TIME Healthcare

Teen Forced to Undergo Chemotherapy Released from Hospital

Photo shows Cassandra, a teen who does not want to give her last name, confined in a room at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Conn., where she is being forced to undergo chemotherapy.
Cassandra C.—AP Photo shows Cassandra, a teen who does not want to give her last name, confined in a room at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Conn., where she was forced to undergo chemotherapy.

Cassandra C. had said she wanted to pursue alternative treatments

The 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is expected to be released from the hospital Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Child services removed the girl, known as Cassandra C., from her mother’s home in January to force her to undergo treatment, an action upheld by several state courts.

Cassandra had said she wanted to pursue alternative treatments to her condition and her mother vocally supported her daughter’s decision. Now, after the treatment, doctors say Cassandra’s cancer is in remission, and she has an 85% chance of survival.

“I’m at a loss for words with how happy I am that I’m finally coming home,” she told the AP in a text message. “This day seemed like it would never come. I can finally start putting my life back together, and I look forward to spending time with my mom, friends and heading back to school/work.”

Cassandra will be able to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September.

Read More: When Can a Person Be Forced to Receive Medical Care?

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TIME Research

This Is What Happens When You Read to a Child

child reading book
Getty Images

Reading activiates an important part of a child's brain

For years, child advocacy groups have recommended that parents read to babies, even though research hasn’t been clear on what the practice does to a child’s brain. Now, a new brain scan study explains that reading to a child early and often activates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language.

The study, presented last weekend at a meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, looked at 19 preschoolers and their interactions with their parents. Nearly 40% of the children came from low-income backgrounds. Parents filled out a questionnaire that assessed their habits for raising their children and included questions asking whether the parents had taught their children skills like counting, how often the parents talked with their kids and how early and often parents read to their children.

MORE: Kindergarteners Watch More Than 3 Hours of TV a Day

Researchers then attached brain scanners to the children as they listened to stories. Reading at home with children from an early age was strongly correlated with brain activation in areas connected with visual imagery and understanding the meaning of language.

“For parents, it adds credence to the idea of reading with kids,” says study author John S. Hutton, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “Getting a peek into the brain, there seem to be some differences there that are pretty exciting.”

MORE: 6-Month-Old Babies Are Now Using Tablets and Smartphones

The study adds to past research showing that reading has many positive effects on young children, like teaching the rules of syntax, expanding children’s vocabulary and helping children bond with their parents, Hutton says. But the new study is among the first to add real understanding of what actually happens to young brains.

Hutton says he hopes that further research will help us provide parents with guidelines on best practices for reading to children.

“This is sort of an early signal,” Hutton says. “In terms of how much and how often, that’s the kind of thing we’re hoping that future studies will look into.”

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TIME technology

Watch This Guy Spray-Paint His Apple Watch to Make It Gold

Casey Neistat's latest video on the latest trend

The gold Apple Watch, like the one Beyoncé was recently seen wearing, probably costs more than you’re willing to spend. Casey Neistat, a filmmaker and YouTube star, had the same thought. So instead of buying one that way, he got a little creative.

Neistat found some gold spray paint, took the straps off the watch then taped off its face and back. Then, he carefully sprayed on both sides. Afterward, when he took the tape off and put the straps back on, the difference didn’t seem too noticeable from the real thing. But perhaps he shouldn’t show it off to jewelry experts; they’re likely to see something’s not quite right.

TIME celebrity

‘The Mountain’ From Game of Thrones Wants to Be the World’s Strongest Man

He finished second in the competition last year

It turns out Hafthor Bjornsson’s role as “The Mountain” on Game of Thrones isn’t the only time he gets to display his extraordinary feats of strength. The 440-pound Icelandic giant is currently competing in Malaysia to earn the title of World’s Strongest Man.

Bjornsson is no newcomer when it comes to strength competitions. He finished second in the World’s Strongest Man competition last year and, according to his profile on strongman.org, he excels at truck pulling.

From throwing “Norse Hammers” to carrrying enormous tires, many of Bjornsson’s feats of strengths at this year’s competition have been captured on video.

Read next: Game of Thrones Piracy Reaches Record High

TIME royals

Here’s What People Want the New Royal Baby to Be Named

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Observance for Commonwealth Day Service At Westminster Abbey in London on March 9, 2015.
Chris Jackson—Getty Images Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the Observance for Commonwealth Day Service At Westminster Abbey in London on March 9, 2015.

Prince George is expected to have a sibling any day

The people have spoken: Diana is their name choice if the next royal baby is a girl, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

A survey of 2,200 adults found that 12% of respondents would want to name the child after Princess Diana, the child’s late grandmother. The names Alice and Charlotte followed close behind, both receiving 9% support. James leads the most-desired names if the royal baby is a boy, with 13% support. Alexander received 8% followed by Richard and Louis at 7%.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents supported Prince William’s decision to take six weeks of leave from his job as an ambulance pilot, according to People.

Princess Kate’s exact due date has not been announced, but observers believe that Prince George will soon have a baby sibling.

TIME White House

Russian Hackers Read Some of Obama’s Email, Report Says

The hackers did not access any highly-classified information

Russian hackers read some of President Obama’s personal emails when they breached White House computer systems last year, according to a new report.

The New York Times, citing unnamed senior American officials, reports that hackers accessed the email archives of government officials who work in the White House and communicate with the President. Through those archives, hackers were able to see officials’ correspondence with Obama.

The hackers did not access any highly-classified information or breach the servers that connect to Obama’s Blackberry, according to the report.

The hackers are suspected to be connected with the Russian government, according to the report.

Read more at The Times

TIME Veterans

WWII Vet Who Flew on D-Day Skydives to Celebrate 95th Birthday

'You're sitting there, and you can see everything below you. It's beautiful'

A retired Air Force colonel who flew a combat plane on D-Day celebrated his 95th birthday last week perhaps one of the best ways he knew: by jumping out of an airplane at 12,000 feet.

Hal Shook of North Carolina was a combat pilot during the Allied invasion in June 1944, but after being shot down he continued to fly for the Air Force in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, according to WNCN. Though Shook gets around with the help of a walker, he’s still enthusiastic about being able to take a leap from a plane.

“It’s a joy,” he said. “You’re sitting there, and you can see everything below you. It’s beautiful.”


TIME Bizarre

Man Sidetracked by Tater Tots During Suspected Robbery Attempt

The man was awoken when a woman tried to escape her home, police say

A suspected burglary attempt in California went awry last week when authorities say the man got side-tracked by, of course, tater tots.

A homeowner in Petaluma went downstairs Thursday afternoon and found an unfamiliar man, identified by police as James Adams, asleep on her sofa after he apparently enjoyed a snack of frozen tater tots, the San Fransisco Chronicle reports. After calling the police, she tried to leave her house but accidentally awoke the man.

Adams, 44, who was said to have a long criminal history, was apprehended by authorities as he tried to leave the yard.

[SF Chronicle]

TIME movies

Furious 7 Is Now Bigger Than Frozen

Film Title: Furious 7
Scott Garfield—Universal Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges star in Furious 7

It could be dethroned with the coming opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron

Furious 7 earned $18.2 million to finish at the top of the box office for the fourth straight week, and it’s now a bigger earner than Frozen.

The film, which stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, is the first since 2012 and one of only 29 ever to keep the No. 1 box office spot for four weeks, according to box office tracker Rentrak. The movie has earned $320.5 million domestically and more than $1 billion worldwide.

The global box office total makes Furious 7 one of the five highest grossing films of all time, according to Box Office Mojo. It sits just ahead of Frozen in total worldwide earnings at $1.32 billion to Frozen‘s $1.27 billion, but the latter is still ahead by $80 million at the domestic box office.

Furious 7 could be knocked off its throne with the May 1 opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is expected to earn more than $200 million in its opening weekend.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the Kevin James comedy sequel, finished second at the box office for the second weekend in a row, earning $15.3 million. Age of Adaline, a romantic drama starring Blake Lively, opened in third with $13.4 million.

TIME Cancer

New Documentary Chronicles One Dad’s Effort to Honor His Son’s Short Life


"The game has given me a way to grieve and mourn"

When a Colorado man’s one-year-old was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010, he decided to create a video game that would both honor his son’s life and give others a peek into the family’s reality of living with a child who would die too young.

Ryan Green told TODAY that his game, called That Dragon, Cancer and set in the family’s house and with hospital scenes, would help his family remember Joel and prompt a larger discussion about death and mourning. The game’s website states it allows players to”relive memories, share heartache, and discover the overwhelming hope that can be found in the face of death.” Poems and spiritual messages appear throughout the game, Green said, and it even includes Joel’s laugh.

Joel died in March 2014 at age 5, but Green continues to spread his message. The documentary Thank You for Playing, which screened this month at the Tribeca Film Festival, chronicles the making of the game, which is due to be released later this year.

“Life moves on,” Green, who lives with his wife and four other children, said. “The game has given me a way to grieve and mourn. We have been open with the kids and when grief strikes, we can talk about it.”

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