Good News in a time of turmoil

Qwynn Watts

Recently in the media, there has been a plethora of bad news. It’s tiring reading through an avalanche of awfulness day after day when all you want is something that leaves you happy and hopeful that you can make a change. The news stories that follow, unlike most that can leave you depressed and pessimistic, will leave you inspired and invigorated to plug in to the public again. Let this be a reminder to get out of bed every day, drown out the negativity and tune in to all of the good around you.

First professional Nike athlete with Cerebral Palsy

Justin Gallegos, a runner at University of Oregon, made history by becoming the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign with Nike. Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture. Gallegos has been training for seven years to overcome his disability and fulfill his goal of finishing a half marathon in under two hours. He first caught Nike’s attention in high school, while running long distance for his team. He soon thereafter partnered with Nike to design a running shoe that would meet the needs of runners with a disability in April 2018. After he completed a race in the beginning of October, he was surprised with the opportunity to sign with Nike Running for a three year contract. Gallegos fell to his knees out of pure joy,  “…there is no such thing as a disability,” he said.

Artists welcome refugees into a community of color

In the pursuit of finding sustainable housing for the refugees in The Netherlands in 2016, Favela Painting reached out to their homebase, Amsterdam, to help. Favela Painting’s “…goal is to always contribute to the education of the youth and motivate the residents of the neighbourhoods to improve their living environment.” Since Amsterdam recently experienced a drop in crime rates meant there wasn’t a need for numerous prisons across the country to be in use. The Bijlmerbajes prison became a temporary home to more than 600 refugees that year until they adapted to society and gained their bearings to start their new life with endless opportunities. During this transition, “The Amsterdam Painting project aimed to transform this huge complex with six giant grey towers that have long been an eyesore in Amsterdam’s skyline.” Working collaboratively with locals and newcomers, the refugees themselves partook in painting the exterior in geometric shapes and designs in bright colors in order to create a space that felt like home. This manifested a bond between each of the refugees that will last a lifetime.

Volunteers painting the Bijlmer- bajes prison in Amsterdam. Photo provided by Favela Painting

The Gift of Sight

The Himalayan Cataract Project was started by two ophthalmologists, Dr. Sanduk Ruit and Dr. Geoff Tabin, with their goal to diminish as much blindness as possible. The Himalayan Cataract Project is a nonprofit that funds and facilitates education, training and equipment for local eye-care professionals across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. “To patients, the overnight transformation from darkness to light is nothing short of a miracle,” according to HCP. Cataract surgery can be successfully performed in minutes with little to no cost for these patients by making tiny incisions on the eye through which the cataract is removed and a new lens is inserted. Behind the cataracts there is a person just waiting to see the wonders the world has to offer. “Returning the gift of sight is nothing less than giving people back their lives,” according to HCP.

Himalayan cataract patients after their successful surgeries. Photo provided by HCP.

Sources: Good News Network, The Guardian, The Himalayan Cataract Project: Cure Blindness, CBS News

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