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The wonderful reason nurses have been sharing their love for George Michael.

'Thank you for everything you do — some people appreciate it.'

The wonderful reason nurses have been sharing their love for George Michael.

In the wake of George Michael's untimely passing on Christmas 2016, many people have come forward to show their appreciation and recount his numerous philanthropic acts.

Photo by Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images.

His consistent support of the nursing community, however, deserves a special spotlight.

He even gave nurses, like those for the U.K's National Health Service, tickets to concerts he wasn't even playing.


Retired nurse Sally Lyons' experience at one particular concert speaks volumes about Michael's overwhelming generosity.

He played a free concert exclusively for nurses at the Roundhouse in Camden, North London, on Dec. 20, 2006. She was lucky enough to score one of six tickets that were reserved for the hospice center where she worked.

She and her colleagues had been on their feet all day and weren't exactly thrilled about standing for another few hours. Then George Michael took the stage, and they burst with excitement.

Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images.

"[He] told us he’d played in front of crowds all over the world but was anxious because he’d never performed in front of so many heroes before," wrote Lyons for Roundhouse.

Michael went on to play what Lyons describes as an "amazing set" that she and her colleagues would never forget. And they weren't the only ones.

"He made all of us feel special. People do say thank you, but for George to say it publicly feels good," nurse Susan Steadman told the BBC.

Photo by Adrian Dennis/Getty Images.

It's likely Michael's initial appreciation for nurses began when his mother, Lesley, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 1997 at only 60 years old.

The statement he made when he announced the free concert for NHS nurses in 2006 said it all:

"The nurses that helped my family at that time were incredible people and I realized just how undervalued they are."

Despite how much nurses do for their patients, the profession doesn’t often receive the accolades it deserves. Having a music legend like George Michael always advocate for nurses, however, made a difference.

Photo by Valerie Hache/Getty Images.

Michael gave back wherever he could and usually tried to keep his philanthropy  anonymous. He donated royalties from some of his most famous songs to HIV-related charities like the Terrence Higgins Trust and The Cara Trust's London Lighthouse project on HIV and AIDS hospice. He even tipped a bar server £5,000 ($6,128) to help her pay off her student nurse debt.

In a way, his passing on Christmas was fitting because his acts of generosity now serve as a timely reminder for all of us to show our appreciation, especially toward unsung heroes like nurses.

He made it quite clear at his thank you concert for NHS nurses 10 years ago: "Society calls what you do a vocation, and that means you don't get paid properly. Thank you for everything you do — some people appreciate it."

"George has had ups and downs but as we were heroes to him, he will always be a hero to all of the nurses at the Roundhouse that night," recounted Lyons.  

Nurses are invaluable for what they do everyday on the job. Hopefully the appreciation Michael showed nurses in his lifetime will continue to shine a light on them for years to come.

Photo by Samuel Kubani/Getty Images.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

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

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