Things That Matter

An American Teen With Leukemia Was Made To Fight Her Cancer On Her Own After Her Mother Was Deported To Mexico

The tragedy at the United States’ southern border has brought to light countless cases of human rights violations and downright unethical practices by the Customs and Border Protection Agency. Stories from these centers have encouraged comparisons to World War II concentration camps, and for good reason. Reports of family separation have included stories of men, women, and children dying in US Border custody have caused an outcry from citizens around the world. The refusal to provide basic hygienic and medical care to detainees has proven that the goal of detention is to dehumanize these migrants as much as it is to contain them. 

The heartache created by these accounts seems to be never-ending as we get a greater look at the lives impacted by the border crisis.

Most recently, the story of a young girl battling leukemia alone because of the Customs and Border Protection Agency has left us both heartbroken and enraged; but, luckily, it has a happy ending. 

Twitter / @ABC7

Ixcell Sandoval Perez is a 14-year-old cancer patient who is battling leukemia at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. However, up until this morning, she has been doing so without her mother by her side. Her mother, Dalia Perez, was stuck across the border and was denied access to visit her daughter — despite Ixcell’s worsening condition. 

Ixcell was born in Raleigh, North Carolina but spent much of her girlhood in Chiapas, Mexico because her mother’s US visa expired back in 2010. The family was living in Mexico when Ixcell was diagnosed with the aggressive form of cancer. They made the decision to seek treatment back in the United States. However, getting back into the country was harder than it should have been for the American citizen. 

When the pair arrived at the border in Tijuana, Mexico, they were denied entry into the United States and detained.

Twitter / @RedTRaccoon

The pair was detained at the border facility for two days. During that time, Ixcell grew steadily worse and her mother received no information about when her daughter would be granted access to treatment. 

“They took everything away from us,” Dalia lamented in a video produced by Solidarity Now, a group that advocates for human rights for detainees at the southern border. “They took us into a room. In the afternoon, they left us in a cold room but it was so cold and my daughter was feeling so sick. I pounded on the door and shouted for them to open it, but no. My child was so thirsty but no one would listen to me.”

A relative living in the United States was eventually able to help Ixcell cross the border but her mother remained in Mexico. 

Twitter / @ACLU

Several petitions to allow Dalia into the States were made but she was denied every time. Local churches   such as Shepherd United Church of Christ in Cary came to the aid of the mother and daughter; visiting Ixcell and advocating for Dalia’s sake. 

“I just keep thinking that it’s unbelievable,” Pastor Carla Gregg-Kearns told local news team, ABC11. “I can’t believe or imagine what sort of reason there could be for her not being granted permission to come into the country to be with her daughter. Our faith makes it a no-brainer: of course you’re going to want to intervene and advocate on behalf of a child like this. We believe that our God is a god of life and desires that life is flourishing for all people.”

Back in June Ixcell’s cardiologist sent formal letters to Customs and Border Protection insisting that the reunion of mother and daughter was needed to help Ixcell’s prognosis. Congressman David Price also became involved in fighting for the unification of the mother and daughter.

All that fighting has paid off as Ixcell and her mother were finally reunited early Thursday morning. 

Twitter / @JoshChapinABC11

After months apart, the mother and daughter are finally in each other’s arms again. According to Customs and Border Protection, Dalia reapplied yet again for admission at the San Ysidro port of entry on August 27. The mother was then granted a temporary humanitarian waiver in order to enter the United States and rejoin Ixcell. Miles4Migrants, a donated frequent flyer program from migrants, helped provide the airline miles to bring Dalia home to her daughter. Additionally, Lawyer Moms of America and the ACLU applied pressure to Customs and Border Protection in order to have the temporary pass issued to Dalia.

The emergency pass is only issued in the direst of cases and it’s not clear for how long Dalia’s humanitarian waiver will keep her in the US. Hopefully, she will be able to be by Ixcell’s side all throughout her recovery.

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Chrissy Teigen Has Been Hospitalized After Experiencing Bleeding During Her Current Pregnancy

Entertainment

Chrissy Teigen Has Been Hospitalized After Experiencing Bleeding During Her Current Pregnancy

ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ / GETTY

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, bleeding can occur at every stage of pregnancy. This occurrence, while in it’s most extreme instances can be a sign of a miscarriage, can also be chalked up to minor spotting related to sexual intercourse or pelvic exams. Still, there’s no doubt that the occurrence can be alarming as well as severe for some and that when model Chrissy Teigen realized she was experiencing such bleeding her fans became rightly worried.

Over the weekend, reports revealed that the model and mother of two had been hospitalized after experiencing heavy bleeding during her pregnancy.

Months ago Teigan shared with fans that she was expecting her third child with her husband, singer John Legend. Yesterday, she confirmed reports that she had been taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Sunday afteer experiencing bleeding.

Just hours before she’d complained to fans on Instagram of being “so bored” while stuck on bed rest after her pregnancy was determined to be high-risk, the “Lip Sync Battle” host revealed that she was in the hospital. Opening up to fans, Teigen revealed that she had been bleeding a “little bit less than a month.”

“We all know I’ve been on bed rest for a few weeks and that’s like super serious bed rest. I get up to quickly pee and that’s it. I would take baths twice a week, no showering, just as little as possible,” she explained in a post shared from the hospital. “But I was always, always bleeding. I’m about like halfway through pregnancy and the blood has been going on for like a month. Maybe a little bit less than a month. We’re talking about more than your period girls. It’s definitely not spotting. A lot of people spot and it’s usually fine. Mine was a lot.”The 34-year-old Teigen went on to explain that she was admitted to the hospital after the bleeding worsened comparing it to ‘like if you were to turn a faucet onto low and leave it there.”

The model went onto assure her followers that she had “very good doctors who know the entire story” of her pregnancy and were taking care of her. She further explained that part of her issues with her pregnancy are related to the fact that her “placenta is really, really weak,” and added “So I feel really good, the baby’s so healthy. Growing stronger than Luna or Miles. He moves a lot, so much earlier than they ever did.”

“He’s so strong and I’m just so excited for him because he’s so wonderful and just the strongest little dude,” she exclaimed.” I can’t wait for him.” Teigen has been open about her struggles with her pregnancies in the past even sharing that her two children Luna and Miles were conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

During her pregnancy, Teigen has shared the support she has been recieving from friends and family.

In posts shared to her Instagram page, the mother revealed that her daughter Luna has been giving her daily warm baths and washing her hair.

Earlier this month, Teigen accidentally revealing the sex of her baby (it’s a boy!)e while on Instagram. She has also been vocal about her pregnancy complications saying “My placenta sucks… It’s always been kind of the bad part of my pregnancies.”

“With Miles, it just stopped feeding him. It stopped taking care of him. I was stealing all his food because I was getting huge but he wasn’t getting big at all,” she noted “So he had to come out early and Luna had to come out early. I was induced both times.”

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Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

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