Celebrity Entertaiment

‘Gossip Girl’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

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What’s a White Black Girl?

By Megan O’Neill

Before I’m a Black woman, I’m a woman. Even before I’m a woman, I’m Megan O’Neill. I’m tall. I love the color turquoise. I feel prettiest wearing a swishy skirt and having done yoga that morning. I live for summer. I’m afraid to do acid. The subway—and being crammed up against all those people—energizes me. I love my mom ineffably. I’m thirty-five but often still call myself a girl. I’m indecisive because everything has some appeal. I’m a first-generation American born to Jamaican immigrants. I want kids and have some weird-cool names in my head. I’m optimistic.

I know that when I walk into a supermarket or a doorman building or a job interview, before anything else, I’m Black: a color and a qualifier that snuffs out my summer-loving, my swishy skirts—my complexities. It’s a wild dichotomy, knowing who I am and knowing I’m also someone else entirely to people who, overtly or subconsciously, believe my Blackness gives me qualities that live only in their minds: I’m dangerous, raucous, eager to shirk responsibility, turgid with criminal urges that will, sooner or later, ooze forth.

Before COVID preyed hardest on Black people, illuminating a grim new level of racial disparity, and before police departments’ most recent spate of perfunctory mauling and killing of Black men and women happened to be caught on camera and disseminated in a way that made flimsy pretexts no longer convincing—I made an effort not to ruminate on race constantly. But of course even then, part of me was always focused on it. Every Black person is hyperfocused on race, because the second we leave the house, we’re not judged as individuals.

If you’re a Black person and you don’t fit a crude stereotype, you’re confusing. In my case, you’re a White Black Girl, which is a thing that’s about as real as a mermaid. I’ve been called a WBG more times than I can count—behind my back as a slight, and to my face as a slight wrapped up in a joke. I suppose it means that if you were talking to me over the phone without having met me, my Valley Girl lilt would be antithetical to my skin color? I suppose it means I have a vocabulary? It’s too absurd to deconstruct.

Just out of college, I babysat a girl named Julia. She was seven or eight years old and enrolled at the same school I’d once gone to. We’d eat cupcakes, I sautéed carrots for her as part of her dinner once, and we worked on her homework together. She was eons ahead of your average second grader and didn’t need much tutoring. We had a good vibe going. One day she asked me, “Why do you talk like you’re white?” I told her I talked like me, that it was wrong of her to assume that an entire race of people should sound the same.

Her question jabbed me in the stomach, though, and time hasn’t eroded the sensation: It’s still in my head, that dusty idea that there is only one way to be Black. It’s emblematic of the wide scope of racism; every one of its varying degrees minimizes and subordinates. Racism is a messed-up question innocently posed by a White second grader, and racism is three White men in Georgia chasing down and killing an unarmed twenty-five-year-old Black man named Ahmaud Arbery on his afternoon jog—and not being arrested until the video of their vile act goes viral. The scenarios are obviously incomparable, except for the throughline: White people don’t have to deal with this kind of thing.

Racism can be obvious in its asinine-ness. I once interviewed for an assistant position at Vogue and later found out that the editor I’d spoken with expressed misgivings about hiring me because my hair was “unruly” (read: “curly”) and I didn’t seem “subservient enough.” Racism can be something you and your mom and brother perversely laugh about at the dinner table, because what on earth else do you do with the fact that the smart person in the high position at the prestigious magazine where your mom worked as a freelancer asked her if her excellent posture was the result of carrying baskets on her head when she was growing up. Racism can be blindsiding, like the time in high school my good friend’s boyfriend instant messaged her about making sure to stay safe from “the dirty niggers” we might encounter at the hip-hop concert we were going to that night.

Racism is the reason I’m three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than a White woman. It’s why Black teenagers who love the way they look in a hoodie have to balance wanting to look cool with their risk of getting shot. It’s why banks are more likely to deny loans to Black mortgage applicants than to applicants of any other race. Black women earn roughly 66 percent of what the average White man makes—that’s racism.

Racism is why, for years, I was the only Black person in my grade at my Upper East Side all-girls private school, and why most of my friends and the women I work with at goop—and I love love love my friends and the women I work with at goop—are White. To go a bit further upstream: My single mom worked doggedly to send me to a private school on scholarship because it was a better education than the one I’d get at the surrounding, more diverse public schools. Education affords you choices, especially if you’re a Black woman. The private school was predominantly White because yearly tuition was upwards of $25,000 (today it’s around $52,000). The net worth of a typical White family in the US is roughly ten times that of a Black family, due to discriminatory policies that were put in place after slavery and throughout the twentieth century, like Jim Crow laws and redlining, which prevented Black families from accruing generational wealth.

I’m lucky. My mom fought for me to have a beautiful life. I live in Brooklyn, surrounded by a lot of woke people who are actively putting in the effort to be anti-racist. I feel supported and seen by those in my immediate orbit. I’ve never lived in a food desert. I’ve never been chased by White men targeting Black people out on an afternoon jog. But I, too, deal with the psychological maelstrom of having dark skin.

You’re always wondering if it’s what’s motivating the salesperson to surreptitiously follow you around the store when you’re browsing. Is it why the woman at the resort in Arizona, where you’re vacationing with your blonde college friends, double-checks that you’ve paid for the mineral sunscreen you’re walking out with?

It’s an utter mindfuck to be Black. But I don’t wish myself to be any other way. To be Black and live your life fully and joyfully in spite of omnipresent ignorance and injustice and a president who hasn’t said a real word about Black lives mattering is a triumph of colossal proportions.

Early in the school year, when I was little, my mom told me something that all caring Black mothers tell their children. “You’re going to be great. It’s different for you, remember. What you do or don’t do matters more than it does for them.” She wasn’t stern, and I was receptive. By then I’d already picked up that my being Black meant a lot more than the empirical certainty that my skin was a shade somewhere between the shell of a coconut and ground cinnamon.

My mom always says she can only be as happy as her unhappiest child. It’s true of America, too. We can only be as happy as the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Rayshard Brooks, and every other Black person who’s been gruesomely, unjustly murdered. We are worse than unhappy right now. We want Black lives to matter as much as White ones do. We want equality, not revenge. It’s such a mild ask.

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Breaking New

A 10-year-old girl has sent more than 1,500 art kits to kids in foster care and homeless shelters during the coronavirus pandemic

Chelsea Phaire, a 10-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut, has sent more than 1,500 children in homeless shelters and foster care homes art kits to give them something uplifting to do when they’re feeling down.

The kits — which include markers, crayons, paper, coloring books, colored pencils, and gel pens — are sent to schools and shelters across the country as part of Chelsea’s Charity, an organization founded by Chelsea and her parents.

“Since she was seven, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity,” Candace Phaire, Chelsea’s mom, told CNN.

“She was so persistent, every couple of months she would ask, ‘Are we starting Chelsea’s Charity yet?’ When she was turning 10, she asked us again, and we decided it was time to go for it.”

The rising 6th grader launched Chelsea’s Charity on her birthday in August 2019, when she asked party guests to donate art supplies instead of getting her birthday gifts.

Chelsea getting ready
After her birthday party, Chelsea used the donations to send out her first 40 art kits to a homeless shelter in New York. The family then set up an Amazon wishlist full of art supplies. Every time they get enough donations, they pack up the kits and deliver them to kids in person.

In just the first five months, Chelsea and her mom sent out nearly 1,000 kits to children in homeless shelters, foster care homes, women’s shelters, and schools impacted by gun violence.

Before the pandemic, Chelsea was able to travel with her mom across the country to meet the kids in-person, and even teaches them some of her favorite drawing tips.

Now, schools are closed, and social distancing precautions will not allow Chelsea to physically interact with the kids as much. Instead, she and her mom are mailing the kits.

Since March, when schools began to close, the family has sent over 1,500 kits to schools, shelters, and foster homes in 12 states across the US.

“I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits,” Chelsea told CNN. “I have definitely grown as a person because of this. Now my dream is to meet every kid in the entire world and give them art. Who knows, maybe if we do that and then our kids do that, we’ll have world peace!”

Helping traumatized children through art

When Chelsea was 8, she lost someone very close to her heart. Her swim instructor, who she said she considered family, was killed from gun violence in the middle of their swim season.

That was the moment art went from being Chelsea’s hobby to her therapy.

Knowing that other children have also gone through trauma inspired Chelsea to help make art more accessible to help others cope with their feelings.

“Art therapy is being prescribed a lot more to support the mental health of young kids, especially those with social and emotional deficiencies,” Phaire, who is an early childhood education professor and former teacher, told CNN.

“Now with Covid-19, a lot of kids in shelters and also children in foster homes might not have access to art supplies they usually find in school. It’s also mental health awareness month, so that’s definitely motivating us to ramp it up send even more kits.”

With this year’s added stress of a global pandemic and nationwide shutdown, it’s more important than ever to make sure kids have ways to cope with the emotions that come with adjusting to today’s new reality.

For kids in already stressful situations such as homelessness, this can be even more difficult.

One of the organizations that received art kits from Chelsea is James Storehouse, a non-profit that serves children in foster care “from cribs to college.”

“When a child or youth enters foster care, they usually have no belongings of their own,” Stacy DeWitt, James Storehouse executive director, told CNN. “It’s been a great addition to be able to offer the art kits, so the children and youth have a creative outlet to process their emotions during this traumatic time in their lives.”

She said the kits have also “been fantastic for foster parents who have children at home during the stay-at-home orders.”

“It gives the children and teens a fun creative outlet to channel their energy because they can’t be in the classroom right now. Chelsea’s kits have been a blessing to many children in hard places and have brought them joy.”

While it may take her a little bit longer to reach every kid in the world, thanks to Chelsea’s kindness, thousands of kids all over the country have at least one reason to smile.

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Breaking New

A man was arrested after allegedly using counterfeit money to buy Girl Scout cookies

A mother alerted police February 16 saying her daughter, who had been selling Girl Scout cookies, was given a fake $20 bill to buy a $5 box of cookies, according to a police report.

Tiffany Brown told CNN her 13-year-old daughter, Ava, knew the bill was fake but felt compelled to accept it anyway because she said the man had a large knife on his belt and she was afraid.

“He pays my daughter and walks away pretty quickly and once he’s gone, my daughter says, ‘Mom, the money isn’t real,'” Brown said. “She hands it to me and I look at it and sure enough, it’s not real.”

Ava told Brown she knew the money was fake because she tried to fold the bill and it wouldn’t bend, Brown said.

The following Sunday, a security officer at the Walmart in Salem called police, saying he believed he had located the fraud suspect. The officer said he observed the man taking a jar of hazelnut spread without paying for it and was in the store’s bathroom, and that the officer recognized the suspect from surveillance video of the February 16 cookie incident, according to the report.

Camden Ducharme, 35, was arrested and charged with forgery and two counts of third-degree theft Sunday related to both incidents, police records show.

Customs police seized $900,000 in counterfeit money from a shipping container -- all in $1 bills

Ducharme could not be reached for comment and it was unclear Thursday whether he has an attorney.

In a statement, the Girl Scouts of the USA said it was saddened to learn of the incident but proud of the girls for how they handled it.

“We commend Tiffany and her troop for taking smart, swift, and responsible action to ensure the safety of everyone involved,” it said.

The Salem Police Department said in mid-February officers responded to two different calls from local Girl Scout troops that were given counterfeit money.

“The suspect used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy one box of cookies and received legitimate currency in change,” the police department said in a news release.

Brown said she was aware of the other report and that it involved a different Girl Scout group.

Ducharme was released from jail late Sunday evening, according to police.

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Celebrity Entertaiment

Blue Ivy Carter Wins NAACP Image Award at Age 8 for ‘Brown Skin Girl’

Following in her parents’ footsteps! Blue Ivy Carter won her first NAACP Image Award for her song, “Brown Skin Girl,” on Friday, February 21, making her the youngest person to win a major award.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z‘s 8-year-old daughter took home the award for Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration, along with her mother, WizKid, and Saint JHN, who are also featured on the track. The award was announced at NAACP’s non-televised dinner on Friday night ahead of the main ceremony on Saturday, February 22.

Blue Ivy’s grandmother, Tina Knowles, praised her accomplishment via Instagram on Saturday.

Beyonce and Blue Ivy Carter Lion King NAACP Image Award
Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter arrive at the world premiere of “The Lion King” at the Dolby Theatre on July 9, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“Congratulations BLUE IVY on your NAACP award last night for singing and writing on ‘Brown Skin Girl’ from the Album The Gift,” Knowles, 66, penned. “The youngest artist to win a major award. Grandma is soo proud of you 8 years old!!!! You are giving all the beautiful little brown girls a voice.”

Beyoncé, 38, took home a number of trophies on Saturday, including Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album for The Lion King: The Gift, Outstanding Song – Traditional for her single “Spirit,” Outstanding Album and Outstanding Variety (Series or Special) for Beyoncé’s Homecoming: The Live Album and Outstanding Female Artist.

Blue Ivy proved she can carry Beyoncé’s musical torch when “Brown Skin Girl” became her first song on the Billboard Hot 100 when it debuted at No. 76 in July.

Knowles told Us Weekly in November 2018 that Blue Ivy has been performing “since birth” but at the time she “hasn’t decided yet” if she wants to pursue show business.

“But whatever she wants to do, she will definitely be able to do it because she’s good at a lot of things,” the House of Deréon designer said.

Jay-Z and Blue Ivy Carter Super Bowl NAACP Image Award
Jay-Z walks with his daughter Blue Ivy Carter as they arrive for NFL Super Bowl 54 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs on February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock

Beyoncé and Jay-Z, 50, welcomed Blue Ivy in 2012 followed by 2-year-old twins Sir and Rumi five years later. A source told Us in June 2019 that despite the power couple’s busy schedules, they always make time to bond with their children.

“Jay-Z and Beyonce have nannies for the kids and their assistants help out too, but they mostly try and bring the kids everywhere,” the insider said at the time. “Blue always travels with Beyoncé and comes with her when she’s working. The twins are getting older and Beyoncé has been taking them out a little more too. … They’re a very tight-knit family and like to do everything together.”

Listen on Spotify to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!

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Celebrity Entertaiment

The Cast of ‘Girl, Interrupted’: Where Are They Now?

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Breaking New

Flu leaves a 4-year-old girl blind in Iowa

“If I can stop one child from getting sick, that’s what I want to do,” said Amanda Phillips. “It’s terrible to see your child suffer like this.”

Jade DeLucia, who did not receive a flu shot this season, caught the flu a few days before Christmas and spent nearly two weeks in the intensive care unit at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Every year, dozens of children die from the flu, and most of them had not received a flu shot, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thousands more children are hospitalized.

Many of those who becomes seriously ill or died were perfectly healthy before they contracted the flu.

Jade is one of them.

‘It’s a little bug’

On December 19, Phillips noticed that Jade wasn’t quite her usually bubbly self.

Most states make it difficult for children to get a flu shot

“She’d say, ‘Mom, I don’t feel good,’ and we’d cuddle on the couch,” Phillips remembers.

A few times over the next several days, Jade spiked a low-grade fever. Medicine brought it down easily, and she went back to playing with her older sister, Catalina.

“She was running around, having fun, eating normally, asking for snacks,” her mother remembers. “It was just — it’s a little bug, she’ll get over it.”

Phillips thinks back to those four days, December 19 through December 23, and wracks her brain for something that might have told her what was about to happen.

“There wasn’t any sign that would’ve told me that something was seriously wrong with her,” she said.

‘We have to go to the emergency room’

The night of December 23, while Phillips was working her shift as an assistant manager at a Dollar General store, Jade’s father, Stephen DeLucia, tucked Jade into bed.

Building a better flu vaccine -- one you don't have to get every year

The next morning, the family was ready to leave the house to spend Christmas Eve with Phillips’ parents. But Jade hadn’t yet woken up.

When her father went to check on her, Jade was lying in bed, unresponsive. And her body was burning hot.

“I yelled at him — I was like, ‘We have to go. We have to go to the emergency room. This isn’t right. Something’s not right with her,” Phillips said.

When they arrived at Covenant Medical Center, Jade’s body started shaking uncontrollably, and her eyes rolled to the back of her head.

She was having a seizure.

Doctors filled the room. They said Jade needed to be transferred to the children’s hospital at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, about 80 miles away. There was no time for an ambulance. She would have to be flown.

Her parents watched the helicopter take off.

“I didn’t think I was going to see her again at that point,” Phillips said. “I really didn’t. Just from looking at her, I really honestly didn’t think I was going to see her.”

Amanda Phillips and Stephen DeLucia with their daughter, Jade DeLucia, at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Bad news on Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, Phillips and DeLucia found out flu had affected her brain.

Called encephalopathy, it’s a known complication of the flu, according to the CDC.
Northeast struck by flu as virus sets tragic record for children around the country

Doctors showed Jade’s parents the MRI results. Her brain was “lit up like a Christmas tree,” her mother remembers.

“They said she had significant brain damage. They said our child might not ever wake up, and if she did, she might not ever be the same,” she said.

Over the next few days, Jade remained almost completely unresponsive.

Czech, a pediatric neurologist, was brought in to consult on Jade’s case. On December 31, she told Jade’s parents her specific diagnosis: acute necrotizing encephalopathy, or ANE, a type of encephalopathy usually caused by a viral infection.
ANE is so rare there are few studies on how children fare. Czech found one study that looked at four children with ANE. Three of them died.

“It’s been 7 days. 7 days of it feeling like Jade was slipping away and that there was no hope. No hope of her ever coming back to us,” her mother wrote on Facebook that day. “All because of the flu.”

Czech prescribed steroids to calm the swelling in her brain.

And finally, Jade’s parents received some good news.

Jade DeLucia, with her mother Amanda Phillips, after regaining consciousness.

A New Year’s gift

CNN visited Jade’s family on January 1. Her family started the new year with a prayer.

When schools say, 'the flu shot is not required,' parents hear, 'it's not necessary.' Nothing is further from the truth

“Heavenly father will you wrap your angels around Jade this morning and throughout the day and pray for healing today,” the prayer went.

Then, they visited Jade at the hospital — and her mother came out beaming.

What had seemed so unlikely had happened: Jade woke up.

“She’s got her eyes open. She’s looking around. We got a couple of hand squeezes! And then we got a smile!” she said.

Over the next few days, Jade kept getting better and better. Her breathing tube came out. She could sit up. She could eat — and specifically requested chocolate pudding.

“Jade said ‘Hi mommy’ and you guys I’m a mess,” Phillips wrote on Facebook on January 5.

But then Jade’s parents and doctors noticed something.

Flu causes blindness

When her mother put Jade’s favorite stuffed animal — a white unicorn — in front of her face, she didn’t look at it.

When she threw a little ball, she didn’t watch it as it went up in the air.

An ophthalmologist came in and examined Jade’s eyes. Everything looked fine.

The problem wasn’t with her eyes. It was with her brain, which had suffered because of the flu.

“It affected the part of her brain that perceives sight, and we don’t know if she’s going to get her vision back,” said Czech, Jade’s neurologist. “In about three to six months from now we’ll know. Whatever recovery she has at six months, that’s likely all she’s going to get.”

Jade might also have cognitive or developmental problems, such as learning disabilities, Czech added. She said that would be determined in the months and years to come.

But considering that Jade arrived at the hospital unresponsive on Christmas Eve, Czech is amazed at her progress.

“I think she’s doing fabulous,” she said.

Jade DeLucia after she regained consciousness

Jade’s homecoming

Jade went home January 9.

One of the first things she did was touch her sister’s face and then pulled her close and cried.

Relieved to have her daughter back home, Phillips wants to get a message to other families about the flu shot.

Last March, when Jade’s sister had her annual well visit at the pediatrician, both girls received a flu shot. Phillips says she thought that shot was good for an entire year. She didn’t realize she needed to get the girls vaccinated again for the new 2019-2020 flu season.

Since the flu virus changes year to year, the vaccine also changes. Flu vaccines become available at the end of the summer, and the CDC recommends getting one by the end of October to protect against flu in the upcoming winter.

This year, the flu has been particularly tough on children. That’s because the predominant virus has been influenza B, which affects children more than adults. So far, 32 children in the United States have died from flu this season, 21 from the influenza B strain of the virus.

“We want parents to know they should get a flu shot every season,” Phillips said.

It’s true that the flu vaccine is only about 40-60% effective at preventing the flu, according to the CDC.
But that’s not the point, says Dr. Adam Ratner, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

What parents need to know is that a vaccine is very effective at preventing children from becoming so sick from flu that there are life-threatening complications, like Jade did.

A 2014 study showed that flu vaccine reduced a child’s risk of being admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit by 74%. A 2017 study showed the vaccine also significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from the flu, according to the CDC.

“I’m less interested in whether the vaccine prevents all cases of runny noses and feeling cruddy and having to stay home from school because of the flu,” Ratner said. “That’s no fun, but you get the vaccine not so much to prevent that as to prevent the chances of having a horrible complication of the flu.”

Back in Iowa, Phillips and DeLucia are settling into their new normal with Jade, Phillips writing on Facebook on her daughter’s first night home: “My brave girl, who cannot see, but is loved by so many.”

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Breaking New

Whitfield County family says 14-year-old girl died after surgery went wrong

Autumn with family member, Image: De-Lana Shelton

A Whitfield County, Georgia family is mourning the loss of their 14-year-old daughter and niece. They said she went in for surgery and never made it out.

It’s something you never expect to happen during an appendectomy. Autumn’s Aunt said she was at the hospital to visit her after the surgery, when hours went by without hearing from doctors. Then, finally, they heard the worst.

“I’m very angry, very hurt. She was like my own,” said De-Lana Shelton, Autumn’s aunt.

Shelton said doctors at Hamilton Medical center said Autumn passed away due to complications during an appendectomy. De-Lana Shelton said Autumn was nervous going in for it.

She said that’s all they know about what happened to her niece.

“I didn’t believe it. I still don’t want to believe it,” said Shelton.

One by one folks took a candle and a balloon, as a community-wide vigil honored Autumn’s memory.

“Any time I was down or sad, she would make me happy and like we’re always there for each other no matter what,” Autumn is remembered by Serenity Kelly as more of a sister, than a cousin.

Kelly said Autumn was the one she could rely on to pick her up when she was down.

“I just know things won’t be the same without her,” said Kelly.

Autumn was a cheerleader and she ran track.

“She’s awesome actually, she’s a talented person, athlete,” said Kelly.

Her family said she loved the color blue.

As the lights dimmed of Miracle Field, candles lit a moment of silence.

De-Lana Shelton thinks of what she would say if Autumn were still here.

“I would just hug her and tell her how much I love her,” said Shelton.

We reached out to Hamilton Medical Center. They said they could not comment on a minor in their care, but they said in part, quote:

“Our highest priority is caring for our patients. Should a situation or concern arise with respect to the provision of patient care, Hamilton Medical Center takes all such concerns very seriously and endeavors to thoroughly address them”

De-Lana Shelton said she’s not sure how they’re family will move forward. Right now, they’re still processing what happened.

The family has started a GoFundMe that you can find here.

For visitation and funeral plans visit the Ponders Funeral Home website.

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Breaking New

Community welcomes 8-year-old girl battling cancer home for the holidays

LINDEN (WJRT) – (12/20/2019) – 8-year-old Brinley Jungnitsch has been in Memphis, Tennessee for the last 6 months fighting cancer for the third time.

At just four-years-old, Brinley was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015.
She’s been all over the country for treatments since then but tonight she’s back as local firefighters, police, neighbors, and family helped guide her home.

Just before 9 p.m., the Jungnitsch family turned on to their street in Linden for the first time in 6 months. They’re waiting for them was a street filled with a cheering squad, including several fire departments and Genesee County Sheriff’s office, just for the 8-year-old battling cancer.

“They’ve been gone for 6 months, she’s beat cancer for the third time and so we’re welcoming her home and we’re extremely excited to have her back here with us for the holidays,” said Tom Evans, a family friend.

“It’s a Christmas miracle we can’t say how much we appreciate everybody for showing up and showing their support,” said Evans.

As the family pulled into the driveway they saw another surprise gift…holiday lights decorating their home put up by those supporting them in their fight.

“To have so much support and so much love for her,” said Jessica Jungnitsch. “I’m so proud of her that she just inspires so much. Like she just brings so many people together from all over and she’s just awesome, everybody is awesome. This community has been awesome since we went back to the hospital…the schools, everyone.”

Brinley and her family just found out yesterday they’d be able to go home and spend the holidays in Michigan. And there’s so much they are looking forward to being back home.

“In July she’s been in the hospital since May,” said Jessica. “So I don’t know it’s going to be great sleeping in our own beds tonight, see all of our friends, and family…

“And my boyfriend,” said chimes in Brinley.

This will certainly be a Christmas to remember for the family and they plan to spend it doing something they haven’t been able to in a while…relaxing and home and being with family and friends.

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Celebrity Entertaiment

Claudine Auger, who played the Bond girl Domino in ‘Thunderball,’ dead at 78

Claudine Auger, who starred opposite Sean Connery in “Thunderball” as Domino, has died. She was 78.

The actress died in Paris, according to her agency, AFP reported.

She was the first-ever French Bond Girl and appeared in the 1965 film.

Born in April 1941, Auger started her career in modeling. She represented France in the 1958 Miss World Competition, winning the title of first runner-up, according to AFP.

She went on to take acting lessons and starred in the 1962 movie “The Iron Mask.” But it was her role in “Thunderball” — the Bond franchise’s fourth installment — that launched her career.

Per the outlet, she also appeared on British television and had roles in several movies directed by Jacques Deray, with whom she had a long-term relationship with.

In a 1965 interview, she said playing in a 007 movie or “playing Moliere” was “a game, the same thing.”

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