It can be hard to grow up as a child of divorce. After all, not only do you have to spend time between two households, you also end up getting caught in the middle of your parent’s baggage. For young Kelsey Frederick, a single haircut would end up changing her life forever. Today, we are going to take a close look at how one father’s extremely poor reaction would change the life of his daughter (in a good way!) forever.
When you first become a teenager, the odds are pretty good that you are excited about your big day. After all, it isn’t every day that you wave goodbye to your pre-teens! For Kelsey Frederick, her special birthday dreams revolved entirely around bonding with her mother.
Close to Mom
Christin Johnson is the mother of Kelsey Frederick. Christin had won split-custody of her daughter during her divorce proceedings. In the years since her divorce, Christin had grown even closer to Kelsey. In fact, the two had become inseparable. Both mom and daughter felt like they could be free and open about their dreams and goals.
Unfortunately, Kelsey’s relationship with her father, Schaffen, was much more complicated. Following the birth of Kelsey, Schaffen would decide to leave Christin behind. The relationship had fallen apart, and he had already met someone new. Schaffen worked at a firefighter, and he was almost always busy. Still, Kelsey made sure to spend weekends with dad in order to try to grow their relationship.
Strong Female Influences
While mom and dad were both large influences in her life, there were many more strong role models for Kelsey to follow. Kelsey spent plenty of time with her godmother, Haylee Ann. Haylee and Kelsey were extremely close and this relationship would prove integral to Kelsey’s growth.
13th Birthday Party
When you celebrate your first birthday as a teenager, you definitely want to make it special. For Kelsey, her birthday request wasn’t crazy or out-of-this-world. Instead, all Kelsey wanted to do was spend an afternoon at the salon with her mother. Unfortunately, this simple request would turn into a family nightmare.
Professional Hair Treatment
During the appointment at the salon, Kelsey decided that she wanted to get highlights. With darker hair, Kelsey thought that blonde highlights would really change the way that she looked in the best way possible. Christin gave the hairdresser the go-ahead and soon Kelsey’s big transformation was underway.
A New Kelsey
By the end of the appointment, Kelsey looked like an entirely new person. Her blonde highlights made her hair look incredible. Kelsey was essentially glowing with happiness while her mother glowed with pride. Kelsey was filled with smiles, and she was soon ready to head to her dad’s for her weekend away. Wouldn’t her father be excited to see her new hair? Wouldn’t he be so proud?
Taking a Trip
As part of their divorce arrangement, Kelsey would split time between her mother’s house and her father’s. When she would visit her father, Kelsey would put her phone away as much as possible. After all, she really wanted to maximize her time with her father. So when Kelsey was slow to reply to texts, Christin wasn’t immediately concerned.
While Kelsey was gone, Christin started to nurture a feeling deep inside of her stomach. She couldn’t shake the idea that something had gone wrong. Still, Christin waited patiently and soon enough, Kelsey would return home. Only, when she came through the front door, Christin saw that something was VERY different and VERY wrong.
Dealing With Heartache
When Kelsey had arrived at her father’s house, tragedy had struck almost immediately. Her father and stepmother were horrified by the new haircut. Against Kelsey’s will, they had her hair completely ‘chopped off’. A ‘chop off’, for those that don’t know, is a style-less technique used in order to get rid of volume. In the blink of an eye, Kelsey’s beautiful makeover had been destroyed.
Dealing With Dad
To say that Christin was angry would be an understatement. She was beyond furious at what Kelsey’s father had done. So, Christin jumped into her car in order to confront Schaffen and his stepmother. Christin was beside herself, but she wanted to hear their reasoning. According to Schaffen, they had cut off Kelsey’s hair as a form of ‘punishment’. According to Schaffen, this was the consequence of her action to celebrate her birthday with a haircut.
To the Internet
It became readily apparent that Schaffen felt like he was correct. On the other hand, Christin felt like her daughter had been terribly mistreated. Without many places to turn to, Christin decided to share the story of her daughter’s punishment on the internet. Christin wasn’t looking for pity or attention, she was just furious!
Put on Blast
Within a day, comments began to pour into Christin’s social media account. Somehow, the story that she had shared had gone viral. Pretty soon the story had been shared more than 25,0000 times while more than 40,000 people had posted a reaction. Needless to say, Kelsey’s story was getting some media attention. People were uniformly shocked and disgusted by what Schaffen and the stepmother had chosen to do.
In order to navigate the situation more publicly, Christin would set up the Team Kelsey page on Facebook. Thousands of people would soon ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the page in order to stay updated on the situation. Christin thought it was important that Kelsey saw that she had support. To this point, Kelsey had been depressed, horrified, and embarrassed by how her father had treated her.
As it turned out, Kelsey’s story would soon catch the attention of a very important person, the Chief of Police. Soon, Schaffen was under fire by more than just the internet, he was in legal jeopardy. The suspect father would soon find himself standing before a judge. Schaffen and his new wife would both end up suspended from their jobs as a result of their actions.
Loss of Custody
The judge was not done laying down the law on Schaffen and his wife. As a final measure of protection for Kelsey, the judge decided to rescind custody rights from Schaffen. It was clear that Schaffen wasn’t interested in the well-being of his daughter while Christin was doing everything that she could. Christin was granted full custody!
While everyone celebrated the new custody agreement, Kelsey was still left afraid to go to school. After all, she was tremendously uncomfortable with how she looked. A few followers offered to donate money for a trip to the salon. Aunt Kelly (remember her?) would end up establishing a GoFundMe account to pay for the salon. Incredibly, Team Kelsey supporters would donate more than $3,500!
Back to the Salon
In order to celebrate, Kelsey would go back to the salon with the strong women in her life. Kelsey’s hair would get fixed up and the entire salon would join together in order to celebrate. At the end of the long ordeal, Kelsey was able to find happiness again thanks to the hard work of her mother and the caring words of encouragement that came from the internet.
Dog Survives Cancer By Wearing Outlandish Costumes
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.
6 Year Old Boy Stands Against Bullying With a Custom T-Shirt
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.
Sky Brown Looks to Catch Air at 2020 Olympics
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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