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Mar 24, 2021 Read in Browser

Karuna News

In moments of fragility, an encouraging word, a helping hand, or simply a receptive presence can make a world of difference. Whether enduring terminal illness or encountering an unexpected hiccup in plans, whether child or adult or horse -- this week's stories invite us to tap into the shining ways a simple, comforting gesture of understanding can make someone's world go round.

EVERYDAY HEROES

'Doctor Peyo': The Horse Comforting Cancer Patients In Calais

'Doctor Peyo': The Horse Comforting Cancer Patients In Calais

Jeremy Lempin | Divergence

In northern France, a 15-year-old horse named Peyo regularly comforts cancer patients in Calais Hospital. Upon arriving in the hospital halls, Peyo stops or raises his leg to indicate to his trainer which room he wants to enter next. "I accompany him but I let him do what he wants. He’s the one who decides," said Peyo's trainer, Hassen Bouchakour. "What really pushed scientists to take an interest in him and open the health establishment doors to us, was this [seeming] ability to greatly reduce [the patients’ dosage of] all hard drugs and thus allow a more peaceful departure." Since 2016, Peyo and Bouchakour have supported roughly 1,000 patients until their last breath. "Doctor Peyo" -- as he is lovingly called -- comforts patients with his presence, nuzzles and even gives children rides. Earlier, when Peyo and Bouchakor partook in equestrian shows, Peyo would pick people in the crowd and just stay next to them. Bouchakor began suspecting he would pick people who were in states of physical or psychological fragility. "Hassen and Peyo are part of the team," said palliative care nurse Anne Sophie. "They are not only good for the patients but for us too. When it is hard, we are happy to know they are here." Read Full Story.

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YOUTH

Six-Year-Old Calms Little Brother With Deep Breathing Exercise

Six-Year-Old Calms Little Brother With Deep Breathing Exercise

@Ashleyoutloud

Meltdowns and emotional tantrums are run-of-the mill for anyone with small children, but one mom, Ashley West, in Los Angeles witnessed a precious exchange between two of her sons which renewed the meaning of brotherly love. When Cory, 4, was on the verge of a meltdown because his Nintendo was not charged, his big brother, Noah, 6, instantly demonstrated a breathing technique to calm him down. Moving his hands up and down as he took deep breathes, Noah invited his little brother to breathe. Cory followed suit and quieted down, upon which Noah gave him a little pat on the shoulder and said, "See, it helps you calm down." Sharing the video on social media, their mom didn't expect it would go viral. West says she often meditates with her kids and encourages them to practice breathing to help manage emotions. "I don’t have all the answers I’m really just trying to raise some emotionally healthy kids," she said. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

Maryland Officers De-escalate Situation, Offer Compassion To Man In Behavioral Crisis

Maryland Officers De-escalate Situation, Offer Compassion To Man In Behavioral Crisis

Lisa Fotios | Pexels

Two Maryland police officers are being credited for helping to calm down a man having a behavioral health crisis. Hyattsville police received a call recently about an agitated, angry man inside a convenience store at a Sunoco gas station. Officers Andrickson-Franco and Gaskill responded. “When we first arrived, he appeared to be incoherent. He wasn’t making much sense,” Andrickson-Franco said. “We engaged in conversation with him and we didn’t want to be too overbearing,” Gaskill said. Andrickson-Franco sat down on the floor with the man, and when he was verbally abusive, the officer refused to respond in kind. The officers were understanding, built trust and the man calmed down. Eventually, he handed his phone over to them and they called a relative to come and pick him up. “Not everyday situation you have to arrest someone, right? That’s not our job. Our job is to help.” Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

He Was Four Months Behind On Rent. His Landlord Never Mentioned Eviction.

He Was Four Months Behind On Rent. His Landlord Never Mentioned Eviction.

Andrea Sorum via CNBC

In October 2020, when Victor Washington, 41, moved into the one-bedroom condo in South Minneapolis, a blood clot randomly formed in his leg and he was hospitalized for a procedure. He used all of his paid vacation and sick leave to heal. Then, in December, he got Covid. He spent 8 days in the hospital. Out of work with no pay, much of his unemployment went to child support for his two daughters. With persisting symptoms, his doctor predicts he won't return to work until April. By February, Washington owed $5,000 in rent. "He can’t be evicted," his landlord, Andrea Sorum, said. "He’s sick. He would not be okay." Yet Washington is her only tenant, and she herself was a single mom, who recently was hospitalized for appendicitis and qualified for food stamps at one point. With open communication, the tenant-landlord duo explored umpteen avenues to make it work. Sorum then shared the situation with a few family members, who offered to help financially. Fifteen of her friends made donations for Washington's rent, which covered his costs until June. "With everything I’ve gone through, it feels amazing knowing I have that security,” Washington said. Sorum, equally grateful, just renewed Washington's lease for another year. Read Full Story.

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INSPIRATION

Witnessing Kindness And Love In Unexpected Places

Witnessing Kindness And Love In Unexpected Places

Kumar Vivek | Unsplash

Before Valentine's Day this year, The New York Times asked readers to share a moment when they unexpectedly stumbled upon acts of affection. The stories are heartwarming and varied. One story documents two 80-year-old friends who meet in a local park every morning over doughnuts and coffee and only have eyes for each other. Another tells the tale of a 2-year-old, wary of strangers after so much time at home, making friends with a construction worker who works near his daycare facility; they share a fist bump every day now. There are tender stories of dogs tending to and comforting each other and humans tending to each other, including a woman on a bus singing to a stranger who collapsed in a seizure. This story is sure to uplift you! Read Full Story.

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