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Cancer nurse donates wedding gown to cancer patient

Kevin Wells

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A bride’s wedding day celebrates the most special day of her love life – the day she commits to a lifetime with the love of her life. The dress she wears makes the day even more special. Many brides save up their funds to purchase a special dress. Some brides can’t swing the expense for a nice dress though because they’re spending their funds on a battle with cancer. That was the case of Toni Roberts of Tennessee, engaged to be married and battling breast cancer.

Costs of Battling Breast Cancer

With or without insurance, treatment costs soar above $50,000. Expenses include doctor visits, lab work, chemotherapy and prescriptions. The drug Lynparza that treats breast cancer that spread to other areas of the patient’s body costs $156,000 a year for patients with no insurance. The drug Herceptin accompanies chemotherapy treatments and costs $160,000.

Then there’s the chemo itself. A basic round of chemotherapy costs between $10,000 to $100,000. If chemo fails, the patient can turn to surgery, opting for a mastectomy that costs about $13,000. Reconstruction surgery after the mastectomy costs more – between $5,000 to $8,000.

Imagine trying to beat breast cancer and plan your wedding at the same time. That became Roberts’ plight. A proper wedding gown costs about the same as chemo with insurance or mastectomy reconstruction to put it in context. That’s a fact that Illinois oncology nurse Jessica Leja knew well.

Leja’s Canceled Wedding

Leja had her own wedding perfectly planned when it was canceled in the spring of 2018. She was left with numerous reminders of what was not meant to be but wanted to create a silver lining for the cloud the cancellation caused. She found the inspiration in her deceased father, who had passed away from kidney cancer two years before. It was caring for him during his cancer battle that led her to become an oncology nurse. It was his memory that led her to donate what she could to a cancer patient. She chose her exquisite, designer wedding gown she never got to wear.

“My heroes are cancer patients: the fighters, the survivors and the taken. The admiration I have for them is beyond words,” says Leja.

The nurse knew of no non-profit that handled this type of donation or gift, so she posted her offer to her social media accounts. Leja appealed to the many people online to help her find a deserving cancer patient or survivor to whom she would give her gown.

The Blushing Bride

Leja had snagged a full-length white and ivory lace Stella York gown for a steal of $1,800 making it an even more special giveaway. She could have sold it and made back some of the money she had spent planning her own, canceled, big day, but giving it to its rightful owner meant more.

Leja told the press, “This dress wasn’t made for me. It was made for someone else. And I have to find her.”

She did. In southern state of Tennessee, the 31-year-old Roberts was embroiled in her breast cancer battle, newly engaged and handling the duties of motherhood, too. Roberts penned a letter to Leja including photos of her life. Leja knew when she read it that she’d present Roberts with the dress.

So far in her battle, Roberts has completed six rounds of chemotherapy with a year of Herceptin therapy. Her treatment still included two future maintenance infusions and one surgery when Leja made her donation. The donated dress inspired others to give, too. The boutique Bella Sposa offered to donate a veil and jewelry to match the dress. Another group raised money for alterations the dress requires before Roberts’ wedding on Feb. 20, 2019.

The two women found they share a multitude of similarities. The canceled wedding and donated dress led to a more lasting gift – the two became long distance friends. That gave Roberts something invaluable – a friend who knows firsthand what she’s going through.

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Viral Pole Vaulting Sensation Allison Stokke, Where Is She Now?

Shannon Jackson

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A few years back, an amateur pole vaulting star named Allison Stokke would take the internet by storm. Thrust into the public spotlight, Stokke seemingly became an online superstar overnight. While it has been years since she has been in the public spotlight, you’ll still find her face among the most famous pole vaulting athletes on the planet. Today, we are going to turn back the clock in order to learn about Stokke during her fame as well as where she has been ever since!

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It’s A Myth! These Dogs Break The Stereotype About Dogs Hating Cats

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Instant Friends

These pals met one sunny day by the lake. She was a stray but as soon as puppers saw her she was a forever friend. Now the two enjoy their happily ever after keeping their hapless owner awake each morning with tag and chase! The kitty sure is lucky to meet her family that day.

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Kate Middleton Changes Her Style for Charity!

Kelly Taylor

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If you have paid any measure of attention to the Royal Family in recent years, you are well aware of the influence that Kate Middleton has. Kate Middleton is the Duchess of Cambridge and one of the foremost fashion trendsetters in the entire country. Middleton, who likes to keep her hair straight and red, occasionally enjoys switching things up. When Middleton DOES decide to switch things up, her followers are quick to notice. Today, we are going to be talking about how Middleton’s newest hairstyle is making a huge impact on her charity work — in the best way possible.

Kate Middleton has long had an iconic, signature look. The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t shy about how much she likes having her straight red locks. However, Middleton does enjoy changing things up, even if only a little. For the summer of 2019, Middleton decided to act on her fashion impulses in order to support a good cause. With the Addiction Awareness Week Gala Dinner coming up, in London, of course, Middleton decided to add new caramel colored highlights to her hair. While this may seem like a small change, nothing that the Duchess of Cambridge does is really ever to be considered ‘small’.

Middleton’s new hairstyle was unveiled during a speech at the Addiction Awareness Week Gala Dinner. Kate would talk extensively about her faith in the work being done at Action on Addiction. Middleton went on to point out that the foundation was one of the very first patronages that she ever took under her wing. As such, Middleton went on to point out how passionate and supportive she was of the work being done at the charity. While Middleton’s caramel colored highlights stole the show, she also side-parted her hair along with a big blowout. To say that Middleton was catching the attention of everyone in the room would be an understatement! For people who don’t regularly follow Middleton, her regular hairstyle is significantly different from the one she employed during the Gala. Typically, Middleton favors straight red hair that is pulled back into a gentle bun. Middleton loves to balance a professional look with just a tiny bit of glam.

For those that aren’t aware, Action on Addiction is a UK-based charity that is focused on helping people who have been impacted by alcohol and drug addiction. Action on Addiction isn’t only a support network, the charity also works to research treatments, employ prevention techniques, and support aftercare techniques in order to help those that have suffered as a result of their chemical dependency. Kate Middleton got involved with the charity pretty much as soon as she came into the public spotlight, so it is easy to understand why she was so passionate about her support of the group doing her speech during Addiction Awareness Week.

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Couple Discovers Mysterious $10,000 In Bank Account And Swears They Don’t Know Who Put It There

Kelly Taylor

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In February 2018, Andy Watkins and Kimberly Redmon got the surprise of their lives. The engaged couple opened a joint bank account when they got engaged so that they could start saving money for their wedding. They checked the account one day and found that there were $10,000 extra dollars in the account and neither one of them knew where it came from. They knew that their friends and family members would never have put this kind of money in their account but they asked around anyway. Nobody knew anything about it. Andy says that when they discovered the money that he thought it might be some kind of scam. He was worried that the scammers had access to their account information and after putting the money into the account that they would clean it out completely. He says that he couldn’t just sit back and do nothing and he certainly couldn’t spend money that he knew didn’t belong to him. Andy and Kimberly got in the car and drove to the bank to get the answers that they needed.

The couple sat down with a bank manager and they found out where the money came from. A woman named Kimberly Redmon, the same name as Andy’s fiance, and deposited the money. It turns out that the teller who handled the transaction didn’t ask for the woman’s account information. She simply asked for the woman’s driver’s license. When the teller punched up the name, the account owned by Andy and Kimberly showed up and the teller just deposited the money into their account rather than the Kimberly Redmon that made the deposit.

Andy says that he was thrilled when he found out where the money came from. He stated that he no longer needed to worry that a scam artist had gotten hold of their bank account information. The Kimberly who made the deposit was contacted and informed of the error. The same day, the money was transferred to her account. The real Kimberly stated that she was thankful that Andy and his fiance were so honest. She says that most people wouldn’t have been.

The WRTV News in Indianapolis heard about Andy and Kimberly’s story and they contacted the bank to find out how something like this could happen. According to the bank, there are protocols in place to keep things like this from happening, however, there are some tellers who don’t have the proper training and they don’t ask for bank account numbers, just ID’s. According to the bank manager, all of the bank employees will be going through a training course that will require that they request account numbers as well as photo identification when a person deposits or withdraws money from their accounts. The bank says that they are taking all of the necessary steps so that something like this doesn’t happen again. Andy and Kimberly say that they are just happy that the mystery has been solved and the money has gone into the account of the rightful owner.

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Mom Is Reduced To Tears After Complete Strangers Heart Saves Her ‘Miracle’ Baby’s Life

Kelly Taylor

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This is a story of a miracle for one family and the heartbreak of another. Victoria Zamora was thrilled when she found out that she was pregnant with her first child. Victoria’s pregnancy seemed normal at first, however, she went into early labor. The doctors tried to stop the labor with medication but they were unsuccessful. Victoria gave birth to a baby girl named Zoey. Sadly, the premature baby was born with a heart defect. Every day, Victoria sat by her daughter’s side in the hospital, never knowing if it would be the day that she would lose her little girl. Seeing her baby sick broke her heart. There was one day that Zoey’s heart stopped. The doctors had to perform CPR for 25 minutes to bring the little baby back. For Victoria, the 25 minutes felt like an eternity. Victoria felt helpless. When she woke up each day, she wasn’t sure if it would be the last day that she would spend with her baby. Victoria says that it was the darkest and most difficult time of her life.

Finally, Victoria’s prayers were answered. A heartbreaking loss for another family gave Zoey a chance. A 4-month-old baby had passed away. The baby’s parents decided to make their baby’s death mean something and they donated their precious baby’s organs. The baby’s heart was going to Zoey. Victoria struggled with her feelings. She was elated that Zoey would be getting a new heart and a chance at life, but she couldn’t stop thinking about the family that lost their baby. Zoey had a heart transplant and she began doing better immediately after surgery. Finally, Zoey was healthy. For the first time, her skin was pink. She no longer looked sick. Victoria was happy that the surgery was a success, however, she cried every day for the baby who gave Zoey her heart. Victoria prayed every day for the family.

As Zoey got stronger, Victoria prepared to finally bring her miracle baby home. Victoria got her home prepared for Zoey’s homecoming. Family and friends gathered at the house waiting for her arrival. Before leaving, the nurses and hospital staff who had been like family while Zoey was in the hospital gathered in her room and gave the baby balloons, stuffed animals, and cards wishing Zoey luck in her life. When Victoria got Zoey home, everyone celebrated her homecoming and her good health. They had a cake for Zoey’s homecoming and they also had one for the baby and the family who made the ultimate sacrifice to give Zoey a real chance at life. Victoria says, “when Zoey is old enough, I am going to tell her about the baby that saved her life. I am going to make sure that she knows about the sacrifice made so that she could live.” While the family is thrilled that Zoey is thriving, Victoria says that there is a part of her that will always mourn the baby. Victoria says that life is a gift and she will make sure that Zoey never forgets that.

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