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Girlfriend Requests A Neck Massage. Then Boyfriend Realizes Something Is Wrong

Mackenzie Freeman

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When Jake was giving his girlfriend a neck rub, he found a lump and became immediately concerned. He shared his anxiety with his girlfriend Emmy and they agreed she would visit the doctor ASAP and have it checked. Lumps may turn out to be harmless but there’s no harm finding out for sure. Unfortunately, Jane’s lump would soon claim her live and all her beautiful dreams, they just didn’t know it yet.

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A couple made in heaven

Jake met Emmy, 20 years ago in London, back in High School. When he was 13 he already told her that she was his “lobster” and by the time they were 16 they finally admitted to each other the feelings they had for one another.

They both went their separate ways when they went to college. It would take them almost 10 years to rekindle their romance.

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Love knows no distance

 

Jake was living in Australia, working as a doctor whilst Nate still lived in London working as a school teacher. They videoconferenced daily despite the time difference and frequently travelled the long distance back and forth just to see each other. Their plan was to live together back in the UK.

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Something seems wrong with Emmy

 

Emmy, although always cheerful, active and living a healthy lifestyle, begun suffering daunting symptoms. She felt tired all the time, her bowel movements were infrequent and painful. Emmy also experienced pains in the abdomen and lower back. Blood on her stool became common, as it was testified by the bloodstains on her toilet paper and the soreness she felt afterwards.

 

She was not the kind of person to visit the doctor frequently, but given the severity of her symptoms, Emmy sought medical advice several times. Among the probable causes of her ailments she was told she probably had Irritable bowel syndrome, norovirus and stress.

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Feeling something is dreadfully wrong

 

Emmy always felt it was neither of those things. Despite all this, she continued training for the London Marathon, though it became increasingly difficult and her symptoms deteriorated further.

By December that year, her symptoms were becoming pretty difficult to live with and still, the doctors weren’t terribly concerned even going as far as suggesting she came after Christmas if the symptoms indeed persisted. This made Emmy feel a bit like a hypochondriac. She even considered she was imagining it all.

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Only Jake who happens to be a doctor and knows her, takes her seriously.

 

Only Jake listened to her when they talked over on Facetime –Jake was still in Australia– and being listened by Jake, who was himself a doctor, made her feel better and gave her more confidence.

 

Jake returned to London in February and he intended  to propose to her during a trip to the Philippines they had planned for the holidays in March that year.

 

He began rubbing her neck one night and noticed that she had a couple of lumps. Jake’s medical training prevented him from discarding these lumps as cramped muscles before running some tests, so he insisted she went back to the doctor and he told her what she should say to be taken seriously.

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Emmy is finally taken seriously by the doctors

 

Jake’s words did the trick. Emmy was rushed into the A&E immediately. She was referred for an urgent neck biopsy. Her initial diagnosis though, changed from probable stress to probable Medullary Thyroid Cancer.

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When knowing you’re really sick is actually a relief

 

Curiously enough, this diagnosis far from bringing her down actually felt like a relief. She went from knowing something was terribly wrong, being treated like a hypochondriac and not knowing what to do about it, to actually knowing she was suffering a terrible disease. Being a woman like Emmy, meant that she needed to focus on the best course of action, without fatalism. She would tackle this disease with all she had and more. There was nothing more to it and feeling sorry for herself wasn’t going to do anyone any good.

 

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Prognosis

 

After the bank holiday that followed her diagnosis, Emmy was called to a meeting where she went with Jake. The doctors told Emmy that it was the cancer causing all her ailments. Basically the cancerous cells secrete a hormone called calcitonin. A normal person has a level of 10 whilst Emmy had 12000. Emmy needed to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes, day and night. This caused her extreme fatigue not to mention a fissure in the anus, weight loss and erratic menstruation. The meeting ended with the transfer of her case to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey, England. Emmy’s cancer is so rare that they took samples of her DNA to continue to study it in the future. Her prognosis? Basically she had a 20% chance of living 5 years. This cancer is incurable. Treatment only helps to slow down the inevitable. Still, Emmy doesn’t let this prognosis bring her down.

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Terminally ill? Go biking…

Jake and Emmy got married.

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They decided to raise money cycling 2000 Kms on a tandem bicycle across Europe from London to Copenhagen. They decided to name this adventure EJTANDEMONIUM, and they documented the whole thing on social media. They ended up raising more money than they anticipated.

 

The books

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As a teacher Emmy simply loved children’s books/ , along with Jake. Their first book, “Tara & Tyronne – Stuck in the Mud”  did really well and was followed by an equally successful second book “Tara & Tyrone – Pedro the Pump.”

 

They were working on a third book “Tara & Tyrone – Lost at Sea” when Emmy passed away.

A tribute to his beloved wife

 

As a tribute to his beloved wife and in order to raise funds for the Royal Marsden Hospital, –the place were his wife received excellent treatment and support– Jake bowed to run 10 marathons within 2 months. He travelled to several international destinations including Iceland. He was joined on this trip by his new significant other, event planner Jenna Selby.

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After Emmy passed, it was only natural that Jake suffered a great deal, even though being a doctor himself he had enough time to prepare for the inevitable. His posts on social media had been bittersweet, to put it mildly,  which under the circumstances is to be expected. However, 8 months after Emmy’s passing Jake appears to adapt considerably well. We’re sure Emmy wouldn’t like him to spend the rest of his life alone and wherever she is, surely she’s comforted by the fact that Jake’s new significant other is happy to accompany him paying tribute to his forever beloved and never to be forgotten Emmy, the one who was taken far too early and whose light continues to shine long after she passed, as inspiration for all of us, sick or healthy, young or old.

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Lifestyle

Prisoners Win Debate Against Harvard Debate Team

Sherry Rucherman

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If you wanted to place bets on who would be the winning debate team in a competition between Harvard University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and a team of prisoners, it would be a safe bet to place it on Harvard. However, you would have been wrong and if you actually bet money, you would have lost.

The maximum-security inmates that won this debate are part of the Bard Initiative. This is a new program that offers a college education for prisoners. The Bard College debate team already has an impressive record. Not only has the team won against Harvard but also a team from the University of Vermont and West Point.

The debate was about whether public schools in the United States should have the ability to deny enrollment to students who are undocumented.

Bard College is located in Upstate New York and is pushing boundaries on what prison life should be and how rehabilitation should be done. It has been seen as a shining star in an industry that is normally tainted and full of corruption. The results of the program have been pretty amazing. The Bard Prison College reports that just 2% of their imamates ever return to prison after release. Prisoners who aren’t part of the program return to prison at a much higher rate. The college reports that 97.5% of graduates who get released from prison never go back.

Many of the inmates realize that the Bard education program can be a life-changing opportunity and this is why they give everything they have to the program. It also isn’t easy. The debate team faces several difficulties when preparing for a debate. In today’s society, it makes sense to use the Internet in order to prepare for a debate but the inmates have no Internet access.

There are also many hurdles to overcome in order to join the debate team. It requires special permission from a prison guard. One of the top debaters is in prison for manslaughter and has said that he feels very lucky to be a part of the program.

The Bard Prison Initiative program works to redefine the affordability, availability, and expectations that are usually associated with higher education in the country. Since 2001, the program has created plenty of groundbreaking opportunities for college within the prison system. These programs can help transform any negative impacts create access to higher learning. Today, the program currently has over 300 students in full-time programs that end in degrees from Bard College. It also offers support for the alumni in and around New York City.

The student body of the program mostly mirrors that of the prison system. Many students come from communities that didn’t have educational opportunities and many are impacted by crime and incarceration. The majority of the inmates in the program were first arrested as children. Some did end up completing high school but most earned a GED in prison. Once enrolled, students engage with the college full term and have a course of study that matches the intensity of any normal undergraduate learning experience. After release from prison, the alumni of the program become taxpaying independent citizens. Some go on to attend graduate school while others have careers in human services, the arts, media, and business. These individuals contribute to their communities just as you would expect from any college graduate.

The newest initiative, the Bard Microcollege, further expands this scope of work and helps deliver liberal arts educations to isolated communities outside the prison system through partnerships with different community-based institutions. 

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Entertainment

See the Wild West like Never Before in These Rare Photos!

Mackenzie Freeman

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The Wild West has become an almost mythological period of time in American history. Life on the Frontier has been romanticized time and again in motion pictures. From the John Wayne and Clint Eastwood epics of yesteryear to modern films like The Hateful 8 and The Revenant, the genre continues to persist to this day. With that being said, fiction rarely can capture the incredible nature of reality. In order to give you a front-row seat of the old West, we are going to explore 38 incredibly rare, completely authentic photos from the Wild, Wild West.

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Celebrities

The Significant Others of LGBTQ Entertainers

Mackenzie Freeman

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Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris has been a TV staple from a young age, and actor and chef David Burtka has been by his side for much of it.

The couple met in early 2004, and by early 2005 they were together constantly. In 2010, the pair welcomed fraternal twins, Harper Grace and Gideon Scott. They were born via surrogate, with both contributing to the sperm and egg process. They married in 2014 in Italy. 

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