Celebration Cruise Line Sends Young Cancer Patients on Free Cruise

It’s very grueling on a family with a child battling cancer. But thanks to Celebration Cruise Line, some families got to enjoy some much need R & R – all for free.

CJ George loves to cruise. Last year, he and his family took an all-expense paid treat on the Bahamas Celebration. “I really hope I can come again, and this won’t be my last because I love it so much,” said CJ. CJ is battling Lymphoma Blood Cancer. After receiving the devastating news, CJ began two years of chemotherapy where he learned his best weapon was joining forces with kids battling the same disease. In fact, he invited some of those kids and their families to cruise with him!

“They don’t have to worry about anything because the ship has already taken care of it,” said CJ’s mom, Dawn George. Dawn founded “Children Battling Cancer,” a support organization which bridges the gap between the community and families raising children with cancer. Through her organization, Celebration Cruise Line sends a family a month on a free trip.

Source: http://www.wflx.com

Woman Fighting Sex Slavery Named CNN Hero of the Year

Previous Related Post: https://choicenews.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/cnn-announces-top-ten-heroes-of-2010/

A woman whose group has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery has been named the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year. Anuradha Koirala was chosen by the public in an online poll that ran for eight weeks on CNN.com. CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed the result at the conclusion of the fourth annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.”

“Human trafficking is a crime, a heinous crime, a shame to humanity,” Koirala said earlier in the evening after being introduced as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010. “I ask everyone to join me to create a society free of trafficking. We need to do this for all our daughters.”

Koirala was introduced by actress Demi Moore, who along with her husband, Ashton Kutcher, created DNA, The Demi and Ashton Foundation, which aims to eliminate child sex slavery worldwide. “Every day this woman confronts the worst of what humanity has to offer,” Moore said of Koirala. “She says, ‘Stop. Stop selling our girls.’ By raiding brothels and patrolling the India-Nepal border, she saves girls from being sold into the sex trade, where they are being repeatedly raped for profit, tortured and enslaved.

“Since 1993, she has helped rescue more than 12,000 women and girls. Through her organization Maiti Nepal, she has provided more than a shelter for these girls and young women, she has created a home. It is a place for them to heal, go to school, learn a skill, and for some who are infected with HIV/AIDS, it is the place where they can spend their days surrounded by love.” Koirala will receive $100,000 to continue her work with Maiti Nepal, in addition to the $25,000 awarded to each of the top 10 Heroes honored.

Celebrity presenters, including Halle Berry, Demi Moore, Jessica Alba, Kid Rock, LL Cool J, Renee Zellweger, Gerard Butler, Kiefer Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Aaron Eckhart and Holly Robinson Peete, and performances echoed the spirit of the CNN Heroes campaign, which salutes everyday people whose extraordinary accomplishments are making a difference in their communities and beyond.

http://www.cnn.com

 

Grandma’s Superhero Therapy

French photographer Sacha Goldberger found his 91-year-old Hungarian grandmother Frederika feeling lonely and depressed. To cheer her up, he suggested that they shoot a series of outrageous photographs. Grandma reluctantly agreed, but once they got rolling, she couldn’t stop smiling.

Frederika was born in Budapest 20 years before World War II. During the war, at the peril of her own life, she courageously saved the lives of ten people. When asked how, Goldberger told us “she hid the Jewish people she knew, moving them around to different places every day.” As a survivor of Nazism and Communism, she then immigrated away from Hungary to France, forced by the Communist regime to leave her homeland illegally or face death. Aside from great strength, Frederika has an incredible sense of humor, one that defies time and misfortune.

With the unexpected success of this photo series, titled “Mamika,” Goldberger created a MySpace page for his grandmother. She now has over 2,200 friends and receives messages like: “You’re the grandmother that I have dreamed of, would you adopt me?” and “You made my day, I hope to be like you at your age.”

 

 

Nonprofit’s Global Vision Makes U.S. Teens More Worldly

"I was not nearly the same person I am right now before I traveled to Brazil," Nataly Luque said about her experience with Karuna International, which allowed her to teach English to children who, in turn, taught her much more. (Courtesy Michelle Martin)

Traveling is a broadening experience no matter your age, but thanks to the vision of a San Diego woman, teenagers are getting a chance to see their world.

Michelle Martin is the co-founder of Karuna International, an organization with the goal of increasing global awareness among young adults by promoting and supporting international volunteerism and providing education about international development issues.

The organization has been around since 2003, but was first inspired when Michelle was 19-years-old and visited Poland as a volunteer.  “It was a very cross-cultural experience, working with kids who only spoke Polish, and alongside volunteers from all around the world, such as Italy, Japan, Czech Republic, Canada and of course, Poland,” she said. “It changed my life and sparked an interest to continue volunteering abroad.”

When Michelle finished college, she considered joining several different agencies and nonprofits that offered global volunteer programs, but found that many of them had drawbacks.  The problem was the program fee, which was typically $2,000 to $3,000 for a two- to three-week placement. “It was very expensive and not very realistic for a young college grad,” Michelle said. So rather than save money to go on her next trip, Michelle started Karuna International to offer scholarships to other young adults to have a life-changing experience of their own. “The students we are able to provide scholarships for are all around 15, 16 years of age and each have had that life-changing experience at a crucial point in their lives when they are trying to determine their role in our world.”

Michelle says the programs and trips are designed to give participating teens a sense of purpose and empowerment so they know they can be active agents of social change. “Many of the teens we work with are low-income minorities and have always been told that they are the ones who are at-risk and disadvantaged,” she said. “Once they visit an even poorer part of the world and have the opportunity to experience severe poverty, they realize how many opportunities they have here and the potential they have to make a positive difference in the lives of the individuals they meet on their trip.”

That’s how it worked for Nataly Luque, who credits her Karuna experience to Brazil with changing her forever.  “I was not nearly the same person I am right now before I traveled to Brazil,” Luque said. “I was materialistic and trapped in a bubble where only my problems mattered…There are so many people that need our help, my help, and after going through this experience I was thankful to see how fortunate I really am and how my problems are not nearly as big as theirs.”

Source: http://www.gnn.com

Baby Falls 7 Stories, Bounces Off Awning and is Caught by Passer-by

A picture taken on November 2, 2010 shows the building from which a 18 month-old child fell from the 7th floor the day before, bouncing on the canopy of the "Le Vincennes" cafe and landing in the arms of a passing man. The toddler landed safely in the arms of a doctor who was warned by his son of the falling child. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

A real miracle – An 18-month-old boy survived after falling seven floors and bouncing off a Paris cafe awning into the arms of a passer-by.

“My son saw a little boy on a balcony. He had gone right outside the railing… I said to myself I mustn’t miss him,” the toddler’s savior, local doctor Philippe Bensignor, told reporters, recounting the drama.  “I had time to move from side to side to get in the right position,” he added. “The little boy was fine. He cried a little bit but calmed down straightaway.”

An official involved in investigating the incident said the boy had been left alone in the family apartment in northern Paris with his sister by their parents, who were taken into custody afterwards.

“It’s a real miracle,” said the cafe’s barman, pointing to a small tear in the awning where the toddler bounced off.  “We were closed yesterday but the mechanical device for closing the awning wasn’t working…”

Source: http://www.news.yahoo.com