Everyone gets pimples now and then. It’s just a part of life. Generally they go away on their own, but sometimes they can be a little more finicky. For 21-year-old New Zealand teacher Emily Foreman, what she thought was a run-of-the-mill pimple ended up changing the course of her life forever.
After a few months of the pesky pimple-like bump behind her ear, Foreman went to the doctor to get it looked at. A series of scans gave her the tragic diagnosis of a cancer tumor, called a large cell undifferentiated carcinoma, in her main salivary gland. It had also spread to some of Foreman’s surrounding lymphnodes. The young woman underwent a six-hour surgery to try and remove the cancer.
“This was to remove the entirety of my parotid gland, as well as most of the lymph nodes and some of the surrounding tissue in my neck,” Foreman explained on her Give A Little donation page, which is similar to GoFundMe. “To ensure that they had removed all of the cancer they needed to take some of my main facial nerve, unfortunately this left the right side of my face paralysed.”
Foreman then underwent six weeks of radiation, and after a while she was finally able to get back to her regular life. She was working full time and trying to plan out her future, but a routine check up left her devastated once again.
“In the CT scan they had discovered multiple lesions across both my lungs; meaning the cancer had spread,” she recalled. “There was always that chance of the cancer coming back, but never in a million years did I expect this, or for it to happen so soon. This changed everything. I was then put under one of the best oncologist’s and we were thrown straight into coming up with our next plan of attack. Because the lesions were so small and spread across both my lungs surgery wasn’t an option, we were also unable to do radiation as this would damage my lungs too much.”
So what was her next option? Foreman’s doctor decided the best course of action was to monitor the lesions to see if there were any changes. If they began to change, then she would have to undergo chemotherapy. The lesions didn’t appear to be changing, which meant that Foreman’s immune system was fighting hard to keep the cancer at bay.
“After much consideration, [the doctor] decided to offer me immunotherapy, believing that this would have better results than the chemotherapy would,” Foreman shared. “Immunotherapy works in conjunction with and helps to support the immune system to find and target cancer cells. But for me to be able to have this immunotherapy and for it to work I needed to have a high enough level of a certain protein within my cancer cells. After some testing we were fortunate and so grateful to find out that this is going to be an option for me and probably my best option.”
The issue, though, is that this treatment is extremely expensive and not covered under New Zealand healthcare.
“Each treatment is done every three weeks down in Palmerston North at a cost of $6,000 and it is capped at 10 treatments,” wrote on her Give A Little page. “This means that we only have to pay for the first 10 treatments; that still leaves it costing around $60,000. Then every treatment after the 10th one we only have to pay the administration fee which is still around $700 every time. All in all this is going to be a rather costly experience.”
This treatment could last for years if it’s deemed effective, which means Foreman will be struggling with these costs for the foreseeable future. However, she notes that this isn’t a cure by any stretch.
“Now the immunotherapy is not a cure, and will not cure me; currently there is no cure,” Foreman pointed out. “But it should be able to prevent the lesions from growing and keep them at bay for as long as possible. Medicine is changing all the time and I am hopeful that one day there will be a cure but currently this is my best chance at keeping the cancer at bay until that cure is found.”
I can’t imagine thinking something is just a pimple, then receiving life-changing news like this. Foreman seems to have a good head on her shoulders, and she has already raised over $50,000 on her fundraising page.
Her story is an important reminder to be vigilant when it comes to growths, bumps, or anything else unusual you notice about your body.
A mom in Ohio is looking for justice after her two-month-old baby died in the home of her daycare provider. Taylor Bush dropped off her daughter, Di’Yanni Griffin, at Nana’s Home Daycare along with her sons. When Bush texted the daycare owner, Danielle Townsend, to say she was coming to pick up her kids, Townsend said she wasn’t at the daycare, but her sister was there watching the kids.
When Bush showed up, the sister answered the door and was holding Di’Yanni.
“I knock on the door, go in there — she told me my baby was breathing heavy,” Bush said. “I say, ‘Why didn’t you call?’ She had no answer.”
Bush lives in the unit above the daycare, so she took DiYanni and went upstairs, only to realize something awful.
“So I go to walk out the door and I close the door behind me so I’m like, ‘Hey, mama baby.’ I realize her neck is, just she’s just lifeless,” Bush told Fox 8.
Bush then went back to the daycare, where she tried to save her daughter.
“So, I’m like, ‘Can you help with CPR?’ She’s not helping. So, I immediately put my daughter on the ground, so I give her CPR, and while I’m doing that, I call 911,” said Bush.
While doing CPR, Bush recalled that the sister kept trying to call Townsend instead of helping dave Di’Yanni.
“Why aren’t you trying to call police?” Bush thought at the time.
Di’Yanni was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late to do anything for her.
“They could not find a pulse for my daughter at all. I begged them — the hospital — to keep working on her because they had already pronounced her dead,” Bush said. “I begged them to keep working on my baby, because I couldn’t cope with the words, ‘She was gone.'”
It was then that Bush was given the news that made her heart sink.
“They told me about how cold my daughter was that she had stopped breathing a long time ago,” she said.
As for Townsend, who has been working with kids for 15 years, she said that her sister did notice something was wrong before Bush picked up Di’Yanni.
“My sister calls me and says, ‘Call her mother,'” recalled Townsend. “I said, ‘Well, her mother just texted me; what’s wrong?’ She said, ‘The baby is breathing fast.”
When Bush went to pick up her sons after leaving the hospital, she was upset with the way the daycare handled the situation.
“They showed no remorse, no apologies, not anything, no ‘sorry for your loss,’ no condolences,” she said.
Representatives from the daycare began posting on social media that Di’Yanni was ill, but police have said the coroner thinks the baby died of natural causes. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said they are monitoring the situation and will determine of the daycare license should be suspended.
“ODJFS is monitoring this tragic situation very closely. County JFS agencies are responsible for inspections of in-home child care, with oversight of ODJFS,” the spokesperson said. “The county agency is conducting an investigation and actively working with child protective services and law enforcement. ODJFS would make the final determination on whether to suspend Nana’s Home Daycare license if the county agency recommends suspension.”
As for Bush, she’s now left heartbroken after the death of her daughter. She said she had prayed to one day have a little girl, and now that dream is broken.
“I’m hurt. I blame myself,” the grieving mother said. “I don’t know how to cope, honestly I don’t. I’ve never dealt with anything like this before … I’m just broken, I’m broken.”
I can’t even imagine what Bush is going through right now. I hope she is able to get answers for the death of her baby girl.
Do you think the daycare should be shut down?
You’d like to think that ultimately, good conquers evil. Sometimes you have to do something that’s not right in order to prove that something else wrong is happening, and you want to believe that your bad thing would then get overlooked. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way the world works, and sometimes you learn the hard way that the world isn’t fair.
Take, for example, Brianna Cooper, an 11-year-old girl from Florida who was suspended for five days after she recorded her teacher saying nasty things about another student in the class. Cooper had been witnessing the bullying for a while, but she knew that if she didn’t have proof, no one would believe her.
“You think that they would actually believe a student over a teacher,” Brianna said, explaining her rationale behind recording the situation.
She decided to use her cellphone to record what her teacher was saying and prove that she was being a bully. Brianna took the recording to another teacher, and not long after she was called to the principal’s office to let her know what she did was illegal. As it turns out, in Florida you cannot record a teacher without their consent.
Florida law states:
Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a “wire, oral, or electronic communication” in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent.
Florida law makes an exception for in-person communications when the parties do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the conversation, such as when they are engaged in conversation in a public place where they might reasonably be overheard.
“I thought I did the right thing,” Brianna said. “I never had anybody tell me I couldn’t record.”
The comments made by the teacher towards another student were appalling.
“Biggest kid in 5th grade and you’re acting like the smallest one” the teacher can be heard saying. “I wonder what your mom looks like. Don’t let the size fool you. I will drop you. You don’t know me. That’s all I’m telling you. So don’t give me no look.”
Brianna’s mom, Cassie Faulkner, was upset when she heard about not only the comments, but also her daughter’s suspension from school.
“You don’t speak to children, let alone your students like that,” Cassie said. “She thought she was doing a good thing. She’s 11 years old. She doesn’t know the law. You’re pretty much saying to students, ‘If you think anything is wrong, don’t try and do anything about it.'”
The school didn’t comment on the suspension of Brianna, but they did acknowledge the comments made by their teacher.
“The staff at Sam Gaines Academy investigated the incident involving unprofessional behavior by the teacher and took swift, appropriate action,” the school said. “The teacher was dismissed and no longer works for the school system.”
To me, this is a case of school’s protecting their teachers ahead of their students, which shouldn’t be the case. Despite the school firing that teacher, they still suspended a student for a full week just for reporting an unsafe environment. I understand there are laws, but should they not be ignored when the safety of children is involved?
What do you think of this situation?
Stories like this always aggravate me, because they remind me that the school system is more concerned about money than the well-being of their students. Bonnie Kimball, who operated the cash register at Mascoma Valley Regional High School, was fired from her position at the school after she let a student take his lunch without paying because he didn’t have any money left in his lunch account.
Kimball loved her job at the school, where she got to talk to the school’s 326 students about life, their problems, and the general happenings of their day.
“We didn’t even call it work,” Kimball said of working at the school. “We got up in the morning, we took care of our families and we went to take care of the kids.”
On March 28th, a student came in to the line with a tray of food, but Kimball noticed he didn’t have any money left in his account. Instead of having the student go hungry for the day, Kimball let him take the food with a promise to bring the money. Unfortunately, there happened to be a district manager for Cafe Services, the company who runs the school’s cafeteria.
“When I rang him up, the student didn’t have any money on their account,” Kimball said. “So, I have a district manager here, my boss has told me ‘Don’t cause any scenes with the contract’ and I quietly said ‘tell (your) mom you need money.’”
The next day, Kimball was called in to the manager’s office and was fired. The reasoning? They claimed that she had “stolen” the food from the company. She was escorted out of the building.
“It was my life for five years. I went and I took care of another family,” she said. “You don’t just lose a family member, be OK and move on.”
Two fellow co-workers were so upset with Kimball’s termination, they quit their jobs on the spot. Parents of some students have also voice displeasure with the way the school and cafe company handled the situation.
“These guys really took care of our kids. They put our kids first and their focus was really our kids,” said Christina Moodie, whose son attends the high school. I know Bonnie went above and beyond for the kids.”
Cafe Services hasn’t responded to requests for comment on the situation, but in their termination letter to Kimball, they made their point very clear.
“On March 28, a District manager was on-site and witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for,” said the letter, which Kimball shared with the Valley News. “This is a strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals.”
Kimball is now out of work, and she’s concerned that this mark on her record could ultimately affect her job search in the future.
“I’m just dealing with so much right now: the public, paperwork. One minute I’m mad and the next minute, I just want to forget it all happened,” she said. “I guess I’m mourning my job.”
She says, however, that it’s not the school district’s fault, and that the officials from the board have been supportive and encouraging during this situation. Cookie Hebert, chairman of Mascoma Valley Regional School Board, wouldn’t comment directly on Kimball’s situation, but she did say that Kimball was just following the rules set out by the district.
“The policy is that the student be fed,” Hebert said. “There’s no refusal.”
After the story went viral, the company offered Kimball her job back, saying they would pay her for the work she missed.
“We had a recent situation where an employee violated school and company policy in dealing with our food service and our district manager made a decision he felt was right at the time,” said Brian Stone, president of the company’s school division.
Amanda Isabelle, the district superintendent, also said the school would hire Kimball back.
“The events of these past few weeks and the feedback I have received from parents has given me considerable pause,” Isabelle said in the statement. “As a school district, we understand the importance of rules and procedures, but upon reflection, I have become sufficiently convinced that it is wrong of us to assume that all the responsibility falls to the vendor, and I do not believe our communities would accept that explanation of this situation. We must be accountable for the people who work in our schools.”
Despite the offer, the former lunch lady won’t be returning.
“They’re not doing it for me, they are doing it to save face,” Kimball noted.
Personally, I think it’s ridiculous for a company to fire Kimball because she was allowing a student to eat, especially because the parent did pay the $8 for the food. Sometimes, politics need to be put aside and the well-being of our kids needs to be the focus.