- 1. Couple that met as kids at St. Jude's gets married there nearly 30 years later
- 2. Museum hires Syrian and Iraqi immigrant and refugee tour guides for Middle East gallery
- 3. First-grader unable to play outside forms special bond with school resource officer
- 4. 99-year-old beautician is finally ready to retire after 73 years
- 5. Custom Lego wheelchair helps injured turtle get around
1. Couple that met as kids at St. Jude's gets married there nearly 30 years later
When it came time to choose a venue, Joel Alsup and Lindsey Wilkerson couldn't imagine holding their wedding anywhere but at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. Alsup, 38, and Wilkerson, 37, met at the hospital when they were children; Alsup had a bone tumor and Wilkerson was being treated for acute lymphoblastic lymphoma. They became friends, and remained in touch until they went away for college, finally reuniting years later when both began working at St. Jude's fundraising and awareness organization. Their friendship blossomed into a romance, and the couple wed on Sept. 1. "To know that just a few hundred feet from where we said 'I do' was literally where our lives were saved meant so much," Alsup told People. He is grateful to be married to "the love of my life," and hopes their story "lets families and kids battling cancer know that there is life after."
2. Museum hires Syrian and Iraqi immigrant and refugee tour guides for Middle East gallery
Visitors to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology's Middle East gallery not only get to see exquisite artifacts, but also hear from tour guides who offer special insight into the relics. The museum has hired immigrants and refugees from Syria and Iraq who are trained to share details about the items and answer questions while also telling their own stories about their homelands. Hadi Jasim is from Iraq, and in the United States on a visa for Iraqis who worked with the military. He told PRI that "sometimes, even if I don't have tours here, I just show up to work, go through the Middle East gallery, go and see the clay tables, and see the carvings. It just brings my memories back." Jasim said being surrounded by pieces of his heritage makes him feel close to home as he adapts to his new life in America.
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3. First-grader unable to play outside forms special bond with school resource officer
Braylon Henson does double duty at his Bay Minette, Alabama, elementary school: He's not only a first grader, but also a mini-school resource officer. The 6-year-old has ectodermal dysplasia, and was born without sweat glands. Because of this, he can't go outside when it's hotter than 74 degrees, as he runs the risk of overheating. After Ronald Saladin started as the school resource officer in August, he noticed that Braylon was in his classroom while the other kids were at recess, so he started inviting him along as he walked around the building. The partners now spend nearly two hours a day patrolling the hallways, and Saladin even bought Braylon his own uniform. Braylon enjoys spending time with Saladin, and said he wants to become a police officer when he grows up. "It's definitely a blessing, like it was meant to be," Saladin told WKRG.
4. 99-year-old beautician is finally ready to retire after 73 years
After 73 years of perms, haircuts, and updos, Callie Terrell of Memphis is ready to put her scissors and brush down for good. Terrell will turn 100 on Nov. 26, and she has set that as her retirement date. "I work because this is what I've enjoyed doing all my life," she told WREG. "From a little girl I always loved messing with my sisters' hair." Terrell was issued her first cosmetology license on Jan. 30, 1945, and she once owned her own busy salon. Now, she rents a space and only sees longtime customers, including her daughter, Inez. When she retires, she plans on having an even more active social life. "Most old people, they're so dry and droll," she said. "I can't deal with that. I gotta live and do the things that make me happy."
5. Custom Lego wheelchair helps injured turtle get around
An injured turtle is going places, thanks to his own custom Lego wheelchair. A Maryland Zoo employee found the wild Eastern box turtle in a park, and after discovering he had a half shell, brought him to the zoo's hospital. He had multiple fractures on his plastron, the bottom part of his shell, and a team used metal bone plates, surgical wire, and sewing clasps to stabilize it. They needed to figure out a way to keep the turtle elevated so his shell didn't hit the ground, and Garrett Fraess, a veterinary extern, drew sketches of wheelchairs for the turtle. Thanks to a friend who is a Lego enthusiast, the turtle now has a wheelchair, its frame and wheels made of the famous plastic bricks. "I was surprised how well it turned out and how well he's able to really express many of his normal behaviors," Fraess told Inside Edition.
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