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Mum gives birth to her BROTHER’S baby after he and his partner refused to trust a stranger as their surrogate

***EXCLUSIVE*** A woman from Dalton has given her brother the gift of parenthood by carrying a baby for her brother and his partner. Chapelle Cooper made the life-changing decision to act as the surrogate for her brother, Scott Stephenson and his partner, Michael Smith. The 27-year-old decided to give the couple the „gift of life” after learning about the complexities and expenses involved with adoption.  She said: „Scott and Michael were both talking about adoption and we discovered there was so many different obstacles to go through.”

Conjoined twin girls separated in London after 50 hours of surgery

***EXCLUSIVE*** Rare conjoined twins have been separated at a world-leading children’s hospital in London, surgeons have announced. Two-year-old sisters Safa and Marwa Ullah, from Charsadda in Pakistan, underwent three major operations to separate their heads at Great Ormond Street hospital (GOSH). The first operation took place in October 2018, when the girls were 19 months old. The last operation, during which they were finally separated, was carried out on 11 February. The girls, who were born by caesarean section, were craniopagus twins, with their skulls and blood vessels fused together. GOSH has previously successfully separated craniopagus twins in 2006 and 2011. In order to ensure the operations went smoothly, experts used virtual reality to create an exact replica of the girls’ anatomies. This enabled surgeons to visualise the complex structure of their skulls as well as the positioning of their brains and blood vessels.

Parents of girl, three, who has been given just a 20 per cent chance of survival after her brain cancer spread to her spine launch desperate appeal for cutting-edge treatment

***EXCLUSIVE*** This adorable three-year-old with BRAIN CANCER endured gruelling treatment that saw her confined to a pressurised room for over FIVE WEEKS – and with just a TWENTY-PERCENT chance of survival her parents are appealing for funds for cutting edge treatment. In November 2017, operations management leader, Ben Lawson (32) from Great Yarmouth, UK, and his wife Elizabeth (33) noticed that their daughter, Anna (3), was experiencing headaches, loss of appetite and loss of balance. Having taken Anna to the GP and A&E on several occasions, the symptoms were attributed to a viral infection. Finally, with Anna’s symptoms worsening, her parents took her to the hospital again. A doctor decided to perform a CT scan on her head with a significant mass being identified. Within a few hours, they were taken by ambulance to another hospital in Cambridge, where she underwent a MRI scan. Numerous tests confirmed that Anna had a medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumour that develops in the back of the skull. Doctors informed Ben and Elizabeth that Anna would need emergency surgery to remove the tumour which would be lengthy and could carry a serious risk of death or brain damage. With little choice, they agreed to the surgery, despite having no time to digest what was happening. On the morning of the operation, fearing she might not survive the surgery, they spent the day making Christmas tree decorations, playing games and trying to take in every moment with Anna. That lunch time she was taken down for surgery, only 36-hours after the mass was identified. To their relief, Anna survived the surgery, however complications followed, with Anna having a lengthy stay in hospital before chemotherapy could start. Five gruelling rounds of chemotherapy followed, each lasting three-weeks, culminating in a high-dose chemotherapy which kept Anna confined to a pressurised room for over five weeks. In June 2018, Anna rang the bell to signal the end of treatment after they were told there was no evidence of disease. She had follow-up scans to check for signs of a relapse every three months. Despite the significant side effects the treatment had on Anna, including the need for hearing aids and glasses, regular physiotherapy and loss of fertility, the family tried to look forward and regain some semblance of normality. On February 3, 2019, Elizabeth discovered she was pregnant with their second child after suffering a miscarriage on Anna’s birthday in November 2018. They were over the moon and Anna was excited to have a sibling. However, a day after they discovered she was pregnant, their world came crashing down all over again, when they received the call from Anna’s doctor informing them her routine scan showed that her cancer had returned and metastasised to her spine. Ben and Elizabeth were presented two options; one was to go home and make memories, or two to give Anna radiotherapy to her head and spine; an option that would have a devastating impact on her development both mentally and physically due to her tender age. Unfortunately, even the curative option was only given a 20 per cent chance of success. She has since undergone six weeks of radiotherapy, each session requiring a general anaesthetic, and more recently commenced the first of four rounds of chemotherapy. They aim to do everything they can to make her happy and making as many memories as possible. Their wish is to take her on holiday to Disney World, in Florida. While they are normally private people, Ben and Elizabeth have decided to share Anna’s story via social media to help raise awareness and raise funds via a Just Giving page in an attempt to take Anna abroad for immunotherapy/vaccine treatment in the hope of preventing a further relapse. The social media pages, aptly named Anna Poppy’s Army, provide regular updates on Anna’s progress and the bumps in the road along the way, and details of fundraising activities.

Nomad couple quit their 9-5 jobs to travel with their children in a converted $13k church bus - and reveal how you can do it too

***EXCLUSIVE*** Meet the inspirational couple who moved back in with their PARENTS to save money to convert an old church-bus and travel Australia with their two young children indefinitely – and one of them is only a few months old. Concreter, Dylan Robert Bergamaschi (23) and his wife, fulltime mum, Kallie Pauline Bergamaschi (25) from Adelaide, Australia, got married in October 2017. They had an unusual honeymoon road tripping around the Canadian Rocky Mountains, before retreating to the beautiful beaches of Hawaii. The couple enjoyed their trip so much that they decided to rent out their home and move back in with their parents to save up the funds needed to buy an ex-church bus. They converted this ex-service vehicle into a modern, upscale eco-friendly home on wheels and now travel their beautiful home country fulltime in it. Dylan and Kallie paid $13,500 (£7,528) for the vehicle and spent $9,000 (£5,018) on renovations. The bus has been set up to be totally off grid and runs completely on solar power. After months of eagerly waiting and preparing their home, Dylan, Kallie and their son Lincoln (4) moved onto the bus in August 2018. The three travelled for four months before returning home for the birth of their youngest son Zephyr on 4 December 2018. They stayed there for a few months before moving back onto their bus fulltime and have no set date to stop travelling.

Woman heard her spine go pop and broke her back while doing yoga

***EXCLUSIVE*** SASKATOON, CANADA: This woman heard her spine POP during a YOGA CLASS as one of the bones in her spine BROKE and caused her years of chronic pain, which left her unable to WALK, until a spinal fusion was her last resort at having any chance of regaining mobility. Event planner, Jennifer Pond (31) from Saskatoon, Canada, was performing a sophisticated revolved hand to big toe yoga pose in 2014 when she heard a popping sound in her back. In the days that followed, she felt pain in her right leg and in her hip, but she just assumed it was a pulled muscle. As the weeks passed, the pain spread to her left leg and lower back, making Jennifer realise it couldn’t just be a pulled muscle, so she made an appointment to see her doctor. An X-ray revealed that while doing yoga, Jennifer broke her interarticularis bone, a small bone found in the lower region of the spine. The pars interarticularis is connected to the facet joints in the spine, which help maintain spinal stability. The injury compromised Jennifer’s facet joints and vertebras, causing the lower spine to slip forward, which is known as spondylolisthesis. Since developing spondylolisthesis, Jennifer has lived with chronic pain, leg weakness, nerve pain, stiffness in her back and numbness in her legs and she tried many non-surgical treatments, including physiotherapy, acupuncture, spinal injections and massage therapy. Despite trying to reduce her pain for four years, none of Jennifer’s efforts worked and she was left walking short distances with a limp and unable to complete the household duties or lift anything heavy because of the strain on her back. Jennifer’s life was brought to a standstill as she backed out of many career, family and social activities due to the pain. A spinal fusion was Jennifer’s last option, and despite her fears of surgery and the 60 per cent chance the surgery would increase her quality of life, she knew she had run out of alternatives. Jennifer’s spinal fusion took place on June 10, 2019, and although recovery will be slow, she has already seen progress in her walking ability.

Woman, 22, may never have children after her SEATBELT crushed her abdomen in horror car crash forcing doctors to remove an ovary and fallopian tube

***EXCLUSIVE*** HALIFAX, CANADA: After initially walking away from a car crash, this woman had to have TWENTY-THREE-INCHES of intestine removed and later had to have an OVARY AND FALLOPIAN TUBE REMOVED due to complications and now worries about how this might affect her fertility. Customer service representative, Ashtyn White (22) from Halifax, Canada, had to have 23-inches of her intestine removed after the impact of her seatbelt locking broke the blood vessels in her small intestine after she was the passenger in a car accident on October 8, 2017. That night, Ashtyn and her friend were on their way to McDonald’s when their vehicle was t-boned at a crossroads. In shock and overwhelmed by the smells around her, Ashtyn, who had a stabbing pain in her stomach was helped out of the vehicle by a stranger who waited with her until the emergency services arrived. Ashtyn collapsed on her way to the ambulance and was in and out of consciousness until she woke up in hospital three days later where she was informed that she had been resuscitated twice and had to have 23-inches of her small intestine removed as it had ruptured and she was in ICU for a week before being discharged. Back at home, Ashtyn settled back into life as well as she could but on December 20, she woke up crippled in pain and went back to hospital where she was told she had an intra-abdominal abscess which had to be cleaned. This was later found to have damaged her right ovary which had to be removed along with one of her fallopian tubes in May 2018 when she also had a temporary ileostomy which was reversed in November 2018. Ashtyn says that the recovery from her ordeal felt like she was living in a movie but it has given her a greater appreciation for life and has encouraged her to look after herself more than she did before the crash.

Woman, 28, whose brother died from bone cancer reveals how his loss inspired her to become a pediatrician and help other terminally-ill children

***EXCLUSIVE*** Meet the woman who was inspired by her little brother to become a PAEDIATRITIAN after watching him lose his battle with BONE CANCER two years ago. Paediatric resident physician, Jasmine Smith (28) from South Carolina, USA, was raised in an environment that kept her family travelling with her mum being in the military. She was always close to her brother, Lewis. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Jasmine started a basic training course for the military during her first year of university studying medicine, which she completed during her second year of university. In October 2010, her mum gave her the devastating news that Lewis was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a common type of cancer that starts in the bones, when he was just 14 years old. She began tearing up at the news and felt scared and worried about her brother’s future. With the tumour located in his knee, Lewis underwent a surgery that year to remove it and received chemotherapy treatments. To their delight in 2011, doctors informed them that the treatments worked, and he was in remission. However, in 2013 his cancer came back and spread to his lungs. He was left fighting for his life, undergoing multiple surgeries throughout the next few years, during which time, Jasmine had emotionally watched his health deteriorate, and this motivated her to specialise in paediatrics, to help other children like Lewis. In March 2015, the family worked with Make A Wish Foundation to organise a trip for Lewis to Hawaii where he visited the volcanoes and despite being terrified, he swam with stingrays as this was a dream of his. The trip inspired Jasmine to help grant wishes of other terminally ill children. In December 2016, Jasmine was sitting next to Lewis by his bed at home, holding his hand as she tearfully watched him take his last few breaths at the age of just 20. This moment was forever etched in her mind and his resiliency and courage throughout his six-year battle motivated her to help other children going through similar ordeals. She has since granted 20 wishes including a trip to Disney World, a trip to The Bahamas and a European cruise.

Meet the old rage pensioners who are spending their retirement ramming their vintage cars into each other at breakneck speeds

***EXCLUSIVE*** Racing in vintage Fords, the Heritage stock car racing formula is proving most popular with drivers aged over 60. Sitting on a 1,172cc sidevalve engine, the competitors are encouraged to push and nudge each other around the track. Among the drivers trying to revive the 'Golden Era' of motorsport is Alan Humphrey, 68. The former bank worker from London has just racked up his 50th event since the rebirth of his racing career at the age of 64. He took early retirement and when his wife Marian sadly died of cancer 11 years ago, Alan decided to move down to Cornwall, as had always been their retirement plan.

A drummer whose love of music helped him through his teenage cancer battle is now touring the world in a chart-topping rock band

***EXCLUSIVE*** Joe Emmett is celebrating critical acclaim as part of indie quartet The Amazons - 13 years after he was diagnosed with life-threatening non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The band, whose debut album reached number eight in the charts, recently announced dates for a UK headline tour - and are also supporting Muse on the international stage. Joe’s passion for drumming helped him through six months of chemotherapy as he continued to play in a band while studying for his GCSEs as a 16-year-old. He was given a £4,000 Ludwig Vistalite kit by children’s charity Make A Wish Foundation after completing his treatment, a replica of the one played by Led Zeppelin‚Äôs John Bonham. Joe, 29, has been in remission for 12 years and is a father to twins, Jude and Edie, with wife Charlotte. The Amazons are signed to Fiction Records, home of Tame Impala, The Maccabees and Kaiser Chiefs. The label is best known for being the home of The Cure from 1978 to 2001.

These photos show reproduced classic still life paintings of fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastics - in a jab at modern-day single-use food packaging

***EXCLUSIVE*** The works by artists including Claude Monet and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio have been transformed to reflect the excesses of modern ‘consumerist society.' In each image, fruit is cloaked in plastic preservatives like cling film, clamshell containers and stretchy foam sleeves. Not Longer Life is a series by the Valencia-based architecture studio Quatre Caps to illustrate the “disproportionate use of plastic”.

'The Longest Day in Chang'an': How art design helps bring Tang-dynasty days back to life

***EXCLUSIVE*** The Chinese web series "The Longest Day in Chang'an" has been discussed on various social media platforms since it was launched on Youku, a Chinese video platform last month. Many viewers mentioned in the comments one of the highlights of the series is its accurate reproduction of the Tang-dynasty elements. From the street plan of Chang'an to the costumes of ordinary people in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the details of this series are commendable. There were two main markets in the city in the Tang Dynasty, the East Market and the West Market. The East Market was for domestic trade among the upper classes, while the West was an international trade center gathering goods from the west as far as Rome to the east as far as Korea. Both markets show the prosperous economy in the Tang Dynasty.