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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Keeping Childhood Cancer from Crushing a Family's Budget

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Friday, December 9, 2022   

As Americans make end-of-year donations to their favorite causes, those that help children with cancer and their families say these households need support in difficult situations. A Minnesota-based group says inflation underscores the need.

The Pinky Swear Foundation has grown into a national philanthropic organization that will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary. The group's marketing manager, Jake Leif, said it's important that people also support cancer research and medical-debt initiatives, but groups such as his fill in the gaps in areas that might not receive as much attention when a family goes through this type of journey.

"When the child has cancer, life carries on," he said, "and so [there's] a lot of gas and grocery bills, rent, mortgages, car payments."

Leif said it makes it harder when a parent has to pause working, and the total cost of a child's cancer journey can exceed $800,000. He added that inflation has affected everyone's wallets this year, and these families are no exception. Support from the foundation, including individual donations, is designed to remove the pressure of those daily expenses.

While platforms such as GoFundMe are another good tool, Leif said they can only do so much when a situation quickly overwhelms a family's finances.

"We hear from families all the time that they had a beautiful nest egg, they had a healthy, healthy savings account," he said, "and childhood cancer came through and just blew it down."

The organization also will observe national Pinky Swear Day on Sunday. That proclamation originated from action in 2014 by then-Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton. It reflects how the group was inspired when a 9-year-old boy named Mitch, who was diagnosed with cancer, gave his savings to families on the pediatric oncology floor where he was receiving treatment. Before his death, he asked his father to promise to carry out this mission moving forward.


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