+
True
Johnson & Johnson - Donate a Photo

Linda Ruggiero was in nursing school when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. As a result, she almost gave up on her dream.

Linda Ruggiero and her mom. Photo courtesy of Linda Ruggiero.

Ruggiero, who was changing careers, needed her mom to help her pay for nursing school. But the diagnosis changed everything. Not only did Ruggiero have the weight of her mother being sick on her shoulders, now the aspiring nurse couldn't count on any financial support. And even though her mother got better, Ruggiero's last year of nursing school was incredibly difficult.


"It was a dark year," Ruggiero recalls. She didn't qualify for financial aid so she started taking on work outside of school. At one point, she was working five jobs at one time just to make ends meet.

"I almost had to leave," she says. "I was tired, and I had meltdowns pretty often. When my mom got sick, I felt like I really couldn't take it anymore, you know?"

But then a scholarship came along that changed her life.

Linda Ruggiero giving the convocation speech at her nursing school graduation. Photo courtesy of Lina Ruggiero.

In her last year, Ruggiero was awarded $5,000 by the The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA), which is supported in part by Johnson & Johnson — a company that has a century-long commitment to helping nurses. Johnson & Johnson recognizes that front line health workers are vital to changing health and wellbeing, which includes supporting the FNSNA and the scholarships they award.

The money made it possible for Ruggiero to finish the program and do what she loves. While this was certainly great for her, Ruggiero's newly acquired certification would also make a profound difference to people in need of medical assistance and care.  

With a nurse shortage looming over the United States, Ruggiero's entry into the workforce is good for all of us. She's now one of the essential people in the medical community fighting to ensure that everyone gets proper care.

And none of this would've been possible without people like you.

That's right. You have the power to change a life. All it takes is the snap of your camera.

[rebelmouse-image 19397793 dam="1" original_size="750x500" caption="Photo by Kendra Kamp/Unsplash." expand=1]Photo by Kendra Kamp/Unsplash.

When you take a photo and share it through Johnson & Johnson's Donate a Photo app,  Johnson & Johnson will donate one dollar per picture to causes that make the world a better, healthier place. What's more, if you share those photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you may inspire others to get snapping and donating, too.

With nearly four million photos shared, Donate a Photo has proven to be an easy (and fun) way to both spread awareness and make meaningful change in the world.

Johnson & Johnson has always been focused on changing human health for the better. And they know that progress is faster and more efficient when we all work together.

Donate a Photo is just one of the ways that J&J is helping to make the world healthier. They also created a Global Public Health organization dedicated to causes like ending Pediatric Tuberculosis and working to eliminate HIV/AIDS as a public health threat within the next decade, just to name a few.

Now it's your turn to make a difference: It starts with capturing the people you love and ends with improving the lives of people you've never met.

Photo courtesy of Linda Ruggiero.

Because Linda Ruggiero got to stay in school, she's been able to help so many others.

Aside from earning her degree and becoming a Registered Nurse, Ruggiero's also started a program that provides hats and blankets for premature babies at a local hospital. She's been awarded a grant to perform public health research in order to teach muslim women in her community about vitamin D deficiency. And she's won awards for the outreach work she's done.

"I didn't just get money to go to school to help myself," she says. "Because I stayed, it benefited others, too."

When you "Donate a Photo" and then post your donated snaps to social media, you'll be showing people the causes you care about, and creating an altruistic ripple effect that will have an effect long after your friends and relatives have scrolled through your timeline.

It only takes a second, but when we all work together, there's no telling just how much better we can make the future.

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.

Pop Culture

Selma Blair moves audiences to tears with her emotional 'Dancing With the Stars' debut

'This night will go under my pillow of sweet dreams for the rest of my life.'

She waltzed her way into our hearts.

The live two-hour premiere episode of the star-studded 31st season of “Dancing With the Stars” was an emotional one, to say the least, as actress Selma Blair took to the stage.

Four years ago, Blair publicly announced her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis—a chronic disease that causes many different symptoms, including vision loss, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination.

It was clear that entering the competition was more than a chance to win a title for Blair. In an interview with ET Canada, the “Cruel Intentions” actress shared that “I hope that by doing this show that I could show people with disabilities the joy that can be found in ways you never expected.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Omar Barajas on Unsplash

Officers celebrate girl's quinceanera.

Birthday parties are usually a good time for everyone involved, but sometimes things can get a little rowdy or you can have a few crabby neighbors that are upset their invite got lost in the mail. Either way, someone calls the police to complain about noise hoping the event will be disbanded or at the very least, partygoers will quiet down. That's exactly what led to Greensboro police officers making their way to a 15-year-old's quinceanera, but instead of breaking it up, they joined in on the fun.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman's experience reminds everyone to lock hotel door.

If you've ever stayed in a hotel, you know there's an additional lock you can latch as an added layer of protection. But sometimes weird things happen that make us rethink the comfort and security many of us take for granted. TikTok user TayBeepBoop had a disturbing experience when a hotel front desk person attempted to enter her room while she was inside. Some readers may find the story to be unsettling but it's a powerful reminder of exactly why situational awareness and caution are so important in today's world.

Keep ReadingShow less