The week's good news: November 4, 2021
Trick-or-treaters bring gifts to woman who didn't have candy to pass out
This Halloween, it was all treats and no tricks for one British grandmother. Brenda Burdon lives in Newcastle, and had three trick-or-treaters named Olivia, Walter, and Jessie knock on her door. Burdon's grandson, Danny Parker, told BBC News that she unfortunately didn't have any candy to pass out, but the kids were understanding and said it was nice to meet her. The next day, the children returned to Burdon's house, and weren't empty-handed — they dropped off a card addressed "To Kind Lady," chocolates, muffins, and a £10 note. "I spent a few hours with her that afternoon and she was just lost in happiness that total strangers could leave such a wonderful impression," Parker said. "She is 86 and said this was the best Halloween of her life." Burdon was so touched by their thoughtfulness that she bought presents for the children, which she wrapped and placed on her porch in the hopes they will return to pick them up.
HPV vaccine cuts cervical cancer rates by 87 percent in 'historic' UK study
A British initiative to vaccinate teenage girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV) slashed cervical cancer rates by 87 percent when the vaccine was administered at age 12 and 13, 62 percent when offered at age 14 to 16, and 34 percent among women vaccinated at 16 to 18, researchers reported in the medical journal The Lancet. Cervical cancer is the No. 4 most common cancer in women worldwide. Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, called the results "historic" and said it proves the HPV vaccine saves lives. Britain began offering the HPV vaccine to girls as young as 11 in 2008. The Lancet study estimated that by June 2019, the vaccine had prevented 450 cases of cervical cancer in the immunized groups and 17,200 cases of precancerous cervical carcinomas. "Assuming most people continue to get the HPV vaccine and go for screening, cervical cancer will become a rare disease," said lead author Peter Sasieni, of King's College London.
70-year-old makes history as oldest woman to climb Yosemite's El Capitan
Dierdre Wolownick found an impressive way to celebrate a milestone: On her 70th birthday, she became the oldest woman to climb Yosemite's El Capitan. Wolownick actually broke her own record — in 2017, she made the trek up the 3,000-foot vertical rock formation with her son, famed climber Alex Honnold. She began climbing in 2009, as a way to connect with Honnold and get a better sense of what it was like for him on his climbs. "It's all been an amazing experience, one I never could have dreamed up for myself," Wolownick told the Los Angeles Times. "I used to look up at those tiny dots going up that granite wall and wonder what they saw up there and what they felt up there." She made her birthday climb on Sept. 23, and after 10 hours, reached the top at sunset. Wolownick was accompanied by a group of friends, who celebrated her achievement with champagne and cupcakes.
To surprise groom who is blind, bride wears special tactile wedding dress
Throughout their relationship, Kelly Anne Ferraro has come up with creative ways to let her new husband, Anthony Ferraro, know how much she cares — and it was no different on their wedding day last month, when she wore a special gown so he could get a sense of how she looked. Anthony is blind, and on their first date, Kelly donned a velvet dress, so even though he couldn't see what it looked like, he could feel the nice fabric. "No one's ever thought to do that, like ever," Anthony told CBS News. For their wedding, Kelly was adamant about finding a dress with several textures, so Anthony could get a sense of it through touch. She found the perfect gown made of recycled fabrics, covered in embossed flowers, with velvet tassels. Anthony said his "mind was blown," adding, "it was just like — I was able to see Kelly. That was the best part, I was able to feel her dress."
Mother-son duo write book to help kids learn how to appreciate their differences
A conversation between Joseph Dodd and his mom, Jo, sparked a project that boosted Joseph's confidence — and will inspire other kids to embrace what makes them different. Joseph, 9, and Jo were talking about their family and everyone's likes and dislikes, when Joseph said, "We all like different things, and that's A-OK with me." Jo told her son "that's actually a really good title for a book," and the pair got to work. Joseph has a learning disability, and Jo shared with Good Morning America that while writing We All Like Different Things And That's A-OK With Me, it was "really fun to see Joseph's confidence growing with his reading and writing." The main theme Joseph wants to get across is that "we don't have to be the same," and Jo said the book makes it clear to readers there's "nothing wrong with having a challenge with reading or writing. And guess what? You can write your own story."