More organs were donated in 2017 than any other year!

Victoria Arias wanted to save lives.

The 18-year-old Arizona honor student was preparing to head to St. Mary’s University of Minnesota with the hope of becoming a doctor.

She played the violin and volleyball, and was a devout Catholic who had saved up for a pilgrimage to Rome to see the pope. Victoria had plans for the future.

Credit: MSN

“She wanted to be a trauma surgeon,” her mother, Lorena Arias, said. “She had big dreams. She was going to do it.”

Victoria did end up saving lives, but not in the way anyone expected. Last July, Lorena found Victoria unconscious in the backyard pool. She never recovered.

But Victoria’s kidneys, liver, lungs and heart went to four people who’d been waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.

She was among the 10,000 people whose organs were donated in 2017 — the first year more than 10,000 people have donated organs to others after they died, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing(UNOS).

“We are grateful that more lives are being saved, year after year, thanks to the boundless generosity of organ donors,” said Dr. Yolanda Becker, president of the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/UNOS Board of Directors.

Nearly 35,000 organ transplants were done in 2017, a 3.4 percent increase over 2016. About 18 percent of these were from living donors — people who gave one kidney or a part of their liver to someone else. But 115,000 Americans remain on waiting lists for organ transplants, UNOS says.

One of those who got lifesaving organs was 13-year-old Stefany Atencio of Netcong, New Jersey. Stefany and her identical twin Sofia have childhood interstitial lung disease, a poorly defined condition that leaves kids struggling to breathe and gain weight.

“All the energy they get from food, they use to breathe,” the twins’ mom, Elsy Atencio, said.

Credit: MSN

Sofia started struggling first, at about the age of 7. “We started noticing she had this skinny body and she didn’t gain any weight. She had a dry cough. They thought it was asthma,” Elsy said.

Then Stefany started showing similar symptoms as well.

Sometimes, the only treatment for the condition is a lung transplant. Sofia went on the waiting list first. She waited 18 months, becoming so thin that at the end she had a feeding tube.

“Nothing happened for a week, for months, for a year. You have to have a match,” Elsy said.

She quit her fulltime job to homeschool Sofia, care for the girls and ferry them back and forth to appointments. Oxygen tubes were everywhere, tripping up family members.

“You have to have your phone with you 24-7,” she said. The call that an organ has become available could come at any moment, and everything would have to be dropped to get Sofia into immediate surgery.

Sofia got her transplant in 2016. Stefany received hers last year.

The girls’ lives have been transformed. “Now she goes to Sky Zone,” Elsy said, where she watches as the twins laugh and bounce on room-sized trampolines.

“They have so much fun. We never thought they’d be jumping and screaming the way they do now. This is like a new life.”

It’s still not easy. Medications must be ordered weekly and the family makes regular two- to-three-hour trips to Philadelphia for checkups. Mornings include a rush of medication and breakfast while also adjusting face masks so the girls don’t get infections from the other kids at school.

But Elsy is grateful to the donors and their families.

Credit: MSN

“We cannot thank the families enough. They are angels to us,” she said. “We pray to God every night for those angels.”

Across the country in Tucson, Lorena and Michael Arias are comforted, a little, by knowing Victoria’s organs saved four lives.

“She was just an amazing child and an amazing person. Now she is even more amazing,” Lorena Arias said.

They hope to meet the four recipients some day.

“Sometimes the recipients don’t want to meet the donors. One reason is they feel guilty that they are alive and our loved ones are gone, which is entirely understandable,” Arias said.

Michael and Lorena both had been longtime organ donors, checking a box on each driver’s license application. “If I can help somebody live, if I am gone, why not?” she said.

Victoria did not have a license yet when she died and Lorena prayed as she sat with her daughter in the hospital, trying to decide whether to donate her organs.

“I was very nervous, very scared, very anxious because I was waiting for Victoria to give me a sign of what to do next,” she said.

Then something happened.

“I got a sense of calm. A sense of peace came upon me,” she said.

“I didn’t have that feeling of anxiety any more. I stopped shaking. When that peace came upon me, I knew that’s what she wanted. That’s why I say she made the choice. It was Victoria saying ‘Yes, mom. I want you to donate my organs’.”

Stop Hiccups Instantly With This ONE Quick & Easy Life Hack

Although hiccups are simply spasms of your diaphragm muscle which aren’t harmful, we all know how annoying they can be, and finding a ‘cure’ can drive you crazy!

We’re going to give you a simple little life hack which will give you the know how to get rid of hiccups once and for all.


We’ve all quickly Googled how to get rid of hiccups. From swallowing a spoonful of sugar (ew!!), to swallowing a spoonful of vinegar (even more eww!), or having some peanut butter or hot sauce.

There’s also less ‘intense’ ways to attempt to stop hiccups such as breathing slowly and deeply into a small paper bag, or placing a single paper towel over the top of a glass, then drinking through the towel, however these still require you to have objects around you to hand!

Credit: Medical Daily

However… are you ready for a life hack that will change the way you deal with hiccups forever?!

The concept was first documented on social media site, Tumblr, in 2015.

Tumblr user ‘lissadiane’ discovered, after a co-worker asked her to prove she had hiccups, she couldn’t.

The next time she had hiccups, she (forcefully) made her boyfriend ask her to prove it, and AGAIN the hiccups were gone!

Credit: Tumblr

Another user chimed in with a comment that it worked for her dad, and was his go-to method too.

Credit: Tumblr

Whilst another joked that being offered $100 to do a hiccup also works!

Credit: Tumblr


Get someone to ask you to prove your hiccups, and the chances are, you won’t be able to.

$13,000 Raised For Substitute Teacher To Pay For His Wife’s Surgery!

Walter Erickson, 80, is a retired teacher who’s been a substitute in a Minneapolis school district since 1991. Almost every day of the school year, Erickson is at Champlin Park High School.

Last week, his students gave back to him in a way he would never have expected.

Credit: Mr. Erickson / GoFundMe

“He’s just impacted so many of our lives in amazing ways,” Katie Blodgett, a senior at Champlin Park, told CBS Minnesota. “He’s the kind of substitute teacher where he connects with us more on a personal level and he obviously loves what he does and that makes it more encouraging for us to learn.”

Mr. Erickson has been saving up to pay for his wife to get cataract surgery and some much needed dental work.

“When we found out the surgery may not be covered, we just wanted to help out,” Breiter said.

She, Blodgett and another friend started a GoFundMe page. Donations, mostly small amounts from students, came pouring in.

Credit: Mr. Erickson / GoFundMe

Writing on GoFundMe, they said:

“Kelsey and Hailey are trying to raise money for a staff member of Champlin Park High School. Mr. Erickson and his wife have been struggling with money for many years. Mr. Erickson still substitutes for teachers most days as he can not retire due to paying for his wife’s medical bills over many years. September and October can be the hardest months for the two and the money would benefit them in the coming winter months. Mr. Erickson has impacted Champlin Park students for many years and it would be great if students, staff, and community members could give back to him in this way.”

The initial goal was $500. In just six days, the girls raised over $13,000.

“When I told my wife about this last Friday, she said, ‘Who are these girls? What kind of parents do they have that they could be so caring and compassionate?'” Mr. Erickson said.

Mr. Erickson added that he was “just overwhelmed” by the students’ generosity.

“I know my wife will appreciate it very much,” he said. “Thanks a lot, really a lot.”

Man Loses 100 Pounds By Eating Nothing But Potatoes For A Year And Is Healthier Than Ever – Here’s How He Did It!

A Melbourne father has managed to lose 110 pounds after eating only potatoes for an entire year, and says he feels healthier and happier than ever!


Upon adopting his potato-only diet, which he planned to be on for a year in a bid to lose weight, Andrew Flinders Taylor said people thought he was going crazy for doing such a thing.

Although most nutritionists would not recommend following such a diet, as it’s so restrictive, Andrew believed he could get everything his body needed from potatoes by mixing together sweet and white varieties.

This is because eating white potatoes alone would result in vitamin deficiencies, so it was very important that Andrew ate sweet potatoes too.


Speaking to The Independent, Taylor said,

“I’m getting over 600 per cent of my daily iron retirements and over 400 per cent of vitamin c as well as heaps of fibre – all things that so-called experts have said I’d be low in today. The only thing of concern was calcium, potatoes have calcium but maybe not enough. To be sure I’m using a calcium fortified organic soy milk to make mashed potatoes.”

Andrew has since created the website ‘Spudfit’ where he talks of the process he went through, and how others can adopt the same diet!


“My health just continues to improve. I had high cholesterol but now it’s low, my blood pressure has dropped and my sugar level has dropped, every time I get a new blood test, it just gets better,” Andrew said.

When he started the eating plan, he did next to no exercise, but now does an hour a day workout on his exercise bike!

Are you inspired? Share this article with a potato lover!

Newly Engineered Antibody Attacks 99% of HIV Strains!

Scientists working as part of a collaboration between the US National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi have managed to engineer an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates.

The antibody is built to attack three different yet critical parts of the virus, which will make it harder for HIV to resist its effects.

Credit: SPL

Human trials begin in 2018, to see if it can prevent or even treat infection of HIV, the International Aids Society described the antibody as an “exciting breakthrough“.

The virus has a powerful ability to mutate and change its appearance, which is the reason our bodies struggle so much to fight HIV.

Credit: HIV Research

Due to the many varieties of HIV, or strains, in a single patient, the immune system finds itself fighting against a large number of strains of HIV.

The BBC, on super-antibodies:

But after years of infection, a small number of patients develop powerful weapons called “broadly neutralising antibodies” that attack something fundamental to HIV and can kill large swathes of HIV strains.

Researchers have been trying to use broadly neutralising antibodies as a way to treat HIV, or prevent infection in the first place.

The study, published in the journal Science, combines three such antibodies into an even more powerful “tri-specific antibody”.

Dr Gary Nabel, the chief scientific officer at Sanofi, told the BBC:

“They are more potent and have greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that’s been discovered.”

90% of HIV strains will be targeted by the best naturally occurring antibodies.

Nabel continued;

“We’re getting 99% coverage, and getting coverage at very low concentrations of the antibody.”

An experiment on monkeys, none of the 24 who were given the tri-specific antibody developed an infection when they were later injected with the virus, which is quite promising and scientists from Harvard Medical School, The Scripps Research Institute, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will continue working on the project.

After Being Given Two Weeks To Live Due to a Rare Cancer, Thanks To Cannabis His Recovery story is Incredible

Thanks to cannabis, this young boy’s cancer recovery story is incredible!

When Carrie Blackwell’s son Deryn exhausted all options of modern medicine and received a terminal cancer diagnosis, she risked spending up to 14 years in prison, when giving him cannabis in an attempt to help alleviate some of the symptons he was experiencing.

Credit: UNILAD

“It sounds awful, but he looked forward to dying because after being ill for four years, he just wanted an end to it,”

Carrie said in an interview with UNILAD.

I didn’t want to live any more, because it was just uncertain. I didn’t know if I was going to live ill for 5 years, or drop down dead the next day,

replied Deryn.

The recovery was astonishing, after Deryn’s health went from serious to life-threatening. The risky move on mum’s behalf not only removed Deryn’s suffering but potentially became the missing puzzle piece leading toward his recovery.

At just 10 years old, Deryn was diagnosed with leukemia, and just two years later he developed a very rare cancer called Langerhans cell sarcorsa, which appears on the tonsils, and has only been reported on 37 times within English literature. The diagnosis made Deryn just one of the five people in the world to have the disease.

Credit: UNILAD

He is the only person in the world to have these two cancers simulataneously, which lead to Carrie documenting Deryn’s story in full detail in the book, “The Boy in 7 Billion”.

After four unsuccessful bone marrow transplants, Deryn’s immune system completely shut down, leading him to survive on nothing but antibiotics. At age 14, he was placed in a children’s hospital and given just a few days to live.

Credit: Carrie Blackwell

He was in such excruciating pain and so much suffering that Deryn wanted to, and attempted to, kill himself — At one point even begging mum Carrie to take him to Brussels where he’d heard it was legal to use euthanasia on teenagers.

Desperate to help her son in any way she could, she did something she was hesitant to do for a long while – she gave her son cannabis oil in hopes it would help alleviate his pain somewhat. As Deryn had already planned his funeral, she had no hopes of him surviving. Albeit knowing doing so was illegal in the UK, Carrie said,

“I was willing to face 14 years, every single day of 14-year sentence, just to give him the alleviation that it gave him.”

Credit: UNILAD

Thanks to the Cannabis, Deryn felt the effects immediately. He felt relaxed, at ease, with no anxiety and no pain. That was all his mum could ever ask for, however, something remarkable and totally unexpected also happened.

After just 5 days of using cannabis medicinally, Deryn’s body began producing the white blood cells it needed to help his body heal. By day 104, he felt completely healthy;

“Honestly the effects of it blew my mind. It wasn’t what I expected”

Credit: UNILAD

Blown about by Deryn’s recovery, she checked with the doctors if any of the drugs they were administering could’ve caused this effect and was told no.

To double check, she stopped giving the cannabis oil treatment for a short while, and the white blood count fell again.

Although Carrie isn’t sure if cannabis cured Deryn, she finds no other answer, besides the fact that it was cannabis that provided the final and neccessary push Deryn needed for his recovery.

Credit: UNILAD

Many do not believe in miracles, however, Deryn is out of the hospital and will be enjoying his 18th birthday at the end of the year!

First Person to Receive a Medical Marijuana Prescription in the UK has no Seizures in 300 Days

An eleven year old boy who was dying from severe epilepsy which was causing hundreds of seizures a day, has not had a single one for 300 days since being prescribed a medical marijuana product.

Billy Caldwell began treatment with cannabis oil in the US, where medical marijuana is legal in many states in 2016, to help with his intractable epilepsy.

Credit: Facebook / Keep Billy Alive

Following this, his prescription was then transferred to his local GP, Brendan O’Hare, in Northern Ireland. This lead to Billy becoming the first person in the United Kingdom to receive a medical marijuana prescription.

The medicine contains a compound called CBD found in cannabis plants, which doesn’t contain any synthetic chemicals. The company, Billy’s Bud, was formed and named after Billy in July.

His mother, Charlotte Caldwell claimed the cannabis oil has also improved his autism, for example, helping Billy have better eye contact and engage more with books and toys.

Credit: The National Autistic Society

Campaigners say CBD can also help with diseases including cancer and Crohn’s disease. It is legal in the UK and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Agency have said CBD has a positive effect on physiological functions.

Earlier this year, the family, along with an independent committee set up a “Sponsor a Bud” programme, to help low income families from the UK and Ireland obtain CBD via a Bud grant.

Credit: phytopluscbd

Billy’s parents held a celebration, to celebrate the phenomenal change for the better in Billy’s health, saying “we have decided to hold a small celebration in recognition of all those people that have helped us “Keep Billy Alive”.” You can continue supporting the campaign via GoFundMe!

Toyota Helped Reduce a Certain Type of Blood Infection by 75% Using Production Principles

In collaboration with four children’s hospitals, using production principles, Toyota has managed to reduce central line infections by 75%.

Credit: TSSC

Advisor for TSSC, Scott Dickson, joined forces with Amy Taylor, clinical manager of Gastroenterology, including other staff members at Children’s Health in Dallas, to work on finding a solution to the problem of central line-associated blood stream infections.

Scott Dickson has worked the past five years as a senior advisor for Toyota, with 10 years experience prior to this with Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC). Although he says his career has been very rewarding, he’s also admitted it was especially meaningful to collaborate with four children’s hospitals in 2016.

“When you see a sick child at a hospital, it gets pretty emotional,” says Dickson. “If there’s any way we can do something to help them, we’re going to do it. I felt very blessed to get to do this.”

Credit: TSSC

In his work in partnership with the hospital, they all shared a similar challenge. Much too often, young people were fitted with a central line, which is a plastic tube placed in the large vein that routes to the heart, were contracting infections. These infections are referred to as Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infection.

According to the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing published a study, show 250,000 infections occur each year at hospitals across the USA. The infections are serious, but quite often are treated successfully, however, the countermeasures cost more than $6 billion dollars annually.

South Carolina Hospital Association

All four parts of the institutions that took part in the TSSC project were left baffled and frustrated trying to tackle this persistent issue, as they were already following strict hygiene protocol. Somehow, the harmful bacteria, as well as other germs, were getting past their defenses.

Dickson spent time at each hospital observing and taking notes, trying to figure out the issues. His unbiased perspective proved to be the turning point. In every case, it was noticed that healthcare practitioners were following the proper hygiene protocol until they got into the rooms where the children were being treated. For example, although nurses wore sterile gloves to operate a medical device, they may unknowingly place that device on a non-sterile counter or blanket.

Credit: TPS

“What they thought was the problem and what was actually the problem turned out to be very different things,” says Dickson. “There’s no way we would have figured it out if we hadn’t spent time at each site and talked with the nurses on the floor.”

After identifying the problem, Dickson got to work using Toyota’s problem-solving methodology to find a solution! They applied TPS standardization prinicaps to set out steps that everyone who might come into contact with patients had clear rules to follow. Dickson said, “The way we systemically break down a problem was completely foreign to the people at the hospitals,” says Dickson. “In the end, their reaction was: ‘Oh, my gosh. We never thought of that’.”

Credit: TSSC

Within the first six months of the full implementation alone, the goal was to reduce the amount of infections by 50% at the four hospitals, however, they actually managed to get them down 75%. They now plan on implementing this same structure at hospitals across the country.

Mass Participation Events are Rapidly Growing, and we Love it

You’ve probably heard of ParkRun. Launched in 2004, Paul Sinton-Hewitt said it’s creation was ‘selfish’. He wanted to stay fit and see his friends whilst injured and unable to run with his usual club.


The initial Saturday morning 5km run in Bushy Park, South London soon grew to be an event for everyone, regardless of their fitness levels or how sporty they were.

Following ParkRun’s boom, many other mass participation events grew. From morning raves in London to running through rainbow-colored clouds and swimming beside hundreds of others.

Public health experts claim these activities encourage those previously inactive people, who maybe felt disengaged from sport and events, to exercise and meet people. ParkRun themselves estimate they’ve got at least 40,000 previously inactive people running!

Such mass participation events are held in non-threatening environments, where people feel free of judgement, in an area with a sense of fun and camaraderie.

For example, The Great Swim series wants to make open-water swimming ‘safe, fun and accessible’, even for those who have never swum in the ‘wild’ waters before!

The event features different distances designed to suit all fitness levels, encouraging newbies to feel secure in their ability.

Another group that has launched their fair share of mass participation events are British Cycling. Women are typically less active than men in the UK, so since 2011 group rides have been organized by female volunteers trained to lead women-only events.
As well as getting women active and healthier, there’s also a social element.

The Colour Run is perhaps the biggest mass participation event, with over 6 million people have taken part across the globe. The course has been completed by dogs, children, as well as the disabled and the elderly.

If you want to improve your fitness, be more active and meet some new people, find your nearest ParkRun here, and keep your eye out for other mass participation events advertised online and locally!