McKinley Moore, Avalynn Luciano, Lauren Glynn and Chloe Grimes seem like your average group of 7-year-old friends. But they’re also known by a different name: the tutu girls, a brave group of young girls who all met during cancer treatment. Chloe’s mom had the idea of wearing tutus and letting the hospital tell the girls’ story to raise awareness.The girls meet annually since they first became friends, but this year instead of meeting at a park, or a hospital, they met through Zoom.
The girls still wore their tutus and chatted about baby teeth, pets, Halloween costumes, and how they’re doing. Lauren recently recovered from a cancer recurrence in 2018 that hospitalized her in 2019. The tutu girls paid her a visit then too, and when asked about if she was doing better, she said, “Hmmm, yeah, I had to stay in the hospital for 150 years!”
During an interview, the girls told reporters they like being silly around each other, and their mothers are grateful for the support they bring. When Mckinley was asked what she liked most she said, “I like that we’re all healthy.”
Hawaiian reggae musicians are inspiring students in Oahu with free concerts. Aikahi Elementary principal Keoki Fraser spearheaded the concerts with the community in mind, aiming to bring students and families hope during the pandemic. Local musicians like singer Kimié Miner and reggae artist Kolohe Kai and even international performers like ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro have performed.
Fraser also allowed students to perform as openers for the musicians. Student Dylan Kunz opened for his ukelele idol, Shimabukuro, the artist who inspired him to learn the instrument. “Even though we’re not on campus and even though things are different, we want to do things to make sure you guys have fun and want to make sure you knew we care about you guys,” Fraser told the concertgoers.
Eleven-year-old Romeo Cox walked, biked and sailed from Italy to England to see his grandma. Starting in Palermo, Italy and ending in London, Romeo and his dad took this journey with the environment, child refugees, and of course, his granny in mind. After asking his parents 50 times if he could embark on this journey, his parents agreed. The conditions were his father, a retired wartime journalist, would accompany him and they would follow strict COVID-19 guidelines.
The two set off in June, waking up at 4:30 a.m. every morning, walking 12-15 miles and sleeping in a tent, hostels, or convents. They traveled a total of 1,700 miles. They also met with many different refugee children and schools along the way. For Romeo, not only did he get to play games and make friends, his heart went out to his peers, who don’t have a home to return to. During his trek, he raised over $20,000 for child refugees and children in need through donations. After 93 days of travel, Romeo finally made it to his granny, a welcomed reunion.
Machu Picchu opened for one day and for one visitor. Jesse Katayama from Japan stayed in Peru for an additional six months after Machu Picchu closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since March 14, Katayama rented a small room in the Peruvian city of Agua Calientes to stick to his goal of seeing the site and exploring the region. He became a local in the community, traveling to popular sites in Peru and also teaching members of the town boxing, as his goal is to open a gym back in Japan.
When Katayama began to run out of money, he assumed he would have to return home without seeing the one site he went to see. But with the help of a local tour company and the National Ministry of Culture, Katayama was granted entrance to Machu Picchu as the sole visitor. Katayama will return to Japan on October 16th, noting how not only did the seven months in Peru grant him time to hone his boxing skills with the locals but also created a new accidental hometown with people he will treasure for the rest of his life. “These seven months have been very special to me. I have discovered a new part of me,” Katayama told CNN.