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6 Year Old Boy Stands Against Bullying With a Custom T-Shirt

Sherry Rucherman

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Bullying is a big problem in today’s schools. In fact, 20-30% of students admit to being bullied, and 70% of teachers and students say they have witnessed bullying. However, this isn’t the issue you would expect to be on a 6-year-old boy’s mind when he considers the first day of school. For Blake Rajahn of Georgia, this is exactly what was on his mind. He saw an opportunity to do something about it, and he took it.

Mom Asks a Simple Question

Blake’s mom, Nikki, had recently started her own business making personalized apparel and home goods. She told him he could choose a shirt with anything he wanted on it as a first day of school present. She expected him to ask for what most boys his age would, a cartoon character or a sports theme. What he said surprised her and made her extremely proud.

Nikki says she told Blake, “I will make him any shirt he would like. It could have anything- a basketball theme, football, etc. which are all his favorites”. 

A Heartwarming Yet Surprising Answer

Blake went far beyond Nikki’s expectations with his response. He replied, “Will you please make me a shirt that says ‘I will be your friend’ for all the kids who need a friend to know that I am here for them?”

Blake’s T-shirt was bright orange with “I will be your friend” in green block letters. While most kids just attempt to keep their head down and fit in, Blake chose to stand out as much as possible to spread his message of friendship and kindness. 

Social Media Popularity

Blake’s mom did what any proud parent would do, and posted a picture and the story behind it on Facebook. Her intention was simply to share the moment with those close to her. However, the post went viral. Soon she had others wanting the shirt as well.

Not Just Business as Usual

She states that she had many people ordering the same shirt or shirts with a similar positive message, with many including #blakesfriends in honor of Blake. Nikki sells the custom T-shirts for $15 each. She is also giving back to the local community.

A portion of each t-shirt sold goes to Real LIfe Center, a local church charity. The Real Life Center offers lots of help to needy families in the community, including food pantries, financial counseling, and senior programs.

She took things a step further as well, and allows people to donate money for shirts for those who want one but can’t afford them. It seems Blake seems to have learned about caring for others from the best place possible, his mom.

This heartwarming story is a great reminder that the youngest of us can sometimes teach the greatest lessons. It also shows that a small thing like a custom t-shirt can start a movement and create positive change in the world. 

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Entertainment

Dog Survives Cancer By Wearing Outlandish Costumes

Leslie Tander

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Whenever dogs and cats get spayed or neutered, they have to wear the “cone of shame.” It’s that big uncomfortable plastic cone that keeps them from being able to bite at their stitches- which would be pretty messy and unpleasant for everyone. But, anyone who has ever had a pet in the cone of shame knows- they really hate it. Sometimes they try furiously to get out of it, and sometimes they just lay down and whine- but that ALWAYS hate it.

But we found one exceptional case of a golden retriever that actually seemed to enjoy his come. Rusty is a 9-year-old retriever who had a rare case of bladder cancer. Fortunately, Mary and Madeline are very proactive about Rusty’s health and take him in for checkups regularly. Rusty’s cancer was spotted and diagnosed early. That gave Mary and Madeline a lot of hope- but naturally, they were very worried about their furry pal. Rusty didn’t show any signs of illness, except for visible weakness in his left hind leg, which he would favor. This, it turned out to be caused by pain in his abdomen when he put weight on the leg.

After being diagnosed, he was scheduled quickly and put on a regimen of chemo. The surgery went well, but Rusty had to wear the cone, as well as having to be forced to take a long period of rest. Because Rusty is a very energetic character, his rest period had to be chemically enforced. Rusty had to take medicine to make him calm enough to get through his rest period.

But Rusty’s owners Mary and Madeline had an idea to help Rusty get through his recovery, as well as to help fund his medical bills. It was around Halloween, and the two started making creative costume designs out of Rusty’s cone of shame.

They first turned him into a martini with a toothpick and olives made from construction paper. Then they turned his cone into a shark’s head with teeth, eyes, and fins. Then they make him into a “shush puppy” with wadded up, colored packing paper and a straw made from a tube. At one point Rusty found himself transformed into a submarine with a hull and a domed window. He was made into a space alien, a bowling ball, a long list of cocktails, a ghost, and many other outlandish things.

Not surprisingly, Mary and Madeline took some heat from online communities for their creative use of Rusty’s cone. People said it was abusive. They said it was a waste of their time. And sometimes they said truly awful things because- well, this is the Internet. But Mary and Madeline could see that Rusty was having as much fun as they were- and the support, both emotionally and financially, was overwhelming.

Rusty loved the laughs and the attention he was getting and started to really get into his costumes. On top of that, Rusty developed a hearty following on Instagram as his costumes grew wilder and more imaginative.

Eventually, Rusty’s cone was removed and he made a full recovery. While some derided the use of his medical predicament as something to be made fun of, others could see that Rusty was having as much fun as his owners. But perhaps best of all, many other pet owners with pets donning the cone of shame have made a tradition out of dolling up their medically yoked pets.

As for Rusty, he’s somewhat of a pioneer, as well as a cancer survivor. And he still enjoys having creative costumes made for him even though he no longer has his cone for them to be built upon.

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Entertainment

Sky Brown Looks to Catch Air at 2020 Olympics

Sherry Rucherman

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When you were 11, your biggest goals probably included climbing trees, playing Little League and eating ice cream. Sky Brown wants to win the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Brown already landed her spot on Team Great Britain as a skateboarder. She’s determined to compete at as young an age as possible, to show other children that their age should not determine their abilities.

“I would like to go to the Olympics while I’m young — I don’t really wanna be 16 or something going to the Olympics [for the first time],” she told FanSided. “I wanna be young and show every girl that you can do it, just go for it — even though you’re little.”

Her mom hails from Japan, while her dad comes from Great Britain. Although her favorite skating spot is in Miyazaki City Skate Park in her hometown of Miyazaki, Japan, Brown chose to compete on the British Olympics team. 

It might seem wild to say chose, but Brown has her pick of teams since wowing the crowds and judges as the youngest female competitor in a Vans Pro tournament at the  2016 Vans US Open Pro Series. She was eight. Although she wiped out on a maneuver, she impressed coaches, commentators and judges with one commentator putting it mildly when he said, “She skates bigger than she is.”

Brown already leads an international lifestyle since she normally lives and trains in Japan, but competes in California, USA. She now trains with Team Great Britain. She’s competed professionally since the age of seven.

“I just love skateboarding. It’s my happy place,” Brown told CBS News. “Even if I fall or if I get hurt, that won’t stop me to do what I love.”

Until making the GB Olympic team, she did not have a coach. Her father initially taught her to skateboard and surf, but once she went pro, she’s been on her own. She learned to skateboard at age three, but since she was seven has taught herself from YouTube videos. Brown watches other skaters’ videos and after careful study, practices the moves and tricks until she perfects it.

Aside from her message to all youth that age does not impact your ability to make an impact, she also wants young women to know that you can be a female athlete and still love being what she refers to as a “girly-girl.” 

“I love makeup, dresses, jewelry. I want girls to know that they can be a girly-girl and do sports,” she said in an interview.

She took a short break from skating to prove that with her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” Brown partnered with JT Church to win the initial season of DWTS: Juniors bringing home the mirror ball trophy as the youngest contestants in the DWTS history.

She might be one of the youngest feminists inspiring young women today. Brown says that in her native Japan, many girls eschew sports. As a lover of skateboarding, surfing, makeup and dresses, she wants girls of all ages to understand that choosing athletics does not mean giving up traditionally feminine things.

“In Japan, there are a lot of girls that don’t participate in sports and it is looked at more as something for boys to do,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue. “I want to change this so girls can see they can do the same activities as boys if not better. Girls can do anything and we shouldn’t care what people say. Just do it and have fun.”

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Celebrities

Can You Believe What These Historical Figures Actually Looked Like?

Lea Lomas

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When we talk about historical figures, how real do they feel to you? Unless you lived during the time that those historical figures were active, you might treat them like concepts more than living and breathing figures. Today, we are going to give you a chance to see some of the most important people from history as they would actually look! Using 3D printing, CT scans, and CGI, teams of researchers were able to bring these forty legends to life!

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