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These cameras gave young cancer patients an adventure of a lifetime.

360° cameras created an exciting, visual way for these kids to see places most grown-ups wouldn't see. #PromotedPost

These cameras gave young cancer patients an adventure of a lifetime.
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Expedia & St. Jude

"Your child has cancer" may be the four scariest words a parent can hear.

They mark the beginning of one of the most daunting battles children and their families could ever face.

In addition to the pain and fear of the cancer itself, treatment often limits kids' opportunities to explore, see new places, find fun adventures, and engage with the outside world.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® and Expedia came up with a way to change that, if only for a little while.


With the help of 360° cameras, live-streaming technology, and adventurous volunteers, they found a way to bring the world to St. Jude patients. Take a look (or scroll down to learn more and see previews):

Kiara, Hannah, Sagr, and Isaias are all patients at St. Jude who got to live out their travel dreams vicariously through personal guides.

Expedia employees who volunteered for the project traveled all over the world and filmed their adventures. The footage was then projected onto the walls of a room, in real-time, to create an immersive environment.

For a little while, the kids got to forget everything else and enjoy the beauty and wonder that the world has to offer.

Kiara roamed with wild horses in Córdoba, Argentina.

All GIFs and images via Expedia/YouTube.

Hannah, who passed away in early 2016, went scuba diving at the Great Maya Reef in Mexico.

Sagr helped dig for fossils at Talampaya National Park.

And Isaias visited Monkey Jungle in Miami, Florida.

They experienced awe-inspiring travel for themselves — without leaving St. Jude.

Most of all, the project brought fun, adventure, and some distraction into these kids' lives when they needed it most. Many patients are in treatment for months or even years, so anything that can help take their minds off things — even just for a little while — is a big deal.

All kids, with or without cancer, should get to have adventures that bring this look of wonderment to their faces:


For anyone not familiar with St. Jude, familiesnever receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food.

You read that right — families never receive a bill from them.

St. Jude cares for patients regardless of their financial situation and funds most of its work through public donations. If you're interested in contributing, find out how to donate your Expedia+ points to St. Jude.

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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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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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