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced in early March 2018 that he’d sign a measure to expand workers’ compensation benefits for first responders "who suffer job-related post-traumatic stress disorder," something that’s vital in the wake of events like the shootings at Pulse nightclub and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.This expansion won’t just help those who are first on the scene financially, it could also help reduce some of the stigma of mental illness and encourage first responders to seek help when they need it.

But gratitude is also important. And Johnson’s video is a reminder that we can’t take the work emergency service providers do for granted. Especially when they save the lives of our loved ones — like little Jasmine here, who her mom says is "unstoppable."

The munchkin is unstoppable! 😂🙏🏼❤️🎤@therock

A post shared by Lauren Hashian (@laurenhashianofficial) on

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

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

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

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.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

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.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

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.

People share experiences with intrusive thoughts.

When I was younger I used to think I was dying or that I would get kidnapped by a random stranger, but I kept it to myself because I thought something was wrong with me. I thought that telling people would confirm this fear, so I kept it inside my entire life until I was an adult and learned it was part of ADHD and other disorders, such as OCD and PTSD. But it doesn't have to be part of a disorder at all—a vast amount of people just have intrusive thoughts, and a Twitter user, Laura Gastón, is trying to normalize them for others.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

Keep ReadingShow less