Things That Matter

‘Hamilton’ Star Miguel Cervantes And Wife Kelly Cervantes Share Touching Posts About Daughter’s Death

Miguel Cervantes, the man handpicked by Lin-Manuel Miranda to play Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton,” shared the news of his daughter’s death. Adelaide Grace, his 3-year-old daughter, had been living with severe childhood epilepsy and was diagnosed with the disorder.

“Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes and his wife Kelly Cervantes shared the sad news of their young daughter’s death.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“The machines are off. Her bed is empty. The quiet is deafening. Miss Adelaide Grace left us early Saturday morning,” Kelly wrote on Instagram. “She went peacefully in my arms and surrounded by love. Finally, she is free from pain, reactions and seizures but leaves our hearts shattered. We love you so much Adelaideybug and forever after 💔💜”

Kelly’s Instagram is filled with photos of Adelaide surrounded by her loved ones.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

Adelaide suffered from consistent seizures and there was no cure for her disorder. While she was diagnosed with childhood epilepsy, the overall disease was neuro-degenerative, according to Kelly’s blog Inchstone. Kelly wrote the blogs to document and show readers the journey her family was facing every day with Adelaide’s deteriorating health.

Kelly detailed the decision to move Adelaide into hospice care earlier this year in a blog post titled “Dear, Adelaide.”

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

In the blog, Kelly reveals the work she and Miguel have put into Adelaide’s care. She admits that the focus of the family for so long was keeping Adelaide alive and in treatment but it finally became clear that things needed to change. In a heartbreaking decision, Kelly and Miguel agreed that it was time to move their daughter to hospice care and plan on making her remaining days as comfortable as possible.

“Becoming a parent is undoubtedly life-changing. But you, my dear, didn’t just change my life, you caused an eruption,” Kelly wrote in his letter to his daughter.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“As the pieces have fallen these last few years, I haven’t been sure what to make of the remnants. The once-familiar landscape was charred and with each step, I worried the ground might give way beneath me. You have been stronger than me every step of the way. Nothing has come easy for you, fighting for some of the most basic and essential life skills, then losing them and having to fight for them all over again,” Kelly wrote to her daughter. “I think that is why this next leg of the journey has been so hard for me to accept. We’ve been standing at the precipice for weeks? Months? I’ve allowed myself to be comforted by denial asking you to wait until I’m ready. Though I realize now, I’ll never be ready and even more so, that the timing is not up to me. You’ve been fighting for your life for so long and I can see now that you are tired. It is my turn to be the strongest… and let you go.”

Kelly continues in her letter showering her daughter with love and promises.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

“I promise you, my angel baby, that your efforts, your fight, your life will not have been in vain. We will take the eternal lessons you taught us and continue to plant your seeds in the hearts of anyone who will listen,” Kelly wrote. “I promise you that I will never stop advocating on your behalf, raising awareness and money for research so that families in the future will receive their epilepsy, mast cell activation syndrome, dysautonomia, hypotonia or neuro-degenerative diagnoses along with a treatment plan to full recovery. I promise you that I will fight for science to catch up to the next child even though it could never catch up to you. I will fight so that you can rest, free from the pain this world couldn’t relieve. I love you so much, my Adelaidey baby. Your loss will shatter me in ways I never thought possible but you’ve provided us with everything we need to heal. When it’s time sweet girl, we’ll be with you, and forever after.”

The family is keeping Adelaide’s memory alive and raising money to research a cure for epilepsy.

Credit: cureepilepsy / Instagram

“I want a cure for epilepsy,” Kelly said, according to ABC7 Chicago. “I want the fear that people have of talking about it, I want that fear to end. I want my baby girl to live, and I don’t get that. So I’m going to fight like hell for the rest of it.”

Rest in peace, sweet Adelaide.

Credit: kellygc411 / Instagram

Your mom and dad are doing everything they can to keep the promises they made to you. Rest easy, little one. Your story has inspired people to fight harder to find a cure to the disease that took you too soon.

If you would like to help the Cervantes family fight to cure epilepsy, you can donate here.

READ: Puerto Rican Art Groups Are Getting A Leg Up Thanks To This Foundation Created By The ‘Hamilton’ Family

Video of Boy With Down’s Syndrome Hugging an Autistic Boy Goes Viral

Things That Matter

Video of Boy With Down’s Syndrome Hugging an Autistic Boy Goes Viral

videohub / Twitter

It may not be obvious to everyone due to misrepresentation in the media, but according to the World Health Organization, there are more than 1 billion people in the world who have some form of disability. That statistic corresponds to about 15% of the world’s population, which means that a large chunk of people on the planet are not adequately or accurately represented when it comes to the media. Thankfully, there’s been a recent uptick in activism aimed at shining a light on positive stories that center around folks with disabilities. As these movements are quick to point out, there is no one way to be disabled, and not all stories of folks’ with disabilities are sad or depressing.

This point couldn’t be illustrated any clearer than by the video that the Spanish Language Facebook page Jalisco Oculto shared on Friday. The touching video of two young Mexican students interacting with each other quickly made waves, but not for the usual shocking or click-baity content. What made this video different from the usual internet distractions was that these boys both had special needs. According to the video description, one boy had Down syndrome while the other had Autism. The video’s caption reads: “A Down syndrome boy with a huge heart comforts his autistic classmate in his own way”. 

The video quickly struck a chord with people, especially those who have family members with special needs. 

The video first shows the boy with Down’s syndrome playfully waving his hand in front of his autistic classmate’s face. The classmate’s face visibly expresses emotion and, in response, the boy with Down’s syndrome leans in and wraps an arm around him, giving the boy a hug. The autistic boy appears to become more emotional and leans into him, his emotions seeming to grow on his face. The boy with Down’s syndrome simply hugs him harder, at one point rubbing and patting his back and appearing to wipe away his friend’s tears. After they break the hug, the boy with Down’s syndrome continues to try and cheer him up, holding up both of his friend’s hands playfully, seeming to urge him to dance. 

The video became an almost instant phenomenon, wracking up 140,000 likes, almost 10,000 comments, and over 450,000 shares. Quickly, the video was shared to other social media platform like Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram, veritably taking the internet by storm. 

On each platform, people flooded the comment sections with stories of the empathy and kindness that their loved ones with special needs have shown them. One Twitter user wrote: “This child remind us that love is instinct and love is innate and that hate is taught”. 

The video seemed to resonate with people because of the unexpected friendship between these two boys. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every 700 babies is born with Down’s syndrome in the United States. Additionally, the CDC estimates that one in 68 children in the U.S. have autism. Needless to say, this means that children with special needs aren’t “unusual” in any way–they are part of our community like any other child. 

The internet’s strong reaction to this video is proof that the world craves wholesome and uplifting stories. 

While the news inundates us with stories of horror and tragedy, it is videos like this one that show us a lesson we all need to acknowledge: that empathy and love surround us all, even if we don’t see it all the time. 

This woman made an astute observation about the high emotional intelligence of children with Down syndrome

Believe it or not, many of us have family members with disabilities. Many of us are disabled ourselves.

This person explains how mixed special needs classrooms can benefit all students 

There is no need to segregate students with special needs, like some schools have trended towards doing. As Ari Ne’eman of The Autistic Self Advocacy Network states,”Segregated schools lead to segregated societies. Inclusive schools give us the opportunity for inclusive societies”.

This person expressed his gratitude for having children with special needs in his life. 

As we mentioned before, not all stories of those with disabilities are stories of sadness and tragedy. Many are stories of love, kindness, and learning.

This woman expressed her admiration for the Mexican school that encourages behavior like this.

One could argue that this video went so viral because it showed the world behavior that we’re not shown very often. It would benefit all of us to act like the boys in this video and and express selfless empathy for no reason at all. 

How Is It 2019 And We Have Dads That Are Still Obsessed With Their Daughter’s Hymens?

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How Is It 2019 And We Have Dads That Are Still Obsessed With Their Daughter’s Hymens?

Last week rapper T.I. made headlines when he revealed his particularly disturbing brand of parenting. As the rapper detailed on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast, , the rapper boasted about keeping his 18-year-old daughter “pure” and said that he does so by accompanying her to her yearly gynecologist appoints. As if the whole interview couldn’t have gotten worse, T.I. proved his ignorance by saying that, despite all of the doctors in the world that says that the absence of a hymen does not provide viable of proof a woman’s sexual activity, he makes the doctor report on its status.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the sane people of the world to express their complete disgust and outrage over the statements. Users on Twitter and sexual assault experts were quick to slam the rapper for perpetuating toxic masculinity and shame amongst young women for their sexuality and bodies. The “Ladies Like Us” hosts even took down the original interview with T.I. in which he asserted that  “I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact” and health experts were quick to admonish the rapper for feeding into myths that are untrue and have greatly affected the lives of young girls and woman across the globe. After all, last year in October, the UN Human Rights, UN Women and World Health  Organization stated that virginity testing is a major cause for violence against women. 

For a better understanding of the dangerous effects of misunderstanding hymens, we broke down some facts. 

The Purpose Of The Hymen

When it comes to our understanding of hymens, it’s not uncommon for our first understandings of it to be linked to virginity and purity. We often are taught that “cherry’s get popped” or more blatantly that hymens are “broken” during first sexual encounters.  The truth, however, is that by the time most women have sex for the first time, their hymens have already stretched or torn as a result of different activities including the use of tampons, menstrual cups, physical activity (including gymnastics and horseback riding) or pelvic exams. 

According to Healthline, “Most females are born with a hymen. A hymen is a thin membrane that stretches across the vagina. It generally has a ring-like appearance with a small opening.” What’s more, the site explains that “there’s no real medical purpose for the hymen, although some think it may have evolved over time to help protect the vagina from infection.”

What we know about the myth that says the presence of a hymen equals a virgin

So, now that you know that the absence of a hymen does not necessarily mean that someone is a virgin, it’s time to dig into who started the rumor.  According to a recent article by Bustle, “It’s not entirely clear how or where the myth started originally…There are loose references describing the hymen as a cherry dating back as far as the 16th century…In more recent jargon the phrase appears to have come about in the 19th century based on the notion that a woman was ‘ripe for the picking’ if she was a virgin.Regardless of how it started, this myth of breaking the hymen or ‘popping the cherry’ persists due to a lack of understanding of the female anatomy and an ongoing lack of education about female sexual health and wellbeing.”

The dangers of virginity obsession 

When T.I. told the world about how he violates his daughter’s privacy by inserting himself into her sex life and making her take exams where are virginity is reported back to him, he put her in danger. For once, the idea that he felt he had a right to be privy to what she does with her body gives an impression to others that they have the right to her body as well. What’s more it feeds into “purity culture” which only generates toxic mindsets and situations for women and sexual assault survivors. In a 2013 interview about her kidnapping, survivor Elizabeth Smart who was kidnapped at 14 years old in 2002, said that she felt worthless after she’d been raped by her kidnapper for the first time. “I think it goes even beyond fear, for so many children, especially in sex trafficking. It’s feelings of self-worth. It’s feeling like, ‘Who would ever want me now? I’m worthless,'” Smart explained in a speech. “That is what it was for me the first time I was raped. I was raised in a very religious household, one that taught that sex was something special that only happened between a husband and a wife who loved each other. And that’s how I’d been raised, that’s what I’d always been determined to follow: that when I got married, then and only then would I engage in sex. After that first rape, I felt crushed. Who could want me now? I felt so dirty and so filthy. I understand so easily all too well why someone wouldn’t run because of that alone.”

Of course, Smart’s case is an extreme example of the effects of purity culture and clinging to hymens proof of virginity but the truth is that we have to stop policing women’s bodies and how they choose, and when they choose to have sex. It’s no one’s business but their own.