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They say "it takes a village" to raise a child. And sometimes, they're totally right.

Whoever invented children obviously never intended for them to be taken out in public. Us parents only have two hands to wrangle them with. We can only run so fast as we chase them through a crowd.

We only have so much patience!


Sometimes, we need a little help. And for every person who rolls their eyes when they hear a baby on a plane, or for every cafe that threatens to discipline your kids if they disrupt other diners, there are tons of people who understand the struggle and are happy to lend a helping hand.

Here are five stories of random strangers stepping in to help parents in need to remind you that we're all in this together:

1. A kind lady cut up this mom's food so she could breastfeed her son.

Photo by Briar Mcqueen, used with permission.

For parents of young kids, going out to eat can be a small pleasure in a day full of diapers and tantrums. Well — if the kids cooperate, that is.

"Today was the first time I went out for breakfast alone with my 8 week old son," Briar Mcqueen recently wrote on Facebook. Immediately, she had her hands full. Her son, Jaxon, started crying for food.

So she put her own food aside and fed him.

"After a few minutes this older lady walked up to me, I was scared, thinking she was gonna tell me to put my boob away, instead she starts cutting up my breakfast for me and said 'what a good mama you are, we can't have your food getting cold can we.'"

What a sweet surprise.

"I honestly could have cried," Briar wrote.

2. This mom couldn't get her baby to fall asleep on a plane. But the woman next to her could.

Photo by Rebekkah Garvison, used with permission.

Flying with a baby is every parent's nightmare. And for Rebekkah Garvison, that nightmare arrived in full force on a recent flight. Her young daughter, Rylee, wouldn't stop crying. The plane was full, and it hadn't even taken off yet.

It was going to be a long ride.

But when Rebekkah changed seats to get a little more room, she got an amazing response from her new seatmate, Nyfesha Miller, who offered to try her hand at calming the little one down.

"As soon as she had her, Rylee was looking out the window and stopped crying," Rebekkah wrote on Facebook. "When we got in the air she fell right asleep and slept in her lap the whole flight until we got to our gate. [Nyfesha] kept saying it wasn't a problem at all and it was actually a comforting feeling for her. She even carried her off the plane and held her so I could get the stroller and carseat put back together so I wasn't struggling to try and do it all alone."

"You will never understand how happy this act of kindness has made my family," Rebekkah wrote.

3. For these parents, all hell broke loose at a restaurant. The kindness of two strangers made things a little easier.

Photo by Melissa Wistehuff, used with permission.

Murphy's Law says that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. That's exactly what happened to the Wistehuff family during a recent trip to a local restaurant.

First, their youngest son, Ian, threw an epic, screaming, flailing tantrum. Then, with Ian still losing it, their older daughter Luca said she felt like she was going to throw up. The parents, Melissa and Jason, divided and conquered as best they could. But there was no denying the disaster at hand. They asked for the check in a hurry...

...only, the waiter explained, the tab had already been picked up by a fellow diner who was impressed with their patient parenting. Another nearby diner then offered to pay the tip.

For the Wistehuffs, it was one less thing to stress about in a chaotic moment.

“Just when you think that the world is putting you down, they’re not. They’re picking you up,” Melissa told Yahoo! Parenting. “They completely changed our night.”

4. A couple of kind words were exactly what these parents needed to hear during a stressful evening out.


Photo by Stephanie Hartman, used with permission.

Stephanie and Arick Hartman's son Avery was born early. Very early. He came into the world after only 25 weeks, weighing just over one pound. He also, unsurprisingly, came with a lot of health problems.

After a few months, though, the Hartmans were feeling confident enough to take Avery out to his first dinner in public.

"It wasn’t long before he vomited. All over Arick’s shirt," Stephanie wrote for The Mighty. Arick passed him over to Stephanie. In case she was feeling left out, Avery vomited on her, too!

"We were unaware that all of this had attracted the attention of our neighbors. ... They were middle aged and decked out head-to-toe in biker leather," Stephanie wrote. "For a few minutes they admired Avery, but it was what that man said before they left that will stick with me forever. He put a heavy hand on my husband's shoulder. 'I want you to know, being a dad isn’t easy. But you. You’re doing a great job.' He looked at me. 'You both are.'"

5. This guy did his job with one hand and soothed one mom's baby with the other.

Photo by Coty Vincent, used with permission.

Coty Vincent was not having a great day. She was trying to secure a rental car following an accident, and on top of that, she had her hands full with her young twins.

As anyone who has ever rented a car can tell you, the process is not usually a quick one. Thankfully, as Coty's restless twins began to squirm, a friendly Enterprise employee stepped up to the plate.

"While he helped me with my rental due to a hit and run accident, he held one of my twin sons as I don't have a double stroller," Coty wrote on Facebook. "One of the most compassionate and caring people I've ever met. We need more people like John who go that extra step. "

To all the kind people out there who are willing to help soothe, wrangle, feed, or just hold our kids: thank you.

We might not want to admit it, but as a parent myself, I know that we're not always sure we can do this on our own.

One day, when we find ourselves out and about without our kids and we see a young parent struggling with a powder-keg toddler or a fussy infant, we'll be more than happy to pay it forward.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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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.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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