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Moments of joy beyond cancer’s shadow

first_imgBECKET, Mass. — No parent would want to send a child to Camp Kesem. But kids who go look forward to attending all year long.“It’s really special to have a connection to these other kids who have parents who have cancer,” said an 11-year-old boy nicknamed Tic Tac. “When I see the other kids, they just understand me because they’ve dealt with some of the things I’ve gone through.”Harvard’s first year as a chapter of Camp Kesem — “magic” in Hebrew, it’s pronounced keh-sem — unfolded last month in the green hills of Western Massachusetts, with a volunteer team of 19 undergrads serving as counselors for 24 children whose parents have battled cancer.Evette Ronner, founding co-director of Camp Kesem at Harvard, said she wanted to give the children, ages 6 to 13, “an experience I never had.”A camper nicknamed Speedo struts the runway in her trash-bag gown. Video still image by Kai-Jae Wang“I know what it’s like to grow up with a sick parent or without a parent because they passed away from cancer,” said the 21-year-old Harvard senior, whose father died of brain cancer when she was 6. “When a parent is sick, it’s life-altering. You go to school and you feel different —like you have a secret you’re supposed to hide. Hopefully with camp, this will relieve that burden a little bit.”Kids kept a back-to-back-to-back schedule of daily activities mixed with special events such as rope-swinging and smashing pies in counselors’ faces. Campers rotated through drama, sports, and art in the morning. In the afternoon came a new slate of activities, followed by free swim. Two nurses and a mental health counselor staffed the medical cabin, and an “empowerment ceremony,” held on the second-to-last night of camp, gave campers who were feeling particularly brave the chance to share stories and feelings.Frankie Hall, a junior concentrating in government, models trash bag designs with young campers. Photo by Jill Radsken“My dad just finished [treatment],” a girl nicknamed D.J. told a visitor later, as she made paper leis for a luau the final night of camp. “We rang the bell at the hospital.”A sense of community kicked in the moment campers and counselors arrived. Everyone got a nickname, a simple act that created an immediate bond, Ronner said, and for the kids helped make “their time at Camp Kesem very separate and special from their everyday life.”Eight-year-old Antidisestablishmentarianism, who had never been to overnight camp, ticked off everything he loved about the experience: “Swimming, dodgeball, gaga ball, just spending time with the people in my cabin.” Not to mention his first taste of campfire s’mores.The counselors “care about the kids and really follow along with the stuff we do and they do it with us and play with us and include us,” he said. “That makes me happy because some places I don’t fit in, but you can feel like, ‘I’m not alone here.’” Counselor Anna “Gibby” Gibbs recognized those feelings of loneliness and isolation. The 19-year-old junior lost her mom to breast cancer when she was 13. She recalled never knowing a time when her mother wasn’t sick, and wishing she’d had a place like Camp Kesem.“I went to grief camps,” she said. “The thought of the camps often made me anxious, which may have come from not knowing other kids in my situation or else the pressure of ‘properly’ processing my mom’s death.“I’ve learned that not only does life go on, but that it also continues to be full of fun and joy. Camp Kesem is evidence of that. It’s helpful seeing that it can get better and it can get worse, and it’s OK.”Campers model their trash bag designs after a fashion show for their fellow campers. Video still image by Kai-Jae WangGrassroots fundraising — coffee drives and singing camp songs at the Boston Marathon and the Head of the Charles — provided Camp Kesem at Harvard the $30,000 it needed to pay for the first-year group. Students completed 40 hours of training to prepare for the campers, who hailed from New England and Texas.Lily Wilkinson, a senior concentrating in human developmental and regenerative biology who first heard about the camp from family in her home state of Nebraska, said the week was “all I wanted and more to see this family develop.” She shared an anecdote from a camper nicknamed Jimmy Butler.“He asked when he could sign up for the next camp,” she said. When counselor Alexander Munoz answered, “Your parents will get an email; they should be able to sign up sometime after you get back home,” Butler replied, “No, I need to sign up right now.”Frankie “Beaker” Hill ’19 could relate to that sense of urgency. Said the 20-year-old from New Era, Mich., who served as unofficial campfire song leader: “When I look in the eyes of these campers, it’s a lot of faces I’ve seen before. When you come to a camp like this where you meet people who instantly know, that’s really valuable.” What I did on my Summer Explorations Ed Portal cross between camp and summer school lets kids learn by having fun Relatedlast_img read more

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Taxes: Court Issues Bench Warrant for Arrest of Jay Jay…

first_imgAustin Okocha A Lagos High Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Super Eagles Captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, for failure to appear in court severally to answer questions on why he has allegedly failed to pay his income taxes.According to Channels Television, the prosecutor, Dr Jide Martins, had on June 6, 2017, filed the charge, adding that the case came up for the first time on Oct. 5, 2017, but the defendant did not appear in court.The prosecutor had told the court that the defendant had failed to furnish the Lagos State Internal Revenue Services, with a return of income for tax purposes. He said that the offences contravened Sections 56 (a) and (b) of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law No.8, 2006, and Section 94 (1) of the Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.Justice Adedayo Akintoye, on Jan. 29 issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the football star and adjourned until Feb. 19.However, the prosecution failed to effect the arrest on that date, leading the court to order that the warrant should be executed on the next adjourned date.All attempts to reach Okocha for his reaction on the matter failed as calls to his mobile phones were not answered.Okocha is the first high-profile Nigerian footballer to be dragged before a Nigerian court on allegations of failing to pay income tax.Top footballers like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have faced similar situations in Spain. Ronaldo was handed a suspended jail term recently in addition to paying millions of Euroes to the Spanish authorities.If this case pulls through, most Nigerian ex-internationals who returned to the country after years of football careers in Europe may face similar actions in their state of residents in the country.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Man United’s new signing, most expensive defender, British transfer record and more in our United transfer quiz

first_img1 Manchester United have already made one big signing this summer in the shape of Memphis Depay form PSV Eindhoven, with more set to follow.For all the latest Man United transfer news, views and rumours, check out talkSPORT, online, on mobile and on air.And we’ve got a little test of your United transfer knowledge, right here.See how many questions you can answer correctly…About | Privacy | Terms Manchester United transfer quiz last_img

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Thousands without cable, Internet services due to fire damage

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Thousands of residents are without telephone, cable television and Internet service after wildfires and strong winds across the region damaged fiber-optic cables, officials said Monday. About 9,500 Charter Communications customers in Malibu, Agoura Hills, parts of Calabasas, Hidden Hills, unincorporated areas of Topanga and an unincorporated area next to Woodland Hills are without service, spokesman Craig Watson said. Customers lost power Sunday afternoon after flames burned hundreds of feet of a fiber-optic cable that provides service to nine out of 10 Malibu customers. Charter customers should be able to watch Channels 2, 4 and 7 if they unplug their television cable from their cable box and plug it directly into their television, Watson said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Hundreds of Time Warner Cable customers in Santa Clarita, Stevenson Ranch, Canyon Country and Copper Canyon lost Internet, phone and television service because of high winds, commercial power outages and wildfires. But thousands of customers already have had their service restored, said spokeswoman Patti Rockenwagner. The number of people without power “is truly dynamic and it depends on the situation,” Rockenwagner said. Crews for both companies have to wait for roads to reopen to make repairs, making it difficult to estimate when service will be restored.last_img read more

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NOTORIOUS CRIMINAL JAILED FOR HIS PART IN CREEPER BURGLARIES

first_imgA lifelong burglar who straddled the border carrying out creeper burglaries was found when Gardai raided a caravan which contained an Aladdin’s cave of stolen goods.Farm labourer Eddie Crerand, 29, embarked on a crime spree across Co Donegal just days after being freed from prison in the North.Letterkenny Circuit Court heard yesterday how Crerand was a “habitual thief’ who had 260 previous convictions in the North including for burglary, theft, assaulting police, threats to kill, handling stolen goods, deception and rioting. He had a dozen convictions in Donegal. The court heard how Gardai raided a caravan in Clonmany after a tip-off.When Gardai arrived at the caravan park in May 2010, they found a stolen Nissan Pathfinder jeep outside.Crerand, 29, managed to flee the scene but inside the caravan Gardai discovered more than €10,000 worth of stolen goods including televisions, tools, computers, a Quad, cash cards and children motorbike.The goods were stolen in up to nine creeper burglaries which had taken place in the previous weeks.The thefts had taken place in Raphoe, Carrigans, Convoy and Donegal Town. A stolen cash card was used in Moville.Eleven months later, in April 2011, gardai were tipped off that Crerand was renting a house in Mountcharles.Detetctive Robin Doyle, backed up by members of the Armed Response Unit, raided the property.Inside they found more items including a hat taken in another creeper burglary in Leitrim and a personalised jacket stolen in Donegal.Crerand again made a run for it but was arrested 150 metres away from the house.Detective Doyle revealed how Crerand had removed an electronic tag after being released for prison in the North before heading across the border to Donegal.“He would be known to us as someone who uses the Border. He will not stop for gardai when we do attempt to stop him.”Judge John O’Hagan said: “It is terrible for any victim to have your house burgled, with strangers going through your possessions. It is like having your house raped.“Whilst he (Crerand) has admitted to possession of stolen property, you can’t have thieves unless there is someone down the line willing to keep stolen items.”Crerand had been interviewed on five occasions at Ballyshannon Garda Station over the space of eight hours but did not make any admissions.He pleaded guilty to the possession offences today. A defence barrister said Crerand had been surrounded by poverty but could show no wealth as a result of his crimes.Judge O’Hagan said that had Crerand been convicted by a jury he would have gone to jail for five years. He sentenced Crerand from Strath Aoibhinn, Stranorlar to three years in prison on each of the possession counts.AT hearing © 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailyNOTORIOUS CRIMINAL JAILED FOR HIS PART IN CREEPER BURGLARIES was last modified: February 7th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Carrigansconvoycreeper burglardonegalDonegal TownmovilleRaphoeSt Johnstonlast_img read more

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