Elena Shpengler knew something was wrong with her baby when the doctors looked concerned immediately after her delivery. Before handing her the baby, the doctors started making calls, wrapped her up in blankets and wouldn’t let Elena see her.
After her desperate plea, she was handed over the baby. She picked through the blankets and what she saw shocked her that she lost consciousness.Her daughter Darina, had half a face. She was suffering from a serious genetic mutation that left her with no lips or chin.
Doctors advised her to leave the baby at the hospital. This meant that their daughter would go into their country’s grim orphanage system. The idea of it killed her inside so Elena and her husband, Yury, refused.
“She is ours, our girl,” Yury told Elena.
Since the baby was born, the Shpenglershave been treated with cruelty, not only from strangers, but from the closest people to them and to avoid more drama,they opted to move away.
“Only my sister supported me, all other relatives just stopped any communication with us. My brothers, their children, and my husband’s mother – nobody wanted to accept Darina.” Elena said
“We do not hide Darina from people. We take her everywhere with us,” Elena said. “My husband Yury does not feel ashamed either. He takes Darina everywhere. People told us to put a mask on her but he replied: ‘If you don’t want, don’t look at her – but we accept her the way she is.”
Like most children her age, she loves watching cartoons, wearing princess dresses, singing, and going on long walks with her mom and dad but outside the house, People’s reactions to her condition made raising her normal very difficult.
Darina was denied access to kindergarten as the school thought other children “would be scared.” Social services sends two teachers to visit Darina once a week so she can get a basic education, but Elena wants her to be able to get out and make friends.
“She is such a sociable girl,” she said. “We have bought lots of toys for her but nothing can replace friends.”
Doctors told them thatDarina will have to undergo surgeries every two years. The three-year-old has already completed one surgery where her mouth was sewn to make it smaller, and she is believed to be recovering well.The Shpenglers have raised money to pay for medical treatment in Moscow. “The truth is this trouble has only brought us together,” Elena said.
Gorillas Pose For Selfies With Anti-Poaching Rangers In Congo
A selfie of two gorillas standing behind a park ranger standing upright and all posed up for the picture quickly went viral after it was posted online.
The photo shows a pair of orphaned mountain gorillas with two park rangers who rescued them as babies in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ranger Mathieu Shamavu, a member of an anti-poaching unit, took the picture with the endangered gorillas and posted the image on the park’s Facebook page with the caption “Another day in the office”
The picture immediately grabbed everyone’s attention mainly because people couldn’t believe it wasn’t photoshopped.
The park, however, addressed those concerns on an Instagram post that read, “YES, it’s real! Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities! Also, it’s no surprise to see these girls on their two feet either—most primates are comfortable walking upright (bipedalism) for short bursts of time.”
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You might have recently seen caretakers Mathieu and Patrick’s amazing selfie with female orphaned gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze inside the Senkwekwe center at Virunga National Park. We’ve received dozens of messages about the photo. YES, it’s real! Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities! Also, it’s no surprise to see these girls on their two feet either—most primates are comfortable walking upright (bipedalism) for short bursts of time. Guys, if you shared our gorilla selfie post, please share our Earth Day posts as well! Conserving Virunga’s amazing wildlife is a constant challenge for the Park and our work wouldn’t be possible without your support. Matching funds have been pledged on every donation to the Park today, up to a total of $25,000—giving us the opportunity to raise $50,000 for Virunga! Visit virunga.org/donate or click the link in our bio to get involved and keep sharing our posts! Thank you! *We want to emphasize that these gorillas are in an enclosed sanctuary for orphans to which they have lived since infancy. The caretakers at Senkwekwe take great care to not put the health of the gorillas in danger. These are exceptional circumstances in which the photo was taken. It is never permitted to approach a gorilla in the wild. #gorillaselfie #gorilla #mountaingorilla #mountaingorillaselfie #selfie #earthday #earthday2019 #virunga #virunganationalpark #congo #drcongo #rdc #drc #protecttheplanet #happyearthday #wildlife #wildlifeconservation #conservation #natureconservation
Innocent Mburanumwe, the park’s deputy director told BBC News that the gorillas, Ndakazi and Ndeze, had learned to imitate their caretakers, who have looked after them since they were just babies.
The gorillas, he added, think of the rangers as their parents, as their parents were killed by poachers in 2007, when the gorillas in question were only two and four months old. “I was very surprised to see it… so it’s very funny. It’s very curious to see how a gorilla can imitate a human and stand up,” he said.
Ranger Mathieu Shamavu explained that the caretakers at the orphanage try to give the animals as much access as possible to their natural environment, but they inevitably exhibit almost the same behaviour as humans. “In terms of behaviour, they like to mimic everything that is happening, everything we do.” Shamavu said.
According to rangers at the sanctuary, Ndakazi and Ndeze were the first to be cared for at the Senkwekwe Mountain Gorilla Orphanage Centre, the only one of its kind in the world. The park’s website further reveals that around one-third of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas reside in Virunga National Park which is also one of the most bio-diverse national parks in Africa, spanning tropical forests, snow-peaked mountains and active volcanoes.
10-Year-Old With Autism Writes Poem For Homework, His Teacher Is Lost For Words
Recently, when 10-year-old Benjamin Giroux, was given a school assignment that required him to write a poem titled “I Am”, he surprised his parents and teachers with the incredibly amazing piece he came up with!
The young boy from Plattsburgh, New York, has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. This means that he is not exactly one to express much emotion or talk too much. “When we ask him how his day went when he gets home from school, we don’t get much more than a one-word answer.” Sonny Giroux, Benjamin’s father, told TODAY.
However, when he received his assignment, he was quite excited about getting it done. When he got home, he headed to the family kitchen table and didn’t raise his head until he was finished.
Benjamin was given the first two words in every sentence. From there, the rest of the poem was up to him to complete as he pleased. Here is what he wrote:
I am odd, I am new
I wonder if you are too
I hear voices in the air
I see you don’t, and that’s not fair
I want to not feel blue
I am odd, I am new
I pretend that you are too
I feel like a boy in outer space
I touch the stars and feel out of place
I worry what others might think
I cry when people laugh, it makes me shrink
I am odd, I am new
I understand now that so are you
I say I, “feel like a castaway”
I dream of a day that that’s okay
I try to fit in
I hope that someday I do
I am odd, I am new.
It came to light that Benjamin had always felt different because he was autistic and at times, it made him stand out from the other children. It is how he explained that in the poem that is truly special and captivating.
Since he wrote it, the poem has gone viral and even the National Autism Association highlighted and shared it with others.
Kid Sends Letter To God After Dog Dies, Mom In Shock When Letter From Heaven Shows Up
A little girl, Meredith, and her dog, Abbey, were the definition of best-friends. Unfortunately, at 14 years old, Abbey passed away, leaving her best-friend heartbroken and desperately missing her canine.
According to a post on Suspended Coffees’ Facebook page, Abbey wanted to make sure Abbey would be okay when she got to heaven. So with the help of her mother, she decided to write God a letter. Her innocent and sweet words will have you in tears.
In the letter she wrote, “Dear God, will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, Meredith.
After, the mother-child duo put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. They also put their return address on it and pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope since Meredith thought it would take lots of stamps to get the letter to heaven. Later on they dropped the letter at the post office.
A few days later, Meredith received a special package. It was wrapped in gold and addressed to her. Inside the package was a book, ‘When a Pet Dies’ by Mr. Rogers’, and inside the book was Meredith’s original letter, as well as a note from God to Meredith.
The note read, “Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.
Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I’m easy to find. I am wherever there is love. Love, God.”
While the story might be really sweet and heartwarming, we think the message behind it is even much more valuable. A small act of kindness makes all the difference.