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How a trip across the border inspired a doctor to fight for health care equality.

How a trip across the border inspired a doctor to fight for health care equality.

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When Dr. Paula Aristizabal first started working in pediatric oncology, she was a little uneasy. "I was scared because I didn’t know what to expect," Aristizabal explains. Even though cancer specialists have to assume they'll be treating people with a lower than average survival rate, knowing that all her patients would be children made it somewhat more daunting. Fortunately, however, that was far from the experience Aristizabal ended up having. Aristizabal. Photo via Northwestern Mutual. "I learned pediatric cancer is highly curable, so it was very rewarding because I would be able to make a difference in [my patients'] lives," Aristizabal says. Little did she know treating cancer in children wouldn't be the only way she'd make a positive impact on health care. After completi...
Here’s why this boy has a kidney that’s 3 times older than he is.

Here’s why this boy has a kidney that’s 3 times older than he is.

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Meet Tony Salerno. He's 13. Well, most of him is 13. "If someone asks me how old I am, I can tell them, ‘Well, part of me is 50, and the other part of me is 13,'" jokes Tony. Tony just got a new kidney from his dad, so while he's really a 13-year-old boy, his new kidney's almost four times as old. He needed a kidney because the treatments that saved his life also did a lot of damage. At 2.5 years old, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of nerve-based cancer. Baby Tony in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Karen Salerno. At the time, the rate of survival for someone Tony's age was about 30%, but, thanks to rigorous treatment, he was pronounced cancer-free at age 3. However, the intense treatments, which included five rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, and ...
Ballet brought big joy for this courageous 14-year-old battling cancer.

Ballet brought big joy for this courageous 14-year-old battling cancer.

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Peyton had just finished performing in her seventh production of "The Nutcracker" when she started feeling extremely exhausted. "I had dress rehearsals, dance, cheerleading, and seventh-grade homework, so I thought I was just really tired and sore," Peyton says. But her mom, Carrie, knew better. "The change literally happened overnight. She lost 10 pounds in three weeks. She went from dancing in 'The Nutcracker' in December to being ridiculously tired in January," Carrie says. It was watching Peyton's ballet class that really struck Carrie. "Peyton was so exhausted that she couldn't get up on her pointe shoes," she says. "In that moment, I knew something was seriously wrong." A visit to the pediatrician the next day verified Carrie's worries. After examining Peyton, the doctor asked Car...
Why one explorer wants to reconnect people of color to nature.

Why one explorer wants to reconnect people of color to nature.

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Rue Mapp can still remember the moment she fell in love with the great outdoors. "I grew up in an outdoor loving family," recalls Mapp over the phone. "We had a ranch in Northern California." Rue Mapp. All photos courtesy of Outdoor Afro. Mapp's early days were spent walking those California country roads and hopping over to nearby farms filled with grazing cows and pigs. As her love for nature expanded, Rue began to explore more and more remote areas, traveling deeper and further into the incredible landscapes America has to offer. Then, she noticed that not many people of color were doing the same, and she decided to do something about it. Rue started Outdoor Afro a nonprofit network built to connect the African-American community to nature and inspire outdoor leadership. Ini...
What the tales of the ‘Mountain Mama’ can teach us about ignoring hesitation.

What the tales of the ‘Mountain Mama’ can teach us about ignoring hesitation.

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Today, Amelia Mayer is known by many as the "Mountain Mama," but when it came to adventures with her own mama growing up, she wasn't into it. When she was just 1 year old, Amelia's parents took her hiking up the glaciers and mountains surrounding her home in Alaska. She may have been in the great outdoors often, but young Amelia had to be bribed with strawberries and pieces of chocolate. All images via Amelia Mayer, used with permission. Everything changed when she was around 7 years old the same age her eldest son is now. For the first time, Amelia realized what made the outdoors so magical. She was hiking up "Lazy Pete" a mountain you have to be anything but lazy to conquer. "I clearly remember running to the end of it," she says, "and feeling that sense of accomplishment." That ...
Barebones makes the tents of the future, and they’re giving them to people in need.

Barebones makes the tents of the future, and they’re giving them to people in need.

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When Robert Workman had the chance to sell his family business for a substantial profit 10 years ago, he decided to use the proceeds for good. It was an exciting and humbling moment, filled with possibility. He'd become interested in sustainability and philanthropy and knew that he wanted to start giving back. The only questions that remained were how and where. So he hit the road looking for inspiration. Traveling to the Congo was an eye-opening moment for Robert. Speaking to aid agencies working on the ground and communicating with the people whose lives they were trying to help, he identified an important need that wasn't being met: portable, sustainable, affordable energy generation. Robert convened a team of engineers and got to work. Goal Zero was the result. Goal Zero offers a...
27 tips to help you thrift shop like a boss this summer season.

27 tips to help you thrift shop like a boss this summer season.

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Summer is finally here! (Well, almost.) As the weather heats up, were drawn to brighter colors and lighter fabrics cue your desire for a complete closet refresh. It's tempting to invest in an entirely new wardrobe to match the coming season, but fashion can come with a hefty price both for your wallet and the environment. Did you know that it can take up to 1,800 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans? 1,800 gallons! This year, instead of heading straight for the mall or diving into the abyss that is online shopping, consider checking out your local thrift store for all your summer fun needs from poolside lounging to graduation parties or weddings. Thrifting can be a great way to save money (and the planet) while prepping for summer. Like anything, thrifting can be an art. We...
Firefighters are killed every year by wildfires. These scientists want to change that.

Firefighters are killed every year by wildfires. These scientists want to change that.

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In November 2016, huge forest fires swept through eight southern states in the U.S. They burned more than 119,000 acres and shrouded regions from Alabama up to West Virginia in smoke. Parks shut down, residents evacuated, and more than 6,300 firefighters were deployed to the area to try to contain these raging fires. As devastating as these fires were, wildfires are actually pretty common. On average, the United States sees more than 100,000 wildfires every year in fact, the U.S. Wildfire Tracker shows 45 large fires burning in the United States at the time of this writing. This means that right now, firefighters are putting their lives on the line as they respond to wildland fires. And because of climate change, the fires are becoming more frequent, intense, and long-burning makin...
Behind the scenes of every cute baby panda, there’s a mama bear.

Behind the scenes of every cute baby panda, there’s a mama bear.

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On Sept. 4, 2016, the conservation status of giant pandas was updated from "endangered" to the less critical "vulnerable." That's great news! After all, who wouldn't want to see more of these fluffy little faces in the world? Ever wonder what a 5-month-old panda looks like? #worldwildlifefund #wwf #panda #babyanimals #adorable A post shared by World Wildlife Fund (@world_wildlife) on Jul 3, 2013 at 2:13pm PDT The announcement, made by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, came after a documented 17% rise in the wild panda population over about the last decade. "The recovery of the panda shows that when science, political will and engagement of local communities come together, we can save wildlife and also improve biodiversity," stated Marco Lambertini, the director ge...
These beautiful shark facts and pictures will give you 10 reasons to love them.

These beautiful shark facts and pictures will give you 10 reasons to love them.

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There's a reason why we're told to live every week like it's Shark Week. GIF via Step Brothers." Sharks are simultaneously some of the most exhilarating and terrifying forces of nature on the planet. They are glorious, majestic apex predators that affect entire ecosystems with their toothy, subaqueous badassery and demand our constant admiration and respect. Hear me roar. All shark photos via iStock. But they're also probably one of the most misunderstood species on the planet. Thankfully, they're just one of many featured in "Racing Extinction" a terrifyingly beautiful film that soon premieres on Discovery Channel. But before we get to that, let's explain why you should care about one of the many species showcased in that film sharks! Here are 10 facts tha...
When life hit them hard, these 4 Olympians persevered and hit back even harder.

When life hit them hard, these 4 Olympians persevered and hit back even harder.

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It's no secret that we all have obstacles we need to overcome in life. There will always be ups and downs. That we know for sure. But, sometimes, unexpected lefts and rights pop up and try to throw us even more off track. When those types of moments hit, that's when our resolve is truly put to the test. That's the type of perseverance on full display at one of the world's most celebrated sporting events the Olympic Games. For years and years, athletes go through blood, sweat, and tears for a few precious moments of pure competition. If anything, that struggle to achieve greatness is what makes sports so dang beautiful. But some members of Team USA had to endure a few extra hurdles on their way to glory. Meet four amazing athletes who are incredible examples of perseverance. And if...
What would you write in a love letter to the planet? Here are 19 beautiful examples.

What would you write in a love letter to the planet? Here are 19 beautiful examples.

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Everyone knows that Paris is the city of love. But the Earth itself rarely gets the romance it deserves. When you think about it, that's kinda messed up. Our home planet does so many amazing and selfless things for us. And what do we do in return? At best, we call it beautiful; at worst, we neglect and abuse it. That ain't cool. All photos by Thom Dunn/Upworthy. But an art installation at Paris's Petit Palais aims to shower our planet with the love that it deserves. The installation was created as part of the two-day Earth to Paris summit and coincided with the COP21 Climate Conference also going on in Paris. Activists and artists from all across the world were invited to share their messages of hope, love, and adoration for our dear Mother Earth. (and, by extension, the global...