Portland Community Expresses Solidarity with Cancer Victims

Portland Community Expresses Solidarity with Cancer Victims

Last Sunday, thousands of people took to the streets of Portland to show support for breast cancer victims in the city’s Race for the Cure.

One participant, Adrienne San Nicolas, joined the race to celebrate her own recovery from the disease: “It’s a celebration for me that another year has gone and we’re still here,” she explained.

San Nicolas received her diagnosis in 2015, at age 34. At the time, she told KOIN reporters, she struggled to accept the news about her disease: “It’s really difficult to talk about the emotions that you feel when you are told that you have cancer.”

However, San Nicolas has been free from breast cancer for two years, and now feels optimistic about finding a cure for other victims. The support she received from her doctor, friends and family during Sunday’s race is “a sign of hope that together, one day we are going to be able to get rid of this ugly disease and eliminate it from ruining people’s lives.”

To learn more about Race for the Cure, click here.

Portland to Open New Willamette River Swimming Area

Portland to Open New Willamette River Swimming Area

The City of Portland has recently announced plans to turn the Kevin Duckworth Memorial Dock, which is located along the east side of the Willamette River near the Steel Bridge, into a “world class” swimming and recreational area.

The dock was originally built to attract boaters downtown to watch the Blazers game; however, it ended up attracting a very different audience, including vandals. The dock is still currently open only to motorized boats.

One of the benefits of the dock is its U-shape, which could allow people to swim along the inside the dock without worrying about the dangers of boat traffic.

Willie Levenson, who works with the Human Access Project and has been working with the City of Portland to create this swimming area, stated in an interview with KGW, “This is going to create one more opportunity for people to get into the river.”

Changes are expected to occur after the year 2021. However, the city and the Oregon State Marine Board are working to make these changes even sooner. The costs of the changes are expected to be around $200,000.

 

Washington Couple Amazed by Naming of 2017 Hurricanes

Washington Couple Amazed by Naming of 2017 Hurricanes

Even though the names “Harvey” and “Irma” now have a negative connotation that will inevitably go down in history due to the widespread devastation they have caused, the names Harvey and Irma have a very different meaning to a numerous amount of people.

A Washington couple, Harvey, who recently turned 104 in July, and Irma Schluter, 92, have lived a full life since their marriage in 1942, when Franklin Roosevelt was in office. The two have fostered together over 120 children as well as two of their own children, according to the Spokesman-Review, and have recently celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary in March. According to a Spokesman-Review article covering their anniversary, many of the foster children still refer to Harvey and Irma as “Mom and Dad.”

In an interview with the New York Times, the two expressed their concern over the massive destruction caused by the two hurricanes as well as their amazement over the naming of the hurricanes.

“I don’t know how they’ve done that, to have a Harvey and Irma,” Irma stated. “I don’t know how that worked out.”

Even so, the names Harvey and Irma will always have a drastically different meaning for the lives of the numerous children the couple has fostered.

College football team surprises teammate with service scholarship

College football team surprises teammate with service scholarship

Justin Juenemann, a backup kicker for the University of Minnesota’s football team, recently received an unexpected gift from an equally unexpected source. The 23 year-old has diligently worked as a volunteer at Masonic Children’s Hospital throughout his college years. His coaches and teammates were inspired to do something for him.

“Our goal was to create a moment of memory for Justin and his family forever because that’s what he earned,” said P.J. Fleck, head coach of the Minnesota Gophers.

Kyle Tanner, a teen patient at the hospital, spoke in front of the team and singled out Juenemann as his favorite player. Coach Fleck handed Tanner a t-shirt and told him to put it into a t-shirt cannon and fire it directly at Juenemann. He did so. Juenemann caught the white shirt, unraveled it and read the message on the front.

“Justin, congrats you have earned a scholarship,” it read. Justin and his teammates celebrated afterward and he FaceTimed his mother to show her the shirt.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Juenemann said. “It is something that I will never forget.”

“I’ve never seen anybody serve and give more than that guy who is not a star player,” Fleck said. “He could easily just not do it and nobody would ever say anything, and he does is continue to keep his oar in the water and live that holistic life academically, athletically, socially, and spiritually. His life is not about him. His life is about serving and giving to other people.”

This scholarship will help Juenemann complete his senior year.

“I am pursuing a human resources degree and I’m looking…to help people throughout the rest of my life,” he said.

 

 

Wish Upon A Wedding Helps Couple Facing Cancer

Wish Upon A Wedding Helps Couple Facing Cancer

Beaverton couple, Melanie Blake and Brian Cook met over MySpace ten years ago when Melanie reached out to him. “I lived in Connecticut and he was out here and I wanted friends before I got out here,” she explained in an interview with KOIN 6 News.

However, soon after they began dating, Melanie was diagnosed with both thyroid cancer and a brain tumor. She tried to break up with him because of the diagnosis, but he refused to leave her side. “I didn’t want Brian to go through all that,” she stated. “I didn’t want him to be with someone who was sick all the time, but he wouldn’t let me.”

After multiple surgeries that included a craniotomy, she was left unable to talk or perform basic functions; even so, Brian stuck by her side. After eight months of intense rehab, Melanie was finally herself again.

On October 26, 2016, the couple got engaged. Unfortunately, several weeks later, Melanie discovered the tumor had grown back even larger, and she was started on chemotherapy and radiation.

Even with such a heavy diagnosis, the couple was still able to have their dream wedding with the help of Wish Upon A Wedding, which is a non-profit organization that provides weddings for couples with serious health issues. A spokesperson from the non-profit, Kasey Conyers stated, “We are honored to have this opportunity to assist such a deserving and loving couple.” Local vendors also donated their services as well, adding to the amazing generosity shown to the couple.

When discussing how she copes with her health, Melanie stated that “You just need to love everyday because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow . . . I’m so happy. Yeah, I’m so happy.”

 

YouTube Reveals New Strategy to Fight Terrorist Recruitment Videos

YouTube Reveals New Strategy to Fight Terrorist Recruitment Videos

YouTube recently announced how it intends to combat terrorist propaganda and rhetoric on their website: they will redirect the users looking for those things. Users who search for such content will be shown to videos that depict clerics refuting violent religious narratives. They will also be directed to videos that show victims of terrorists.

“When people search for certain keywords on YouTube, we will display a playlist of videos debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives,” YouTube said in its blog post last week that explains this new change. “This early product integration of the Redirect Method on YouTube is our latest effort to provide more resources and more content that can help change minds of people at risk of being radicalized.”

Multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have been eager in their response to the deluge of propaganda that has been surfacing on their platforms, where it can be accessed by anyone, including those with a habit of violent behavior. YouTube already prohibits its users from uploading videos that are comprised of violent or racist content; however, users can get around the website’s sharing rules by posting hundreds of links. Propaganda videos are often uploaded as “unlisted,” which means that users can’t find them through a search but the videos can still be posted on social media or shared with direct links.

The Redirect Method was conceived and developed by Jigsaw, a company owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The Method is intended to target ISIS-focused videos and was constructed with research partners who had explored the major avenues and narratives the group used for recruiting.

YouTube, aside from announcing the Redirect Method, also stated that it would be expanding product functionality to a wider set of search queries in languages other than English and would be using machine learning to update search query terms. It also intends to work with expert NGOs on creating new video content to counter violent extremist messages and to collaborate with Jigsaw to expand the Redirect Method in Europe.

“As we develop this model of the Redirect Method on YouTube, we’ll measure success by how much this content is engaged. Stay tuned for more,” YouTube said.