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Photographer captures 6 families' fights with childhood cancer in heartbreaking project

The “More Than 4” photo project by Sherina Welch of Houston, Texas-based FreeSpiritFoto aims to educate the public on what cancer really looks like by documenting six families’ fights with childhood cancer, as well as spread awareness about the fact that only 4 percent of funds for cancer research go to children.

>> Learn more here

On Saturday, Welch posted an emotional photo series of Colt Wilson, a child cancer patient who underwent 43 weeks of chemotherapy and 28 days, with his mom and dad after his last chemo treatment.

“The first day we walked onto this floor comes flooding back to my mind, and all my fears of cancer killing my baby are fresh again,” Cortni Wilson, Colt’s mom, told Welch. “Treatment is finally over, but the worry isn’t.”

>> Read more trending news

Wilson explained that it was reassuring for Colt to be on the hospital every week getting checked out, but now that his treatment is over, it would be months before he gets checked out again.

“I knew the chemo could kill him, I knew he could have complications, I knew cancer could completely take over,” she said. “So now that it’s finally here, I feel like I’m gonna lose it. I’m scared beyond my mind, excited and relieved, nervous and overjoyed.”

>> See the photos here

WATCH: Bullied girl asks for help in heartbreaking viral Facebook video

A Bellevue, Washington, fourth-grader says she has been bullied since school started in September. After months of telling teachers, administrators and the district, feeling desperate, she posted a video on Facebook to get help for herself and other students who are bullied.

>> Click here to watch the news report

The video was shared more than 17,500 times and reached more than 670,000 people.

>> See the video here

Nasir Andrews, 9, is finishing fourth grade at Ardmore Elementary School in the Bellevue School District. Andrews, who is black, said she's been called "Nutella" and "servant."

"I told my after-school teacher, and she said it wasn't racist and she made me write the definition of racist," Nasir told KIRO on Wednesday.

Andrews says she was picked on for buying her lunch and laughed at on the school bus. Her parents got her a lunch box and let her bring her lunch some days, and they started driving her to school every day.

She said students in her class would take her snack and eat it or throw it away. At recess, she says classmates ran away from her. She says she’s been pushed, kicked and choked.

The girl and her family moved to Bellevue last summer from Georgia, where her parents said she had no trouble making friends. 

>> Read more trending news

"Everybody in my class does not like me, and I don't have any friends in my class or in the other fourth-grade classes," Nasir said Wednesday.

Chantey and Travis Andrews are upset the school didn't do more to help their daughter. They say they have complained to administrators for months. 

"With so many things happening, our fear is there is a culture that has been established at the school where it is almost OK for the children to exercise different forms of treatment and bullying and harassment," said her mother, Chantey Andrews. "And there's not a conversation being had with them saying, 'No, this is unacceptable.'"

In the video posted to Nasir's mother's Facebook page, the girl holds up cards with words on them to share her story.

"I think that we need to stop bullying and just know that if you're doing it, you're hurting people," Nasir said when asked about her motivation to make the video.

Tick spreading in the US gives people meat allergies 

A bite from the aggressive Lone Star tick could do more than give you an irritable rash — it could potentially induce a dangerous meat allergy.

» RELATED: How to prevent, find and get rid of ticks this summer 

The tick, widely distributed in the southeastern and eastern United States, is spreading to even more areas, including Minnesota, New Hampshire and Long Island, New York, and is making people allergic to just a single bite of meat.

According to Wired.com, something in the tick bite makes people sensitive to the sugar compound alpha-galactose, or alpha-gal, found in meat from mammals.

» RELATED: What is Lyme disease and how to avoid it 

And unlike most allergies, which are dependent on a mix of genetic and environmental factors, alpha-gal allergies seem to affect anyone and everyone, regardless of genetic makeup, Wired reported.

» RELATED: Rare tick-borne illness worries some medical professionals

Some bite victims will experience a hive-like rash or a dangerous anaphylactic reaction about four hours after eating meat. 

» RELATED: WATCH: Young girl left temporarily paralyzed illustrates dangers of tick bites

Such allergies are still incredibly rare and the government hasn’t issued any health warnings yet, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the distribution, range and abundance of the Lone Star tick has increased steadily in the past 20 to 30 years.

» RELATED: Rare tick-borne illness worries some medical professionals “We expect with warming temperatures, the tick is going to slowly make its way northwards and westward and cause more problems than they’re already causing,” Ronald Staff, allergist and clinical professor of medicine, told Business Insider.

» RELATED: Girl dies from possible tick bite

Saff said he's now seeing patients every week who have been bitten by ticks and developed the meat allergy.

The best thing to do while scientists continue research to track and understand the species is to try to prevent tick bites overall.

» RELATED: Woman loses arms, legs after tick bite 

The CDC recommends avoiding tick habitats, using insect repellents with DEET or permethrin and actively checking for ticks after you’ve been outdoors.

Click here to read more on tick prevention and removal tips.

Florida zoo bans man who photographed child without permission

Florida's Palm Beach Zoo on Tuesday banned a man from its grounds following a complaint that he was photographing another zoo patron’s child without permission.

>> Watch the news report here

West Palm Beach police questioned but neither arrested nor warned the photographer, a 48-year-old Broward County man who told police he had no malicious intent in taking the child’s photo.

“He stated that he was simply capturing video of a joyful moment” between the man and his child, according to a city police incident report. Police noted in their report that the photographer — who The Post is not identifying because he is not facing criminal charges — had no history of either lewd or sexual incidents.

Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter said managers met Tuesday morning “and after further review of the information we have decided the patron is not allowed to return to the zoo.”

The zoo also planned to meet with area parent groups to discuss the issue, Carter said.

A civil liberties lawyer said Tuesday that the parent may have a right to feel suspicious about a stranger taking photos of his child, but he had no legal complaint against the photographer.

The incident appears to be isolated and likely doesn’t constitute stalking or harassment, said James Green, a West Palm Beach-based lawyer who works with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. It would have to be a provable, repeated behavior to violate the law.

“Stalking requires a willful, malicious and repeated following and harassing or cyberstalking of another person,” he said. “Harass means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes significant emotional distress to that person.”

Cherie Benjoseph, co-founder of the South Florida KidSafe Foundation, said that despite the photographer not being charged with a crime, the man did the right thing in calling the police. She said similar incidents have been reported at public beaches where unsuspecting parents bathe their kids in the public showers and an observant family member notices someone taking pictures or video.

>> Read more trending news

“Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what’s going on in the area where you’re playing with your child,” Benjoseph said. “If you see something, say something. … We as parents and guardians of the children we care for need to be educated to be the first line of defense in our children’s safety.”

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, several prominent cities have begun restricting adult entrance to children’s play areas unless they are accompanied by a child. Hollywood put the policy in place in 2015 and claimed the restriction would “put a little dent into getting rid of the undesirables in the park.”

Green said personal privacy protections are strongest in a person’s home and are lessened in public places such as a zoo.

The incident could theoretically raise privacy issues if video was taken and someone’s voice was captured, Green said, but he cautioned against unreasonable expectations of privacy in open, public places.

“Video recording that includes audio capture could violate the Florida Security of Communications statute if the person whose voice was captured had a reasonable expectation of privacy,” he said. “(But) just because I don’t like it or I feel that my communication should not be recorded does not make it so. My expectation of privacy has to be objectively reasonable.”

Man who dangled baby from window in Facebook photo gets 2 years in prison

A man in Algeria has been sentenced to two years in prison after he dangled a baby out of a window in order to get “likes” on Facebookthe BBC reported.

The unidentified man — who was incorrectly described as the baby’s father in some news reports — sparked panic and outrage on social media when he posted a photo of himself holding the child out of a 15th-floor window on Facebook, captioning it “1,000 likes or I will drop him," according to the BBC and Al Arabiya.

>> See the shocking photo here

Facebook users were quick to alert authorities of the man’s behavior and demanded his arrest for child abuse. The man, who is reportedly a relative of the child, was subsequently arrested and charged with endangering the baby’s safety. 

“The picture was taken in a balcony with protective barriers. These were removed,” the man said, suggesting that the photo being circulated online had been altered by social media users.

>> Read more trending news

Additionally, the child’s father pleaded with the court to forgive the man and stated that he was “just playing a game," the BBC reported. The judge, however, ruled against the man, saying the picture clearly showed the child’s life to be in danger.

Read more here or here.

Burger King introduces Lucky Charms milkshake to menu

Burger King is adding another unique creation to its fast food menu.

Fortune reported that the burger chain introduced the Lucky Charms milkshake on Monday.

>> Read more trending news

The limited-edition drink will have crushed pieces of Lucky Charms oat cereal, its famous marshmallows and vanilla soft serve. It will also include sweet syrup.

Related: 10,000 marshmallow-only Lucky Charms boxes up for grabs in giveaway

“Our guests can’t get enough of our cereal shakes, so we’ve extended the platform to include the Lucky Charms Shake,” Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, said in a news release. “The mashup of our velvety vanilla-flavored soft serve and one of America's classic breakfast cereals is something we think our guests are going to love.”

The treat will sell for $2.99 at participating locations. Burger King previously introduced a Froot Loops shake to its menu.

Puppies have swollen faces, but expected to recover from copperhead snake bite

Five puppies in Tennessee are recovering after being bitten by a copperhead snake Thursday.

The puppies are being fostered and were bitten by the snake while on the foster parent's porch, WATE reported. 

The foster parents immediately administered Benadryl and transported them to an emergency veterinary clinic.

>> Read more trending news

The puppies' faces are swollen and they were in a great deal of pain just after the incident, but veterinarians told WATE that their conditions are improving and the puppies are expected to make a full recovery.

The treatment comes with a high price tag. For all five puppies, the treatment expenses are estimated to be $8,000. A GoFundMe account set up to help cover expenses has already reached its initial goal.

Mattel debuts new diverse Ken dolls with man bun, ‘dad bod’

Nearly a year and a half after Mattel announced plans to release Barbie dolls of various body types, the company has responded to requests for a similar effort to diversify Ken dolls.

>> Read more trending news 

“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” Barbie senior vice president and general manager Lisa McKnight said in a news release. “Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie’s world.”

Fifteen new Ken dolls will reflect three body types, seven skin tones and nine different hairstyles, including Ken dolls with man buns and cornrows. Comparisons of the three new body types -- slim, broad and original --  have encouraged some references to the broad physique as the “dad bod” doll

“Broad Ken doesn’t have a six-pack, but he does have pecs, and abs with light definition -- a far cry from the potbellied ‘Dadbod Ken’ many commentators proposed,” GQ’s Caity Weaver wrote.

“Originally, I made him paunchy. I gave him a nice healthy gut. So he was the post-holiday Ken,” Ray Cavalluzzi, a Barbie sculptor at Mattel told GQ, noting that the company considered naming the broad body type “hefty” and “husky.” “It was a matter of finding a balance. You don’t want to go too much.”

Mattel began offering Barbies in petite, tall and curvy models in January 2016. Design additions also included new skin tones and different hair textures. The new offerings were a part of the first major change by Mattel in the iconic doll’s 57-year history.

Ken dolls debuted in 1961.

>> Related: Mattel debuts bendable Gabby Douglas Barbie 

“Yes, some people will say we are late to the game,” Evelyn Mazzocco, former general manager and senior vice president of the Barbie brand, said at the time. “But changes at a huge corporation take time.”

The company hopes that the new diverse offerings will appeal to their young audience of consumers. 

Ten of the 15 new Ken dolls are available now. Five other Ken dolls will be released over the coming summer months.

>> Related: 'She's a pretty girl:' 2-year-old defends black doll to cashier

 

Guns kill nearly 1,300 children a year in U.S., study finds

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study that will be in the July issue of “Pediatrics” and its recommendations in response to the study. “Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States” is the largest study to look at the number of gun-related injuries and death in children and adolescents. It looked at numbers from National Vital Statistics System, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and the National Violent Death Reporting System.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s what it found:

  • On average, 1,297 children a year die in the U.S. from gunshot wounds and 5,790 are treated for a gunshot wound.
  • Death from a firearm is the third-leading cause of death for children in the U.S. behind illness/congenital defect and motor vehicle injury.
  • 53 percent of gun deaths in children were homicides, 38 percent were suicides, 6 percent were unintentional deaths, and 3 percent were due to legal intervention or undetermined intent.
  • Homicide deaths by firearms in children have declined, but suicide deaths are on the rise.
  • 4.2 percent of children ages 0 to 17 in the United States have witnessed a shooting in the past year.
  • 82 percent of children killed by guns were boys.
  • Children 13-17 years old had a 12-times higher rate of being killed by a firearm than children 12 and younger.
  • Race mattered: The annual firearm homicide rate for African-American children (3.5 per 100,000) was nearly twice as high as the rate for American Indian children (2.2 per 100,000), 4 times higher than the rate for Hispanic children (0.8 per 100,000), and ∼10 times higher than the rate for white children and Asian-American children (each 0.4 per 100,000).
  • The suicide rate was highest for white and American Indian children (each 2.2 per 100,000), almost four times the amount for African-American (0.6 per 100,000) and Hispanic (0.5 per 100,000) children and over 5 times the rate for Asian-American children (0.4 per 100,000).
  • The rate of unintentional firearm deaths for African-American children was twice as high (0.2 per 100 000) as the rate for white children (0.1 per 100,000) and 4 times the rate for Hispanic children (0.05 per 100,000).
  • Southern states and parts of the Midwest had the highest rate of firearm homicides among children.
  • Firearm suicides are more evenly distributed among states, but higher in Western states.
  • In younger children, homicides often happen in a multivictim scenario and by family conflict.
  • Older children were more likely to die from crime and violence.
  • A shooter playing with the gun was the most common reason for an unintentional firearm death for all children.
  • Of children who committed suicide by firearm, 60 percent used a handgun, 42 percent had a crisis in the past, 71 percent had relationship problems, 34 percent were depressed, 26 percent had a clinically diagnosed mental health problem, 18 percent were receiving mental health treatment and 26 percent disclosed their intent to die by suicide to someone. Most spent 10 minutes or less thinking about it before they did it.

What are pediatricians to do with this information? And what are parents supposed to do?

Dr. Eliot W. Nelson of the University of Vermont wrote the academy’s response recommendations for its physicians:

  1. Ask parents if there are guns in their house.
  2. Do not get in a debate about their rights to have a gun.
  3. Talk about safe storage practices such as a gun safe and lock, storing guns unloaded and storing bullets separately.

Woman finds 1-year-old son shut in day care closet

A 22-month-old Alabama boy was found confined in a closet at a local day care center by his mother, who went to the child care business to pick up her son.

>> Read more trending news 

Sydney Zimmerman said she arrived earlier than expected at the day care, whose name has not been released, where an employee led her to a closet to gather her son. 

>> Related: 4 day care employees charged with manslaughter in 5-year-old’s van death

According to WTVM, Zimmerman’s son, Slade, was shut inside a a dark, un-air-conditioned closet. He was strapped in a car seat that was not his own. 

“I followed her in and then she goes to (the) closet, opens the closet door, turns the light on and my son is sitting there strapped in a car seat that is not his and the first thing he says when he sees me is ‘Mama,’” Zimmerman told WTVM. “He could have overheated and died.”

According to Zimmerman, the day care worker insinuated that Slade had been put into the closet to sleep and that it might not have been the first time workers had done so.

"She's all, ‘Sometimes he doesn’t want to take a nap. Sometimes he doesn’t this or that,’” Zimmerman said. “That tells me sometimes this happens.”

Zimmerman plans to press charges against the worker and the owner of the day care.

See more at WTVM.

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