Second Chance: Mom Celebrates Cancer All-Clear By Posting Pictures With Daughter

Second Chance: Mom Celebrates Cancer All-Clear By Posting Pictures With Daughter

By James King

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey.

Roisin Pelan, 40, was told she had a breast cancer diagnosis while 34 weeks pregnant with her first baby.

She then had to have a mastectomy just six days after her daughter Ivy was born – and fought to kick cancer with intense chemotherapy.

Despite the cancer going away after a year, it returned again in 2018 and doctors warned her she wouldn’t live past three years – but incredibly, Roisin got the all-clear again in February this year.

Now a mum-of-two and awaiting her wedding to partner Michael Brown, 37, Roisin told how her daughter, born days before her diagnosis, has never known a life without her mother’s cancer.

Roisin, from Preston, Lancs., celebrated her clear scan with a moving Facebook post showing three identical pictures of her and her daughter throughout the eight-year cancer battle.

The online business owner said: “These past eight years have without a doubt been the most difficult years of my entire life, but also some of the best.

“Dealing with your mental health is the hardest part – trying to believe you have a future when it feels like you don’t.

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear - by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey. (Michael Brown/Zenger)

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey. (Michael Brown/Zenger)

“Cancer is all my daughter, and later my son, have ever known. But having a cancer diagnosis twice really makes you want to live your life.

“We’re only here once and I have been given second and third chances.”

Roisin first noticed a lump in her left breast in May 2014 while moisturizing to help to avoid stretch marks during her 34th week of pregnancy.

She visited a doctor to check out the olive-sized lump, and ultrasound and biopsy revealed she had breast cancer.

She and now-fiance Michael were given options and chose to induce an early birth of their daughter, who they named Ivy, before having a mastectomy.

Just six days later, on June 6, Roisin had the procedure followed by six months of chemo as she juggled the grueling process alongside raising her baby daughter.

The year of her diagnosis, she had a photo taken with baby Ivy – which would later become an emotional reminder of her lengthy cancer journey.

The new family was thrilled to get a clear scan in January 2015, and began the process of applying to adopt their second child.

They believed a second pregnancy would risk bringing the cancer back due to the hormones and in November 2017 they were finally approved to adopt.

They planned to begin the matching process in January of 2018 – except at that point, things went downhill.

She said: “Days before I would have been celebrating three years in remission, I found another lump.

“I had been talking to someone and I just felt it, and my stomach lurched.

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey. (Michael Brown/Zenger)

“I knew straight away the cancer had come back. When I went for a scan which confirmed it, couldn’t even look at Ivy.

“I didn’t know what I was about to put her through – usually when you have a recurrence, it comes back in the later stages.”

A week later Roisin was back in the chemo chair and was horrified as doctors told her it had spread beyond the original area, although not to another organ.

They warned her she would likely have just three years to live, and there would be little chance of surgery.

She said: “I walked out without an ounce of hope I would live. I thought I was dying, and that was it.”

But after going to a different hospital for a second opinion, different doctors agreed to continue with aggressive chemo and radiotherapy to eradicate the cancer a second time.

By 2019, she had a clear scan once more and was able to adopt her son at nine months old – and he and Ivy quickly became the best of friends.

And three years later she has proven the doctors wrong by outliving their three-year prediction – which she celebrated with a third identical photo with Ivy, who is almost eight.

While the first two photos from her cancer journey show her with no hair due to chemo, in this year’s photo she wears the biggest smile as she sports a full head of hair.

The trio of pictures serves as a reminder of how far she has come – a journey Ivy has been on alongside her from the very beginning.

She said: “Ivy knows words like chemotherapy, and she knows what CT and MRI scans are.

“At seven years old, she shouldn’t know these things.

“I will be on chemo forever but it’s just become our life now – it’s keeping me alive.

“These past eight years have without a doubt been the most difficult years of my entire life, but also some of the best.”

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VIDEO: Broken Sails: U.S. Coast Guard Medevac 4 Men From Broken Boat

VIDEO: Broken Sails: U.S. Coast Guard Medevac 4 Men From Broken Boat

4 coastguards standing in front of their helicopter after the rescue, Montauk, New York on May 8, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard Northeast/Zenger).

By Pol Fernandez

The U.S. Coast Guard went into action to save the crew of the 39-foot sailing yacht Calypso after it encountered a rogue wave that toppled its mast in rough seas some 80 nautical miles from New York’s Long Island Sound.

The foundering yacht had four crew members who had been on a jaunt from Bermuda to Connecticut.

Some of them had sustained serious injuries, including concussions and broken ribs, and after the wave damage they were left with no means of communication other than text messaging and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

The brisk winds and 17-foot waves off the New York coast complicated the rescue, but it did not stop U.S. Coast Guard air rescuers from heading out to sea to relieve the stricken yachtsmen.

On 8th of May 2022 39-foot sailing vessel, Calypso needed U.S Coast Guard assistence 80 nautical miles south of Montauk, New York.  (U.S. Coast Guard Northeast/Zenger).

Body cam footage provided by the Coast Guard showed the MH-80 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod approaching the Calypso, which showed that its sails and mast were dangling dangerously in the sea.

A Guardsman leaped into Long Island Sound, wearing a specialized thermal suit and gear as he swam to the stricken vessel and aid the hapless yachtsmen.

The rescue swimmer’s bodycam showed him enter the stricken boat and signal the helicopter crew to lift the crew from the sea.

On 8th of May 2022 39-foot sailing vessel, Calypso needed U.S Coast Guard assistence 80 nautical miles south of Montauk, New York.  (U.S. Coast Guard Northeast/Zenger).

Once secured, each one was taken in a rescue basket and winched aboard the helicopter as it bucked and swerved in the gusting winds and into the night.

The crew were then flown to Gabreski, New York, to receive emergency medical care at a hospital there despite the risky weather conditions and dwindling light.

According to U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape Cod: “Battling heavy seas and challenging hoisting conditions, our MH-60T crew effectively rescued all four individuals.”

FEBRUARY 17: U.S. Coast Guard crew members work on the Cutter James. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The U.S. Coast Guard rivals most of the world’s navies in size, and is unique among the U.S. military for its maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement duties.

As the largest and most powerful coast guard service in the world, it has jurisdiction in domestic and international waters, seeing service along the maritime coasts of the U.S. and the Great Lakes where it conducts rescues and interdiction services.

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A Digital Way To Stop Evictions: Buy Real Estate In The Metaverse

A Digital Way To Stop Evictions: Buy Real Estate In The Metaverse

HomeStart is launching a project called INVERSE to help families on the brink of eviction by selling digital apartments in the metaverse, shown here. (HomeStart/ICON)

By Michelle D. Madsen

It is digital to the rescue.

HomeStart, a Boston-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness, is launching a project called INVERSE to help families on the brink of eviction by selling digital apartments in the metaverse.

The apartments start at one Ethereum (ETH), around $3,000 and roughly equal to what it costs to stop an eviction and provide a family with 12 months of support in a major U.S. city.

Due to rising housing expenses, nearly 600,000 Americans were habitually unhoused in 2020. Today, there are twice as many households behind on their rent and at risk of eviction than there were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s where HomeStart comes in.

In the last 25 years, HomeStart has helped secure permanent housing for over 14,000 individuals living on the streets and in shelters. It also worked to prevent over 4,000 families from experiencing homelessness by way of eviction. HomeStart’s clients include survivors of domestic violence, single parents and their children, veterans and persons with disabilities, all living at or below the poverty line.

Now, HomeStart is partnering with Cornerstone to build an apartment complex in its new virtual world.

The price of the NFT apartments starts at one Ethereum (ETH), which is around $3000, and about what it costs to halt an eviction. All profits go to HomeStart. (HomeStart/ICON)

Cornerstone, the first photorealistic metaverse, will create an apartment complex in this new virtual environment. Those who purchase apartments will be among the first to visit the virtual world. ZOAN, a virtual studio based in Helsinki, Finland, is creating Cornerstone, which will open by the end of 2022.

“One of HomeStart’s initiatives is to prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place by assisting high-risk households in maintaining their residence and avoiding resorting to shelters or the streets,” said Matt Pritchard, HomeStart’s president and executive director.

“HomeStart is continually seeking for novel methods to engage more community people to help prevent homelessness, just as we uncover and incubate innovative solutions to homelessness,” he said. “INVERSE is a large-scale project that gives the metaverse a purpose by establishing a never-before-seen link between the virtual and physical worlds, with the goal of raising awareness of a situation with ready-made remedies.”

The building is designed by the award-winning Boston-based architecture firm ICON.

Each apartment will be represented by a non-fungible token (NFT), a digital asset representing real-word objects, with the buyer becoming the owner of that property after acquiring the NFT. There will be 49 NFTs or units available for purchase, with eight different floor plans to choose from. Prices will vary from one to five ETH, roughly equivalent to the cost of defending one to five families from eviction at present rates.

The building will also have two community floors for future brand partnerships.

The NFTs can be purchased here.

Produced in association with MetaNews.

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Facecrooks: Credit Agencies To Look At Clothing And Travel Purchases On Facebook To Decide On Loans

Facecrooks: Credit Agencies To Look At Clothing And Travel Purchases On Facebook To Decide On Loans

In this photo illustration credit debit cards are seen on November 3, 2017 in Bristol, England.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

By Darko Manevski

Credit organizations are looking at your Facebook page to see what you spend on clothes or travel rather than using more traditional and strictly-regulated rating methods when deciding on loan applications.

That is according to experts at the University of Georgia, who say that big data now make it possible for more sophisticated modelling programs that include using social media without even needing to ask. It is part of a growing trend of taking into consideration non-financial factors when rating creditworthiness.

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 04: In this photo illustration, the Facebook and Instagram apps are seen on the screen of an iPhone on October 04, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Traditional credit scoring is based on a person’s demonstrated ability to take on debt and pay it off.

But all that is changing with the ability of computers to crunch the data, and social media is proving particularly useful for those without an extensive credit history.

Increasingly, lenders are scraping information from public records or social media accounts to build a credit profile without borrowers’ knowledge.

University of Georgia (UGA) financial regulation researcher Lindsay Sain Jones said: “There are also fringe alternative data that companies gather without your permission.

“There are companies that specialize in pulling data from online sources – your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles – and feed into their credit model.”

In this case, borrowers do not know what criteria they are evaluated on and do not have a way to contest inaccurate information.

Jones, who is an attorney and assistant professor of legal studies at the UGA Terry College of Business, said: “There’s no appeals process.

“With your traditional credit score, you can appeal inaccurate information. Say you had a credit card with Bank of America, and your report says that you had a charge off. If you didn’t, there’s a process for appealing that error set up by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. They have to address your concerns.”

There is no way to appeal if the lender does not like how often you travel or buy clothes, she said.

According to Jones, the problem is that the systems developing these alternative scores can be like a black box.

A person holds an iPhone displaying the Facebook app logo in front of a computer screen showing the facebook login page on August 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

With the pool of personal data available growing, Jones argues that it is time to take a second look at how the credit scoring system works and is regulated.

She said: “While use of alternative credit data is touted as a means to broaden access to credit – an admirable goal – its use has, at times, resulted in disproportionately negative impacts on borrowers in protected classes and allowed for precision marketing of predatory loans to vulnerable borrowers.”

Jones and co-author Janine Hiller of Virginia Tech argue in a new paper that the US Congress should institute new regulations to prevent alternative credit scoring services from abusing consumer data in the nation’s credit reporting system. Their paper, ‘Who’s keeping score?: Oversight of Changing Consumer Credit Infrastructure’, is available in the April 2022 issue of the American Business Law Journal.

New alternative credit scoring systems present challenges not covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

These rules allow consumers access to the data that affects their credit score and prevent discrimination against borrowers based on race or gender. However, they do not directly apply to certain alternative credit data and leave Americans unable to access the credit system.

In their recent paper, Jones and her co-author argue further regulation of financial reporting entities – both large credit bureaus and new data collectors – is needed in the same way gas, electric and water providers regulated their services. They argue participation in the credit system has become as necessary as having a phone or electricity.

While companies developing alternative credit reporting services argue that their products give underserved populations access to these vital services, the opaque nature of their operations makes them ripe for abusive lending practices, Jones argues.

With new products, borrowers do not know what information is used for calculating the score, so they cannot contest erroneous information.

Some credit scoring agencies offer consumers a ‘credit boost’ in exchange for access to their utility or rental payment histories. But there are few regulations on what agencies can do with this information and how long they can keep it, according to Jones.

She said: “So, as an applicant, you’ve technically given them permission to do this, but you’re in a vulnerable position.

“Your loan has been denied. You still need the loan. So, you give them all of your data, and you may gain as little as a single point on your credit score or none at all. You may or may not have a better chance of getting your loan, and what they do with that data is all in the fine print.”

Jones and her co-author are also concerned that much of the lifestyle-related data points lenders correlate with creditworthiness can connect to race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, a person’s ZIP code or where they attended college. Successfully challenging this kind of disparate impact under the ECOA is nearly impossible.

A Universal Credit sign in a Job Centre in Westminster on May 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

One agency pulled information on how often people pay for gas at the pump versus paying inside the store. People who paid at the pump were deemed more creditworthy.

Jones said: “There are all kinds of factors that can be correlated with creditworthiness, but that doesn’t mean they should be used.”

She argues there is a need to expand access to lending markets, but access should come with the same protections applied to traditional credit data.

Jones said: “Where do you draw that line?

“Are you opening up new credit opportunities for people, or are you preying upon vulnerable people?”

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Junk Food, Candy And Red Meat Can Lead To An Early Grave, Study Finds

Junk Food, Candy And Red Meat Can Lead To An Early Grave, Study Finds

A woman serves herself deep-fried food at an all-you-can eat restaurant in Camberwell on April 26, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

By Simona Kitanovska

Junk food and sweets as well as red meat can help you to an early grave according to a new study on nutrition.

The research by Loma Linda University Health researchers found high consumption of ultra-processed foods like soft drinks, certain meat analogs, and candy, and, separately, high consumption of red meat may be important mortality indicators.

In this photo illustration a bacon cheeseburger sandwich and fries are served at a Shake Shack restaurant on May 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Their recently published study adds to a growing body of knowledge about how ultra-processed foods and red meat impact human health and longevity.

Compared to past literature analyzing ultra-processed and animal-based foods’ health impacts, this study included one of the largest cohorts, with over 77,000 participants.

It also considered a diverse array of diets, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

As a result, outcomes provided new insights about ultra-processed foods as a common denominator of mortality across vegetarians and non-vegetarians, says Gary Fraser, MBChB, PhD, a study author, and professor at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

“Our study addresses the question of what can make a vegetarian diet healthy or unhealthy,” Fraser says. “It seems that the proportion of ultra-processed foods in someone’s diet is actually more important with respect to mortality than the proportion of animal-derived foods they eat, the exception being red meat.”

Fraser says the study exposes how it is possible to be a “bad vegetarian or a good non-vegetarian” because it isolates the health impacts of processed foods in the diet — whether it’s vegetarian or not. Results revealed that vegetarians who ate a lot of processed foods as part of their diets faced a similar proportionate increase in mortality outcomes as non-vegetarians who ate a lot of processed foods in their diets.

A vegan bagel and green smoothie is pictured at vegan cafe No Milk Today on January 27, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

The study, “Ultra-processed food intake and animal-based food intake and mortality in the Adventist health study-2,” published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, assesses the mortality risks of two dietary factors independent of each other.

The first one was the proportion of the diet composed of ultra-processed foods as opposed to less processed foods,

The second was the proportion of the diet from animal-based foods (meats, eggs, and dairy) as opposed to plant-based foods.

Seven LLU researchers gathered data from an observational prospective cohort study in North America, recruited from Seventh-day Adventist churches, comprising of 77,437 female and male participants.

Participants completed a frequency food questionnaire including over 200 food items to describe their diets. They also provided other health-related and demographic information about themselves, including sex, race, geographic region, education, marital status, rate of tobacco and alcohol use, exercise, sleep, BMI, and comorbid conditions with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Researchers then analyzed participants’ health and demographic information in conjunction with their mortality data, provided by the National Death Index, for a mean timeframe of about seven and a half years. Next, researchers used a statistical model to help them consider each variable independently of others and produce a cause-specific mortality analysis.

They adjusted their statistical model to focus on ultra-processed food intake irrespective of other factors like animal-food consumption or age. In doing so, Fraser and co-authors found that people who obtained half of their total calories from ultra-processed foods faced a 14% increase in mortality compared to people who received only 12.5% of their total calories from ultra-processed foods.

Study authors report that high consumption levels of ultra-processed foods were associated with mortality related to respiratory, neurologic, and renal conditions — particularly Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (even when restricted to people who never smoked). However, high ultra-processed food consumption was not associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or endocrine conditions.

Results did not reveal an association between mortality and dietary intake of total animal-based foods. Once researchers parsed animal-based foods into sub-categories, however, they found a statistically significant 8% increase in the mortality risk associated with moderate (approximately 1 ½ oz per day) consumption of red meat compared to no red meat.

Overall, Fraser says the study demonstrated how greater consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with higher all-cause mortality, even in a health-conscious Adventist population with many vegetarians. Such findings of ultra-processed food consumption and mortality provide a “helpful confirmation of what people expected,” he says.

People eat pizza as they arrive to celebrate New Years eve in Times Square on December 31, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

The study calls for further research into the specific health effects of ultra-processed food consumption in humans. While research endeavors continue to deepen understanding of how ultra-processed foods impact our health, Fraser advises avoiding consuming them at high levels.

“If you’re interested in living longer or to your maximal potential, you’d be wise to avoid a diet filled with ultra-processed foods and replace them with less processed or unprocessed foods,” Fraser says. “At the same time, avoid eating a lot of red meat. It’s as simple as that.”

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Covid Brain Fog: Woman With  Long Covid Can’t Even Change Bedclothes

Covid Brain Fog: Woman With Long Covid Can’t Even Change Bedclothes

Linda Hamlet, 49, said her short-term memory is almost non-existent after contracting Covid-19. (Ellie Forbes/Zenger)

By Simona Kitanovska

An oil worker told how long covid left her with debilitating memory loss – as experts warn the number of people with the condition is increasing ‘at an alarming rate’.

Mum-of-two Linda Hamlet, 49, said her life has been turned upside down since she contracted covid in October 2021.

Linda, who works in the oil industry, was already signed off work with another condition when she got covid.

But said she is no closer to returning due to her debilitating symptoms, including headaches, tinnitus and brain fog.

She struggles to drive, watch TV or read due to issues with her concentration and has had short term memory loss – which left her unsure how to change her bed.

Her husband Paul, who has worked offshore for a decade, had to give up his job to look after Linda and their sons.

Linda, from Aberdeenshire, said she is frustrated with the lack of support for long covid sufferers, and has been left fearing for her future with no treatment available.

Linda said: “I have a responsible and technical job in the oil industry.

“I’m a reasonably intelligent woman but a few weeks ago, I was changing the bed and I couldn’t for the life of me work out how the duvet cover went on.

“That’s how much my brain has been scrambled by long covid.

“Sometimes I can’t drive, watch TV or read a book because I can’t concentrate.

“I’m fortunate my employer has been understanding and supportive, but I’m worried about the future.

“There doesn’t seem to be any treatment available, or any understanding of what people like me with long covid are having to deal with.”

Linda lives with her husband Paul and their two sons – Jack, seven, and Oliver, ten.

She caught covid from her son Jack and said her initial symptoms included exhaustion, dizziness and headaches.

The headaches have persisted, and she also has severe tinnitus and constant earache.

She describes the brain fog as awful and said her short-term memory is almost non-existent.

She has also had to suffer occasional chest pains, inflammation, numbness and pins and needles on her left-hand side.

Linda said: “Last year had been a very traumatic one before I even got covid.

“Paul worked in a three-week cycle and was away for six months a year.

A health worker holds a COVID-19 test at a testing center in the Pavuna neighborhood on January 18, 2022 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

“I was solely taking care of the kids, home schooling while working from home.

“Even with precautions, the inevitable finally happened and I got covid from Jack in October.

“The physical symptoms are bad, but the loss of so much cognitive function upsets me more.

“I have debilitating headaches, cannot concentrate on anything now and my short-term retention memory is poor.

“I have also suffered with bouts of insomnia, too.

“All of these symptoms were starting to worry me, so I was advised to contact Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland long covid support group.

“I really feel for the people linked on this group and feel some individuals appear to be getting no professional support or guidance.

“Who’s going to take care of the long covid sufferers all of us in the long term?

“We need answers, guidance and help now.

“This condition is debilitating and should be investigated far more extensively.”

A medical face mask on the ground in the city center during the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic on December 23, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Barth/Getty Images)

Jane-Claire Judson, Chief Executive at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “The number of people living with the long term effects of Long Covid is increasing at an alarming rate.

“Every month more and more people are needing support and progress to meet their needs for care just isn’t fast enough.

“They deserve better and we need to see more urgent action from the Scottish Government.

“People might feel we are getting back to some kind of normality, but so many people with Long Covid feel there is no return to normality in sight.

“Many are struggling to return to their jobs or do the things many of us take for granted like going for a walk to the end of the road.

“We need to see urgent action to make sure a wraparound service is in place.

“That service also needs a system where people can be easily referred through to third sector services to ensure we’re reaching everyone with Long Covid who needs support.”

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