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Bearded Lady Who Feared She Might Be Single Forever Ends Up Getting Married In Christian-Satanist Wedding

PA Real Life/Norm Bowler

When a bearded lady who feared she would stay single forever wed a whiskered man she met through an online polyamory group for people wanting multiple partners, it was a marriage made in Heaven – and Hell.

For, as well as their matching whiskers and unusual sexual tastes, classical singer Little Bear Schwarz, 36, is a Christian, whereas her husband, Tobias Bradick, 45, is a Satanist.


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So, when the hirsute couple tied the knot near Little Bear's home in Tacoma, Washington, USA, in February 2019, in an interfaith Christian-Satanist ceremony, their marriage was blessed by a church pastor and a member of the Satanic Temple.

Suffering with polycystic ovary syndrome since she was 14 – a condition affecting fertility and often causing weight gain and excessive body hair – Little Bear began dating Tobias in June 2017.

She posted a Facebook message , expressing her fears that she would always be single, and Tobias wrote back asking her out.

Little Bear, who had known Tobias, a former navy mechanic, online through the polyamory group since 2014 – once meeting him in person two years later in a friendship capacity – said:

"I'd had relationships in the past, but they all fell apart, so I was feeling pretty low.


PA Real Life/Norm Bowler


She continued:

"I was worried that I'd never be able to find a person who could see past my beard."
"So I wrote a post on Facebook and then an hour later I got a message from Tobias saying that he hoped it didn't come across as too opportunistic, but he would love to take me out."

Quickly falling in love, a year later the couple were engaged and on February 24 they tied the knot in front of 40 friends and family at a special venue for ex-military personnel.

She continued:

"Tobias is a Satanist whereas I am a Christian, which might sound like we are at odds with one another."

She continued:

"But really, we have the same ethical codes – we just express them through different means."

And while they both remain polyamorous, they are also very much devoted to each other.


PA Real Life/Norm Bowler

"In the same way that you can love several of your children or friends, Tobias and I believe that you can be in love with multiple partners," said Little Bear.


Little Bear added:

"But that doesn't at all detract from the love I feel for him. Really, he's the first man that I have felt totally comfortable with, who loves me for the person I am – beard and all."

Sprouting hairs on her chin, upper lip and chest when she hit puberty, Little Bear, who changed her name aged 31 from Renee, began shaving daily in secret from the age of 14 – camouflaging rashes from the razors with make up.

But after meeting her ex-boyfriend in 2013 and moving from her home state of Florida to live with him in Seattle, Washington, she finally felt ready to let her hair facial hair grow – feeling her new environment would be more accepting.


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And she never looked back, celebrating her hairy face by entering a local competition for bearded ladies called Whiskerinas – which she won in 2014, and going on to join a sideshow called the Wreckless Freeks, which she toured with for nearly four years.

Sadly, though, as her career took off, her relationship with her ex-boyfriend floundered and, by early 2016, single once more, Little Bear, who identifies as 'queer,' feared she would never have another significant relationship with a man.

She said:

"For me, it's difficult to find someone, as they have to be really confident and proud to be with me, because, inevitably, they will be known as the person who goes out with a bearded lady."

She continued:

"On the other hand, though, I've always been wary of people who fetishize my beard, as I want someone to like me for who I am – not just a specific feature."


PA Real Life/Norm Bowler

"And that balance was often difficult to find."


But Tobias, who was still married when he first met Little Bear in July 2016, was the exception.

Single again, like her, when they had their first date in 2017 at a Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle, they clicked immediately.

"From that moment we knew that we were the right people for each other," Little Bear recalled.

"I think he respected the fact that I wasn't afraid to show off my beard and that I embraced it as part of my life and part of my femininity."

She added:

"And for my part, I recognized immediately that he was a really kind and handsome guy."


PA Real Life/Norm Bowler

From then on, the pair were inseparable. They called each other daily and Tobias, who lived in Tacoma, visited her in Seattle every weekend and eventually popped the question a year later.


Little Bear, who has since moved to his house, recalled:

"Tobias was really awkward and nervous about it and said to me, 'I have this ring that I bought 20 years ago in Hong Kong while I was in the Navy – I don't know if you'd like it or not?'"

Little Bear continued:

"So, I shot back at him and said, 'If this is the question I think you are asking you have to actually say the words!'"
"It was so sweet and so like him – I wouldn't have changed that proposal for the world."


PA Real Life/Norm Bowler

At their wedding in Tacoma on February 24 in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club, the pair said their vows surrounded by friends and family, sharing their day with many of Little Bear's old sideshow colleagues, who included clowns, wrestlers and burlesquers.


Wanting also to represent their respective beliefs and cultural heritage, Tobias – who has Celtic ancestry – wore a kilt, while Little Bear wore a purple velvet dress.

"Having a Satanist and a Christian getting married, you'd have thought there might be problems," she said.

"But there were none at all. We both brought our respective beliefs and values to the ceremony and we both respected the other person's."
"Because at the end of the day, marriage is about two people loving each other – and that's all that matters."
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One of the youngest women in the UK to have terminal stage four breast cancer has spoken candidly about her wishes to buy the horse of her dreams and get married in a castle "like a fairy tale princess."

Told in March that the breast cancer she was first diagnosed with in 2016 had returned and was now terminal, having spread to her spine, Vicki Turner, 24, of Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, had just one question: "Am I going to die?"


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Shockingly, one of only 31 people under 24 to be diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK – accounting for just 0.056 per cent of the 55,000 annual cases across all age groups, according to Cancer Research – Vicki said doctors told her she could survive for anything from three to 30 years.

Facing an uncertain future, rather than cracking under the pressure, the HR auditor, who has had a double mastectomy, set-up a GoFundMe page, which has already smashed the £10,000 target she set to buy and keep a horse, saying: "Horses have always been my therapy.

"I want a male gelding, maybe a warmblood Hanoverian. I'm going to get him settled at the stable, groom him and give him lots of carrots, and then start having lessons and work towards taking him out.


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"The diagnosis drives me to do things more rapidly. That's why I started my horse fund in March, just after my latest surgery."


She continued: "It's already raised £11,000, which is totally amazing. It makes me feel like I'm being hugged 1,000 times by 1,000 people. It's unbelievable. I truly never expected it to get this far."

But Vicki, whose dream is to marry her compliance engineer fiancé Simon Eastaugh, 25, in 2020 in the magnificent Leeds Castle near Maidstone, Kent, is no stranger to adversity.

She was just three-years-old when she was diagnosed with a Wilms' tumor, a type of kidney cancer, affecting about 70 children under the age of five each year in the UK with a 90 per cent survival rate, according to the NHS.

In September 1998 Vicki had a stage three tumor "the size of a grapefruit" removed along with her right kidney, followed by 19 rounds of radiotherapy, 17 rounds of chemotherapy and 15 blood transfusions over the course of a year.


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Left bald and with a weakened heart, she recalled: "At primary school I was bald as an egg. The kids in my year looked after me, but I remember getting called a boy a lot by older kids, which at that age isn't very fun."

Vicki, whose brother Ali, 21, is a car salesman, had no further dramatic health problems – apart from having her appendix removed at 14 – until she reached 19, when she was put on blood thinners for a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.

This is a blood clot in the dural venous sinuses, which drain blood from the brain, and was diagnosed following a week of severe migraines.

She said: "I was taking the contraceptive pill at the time, which doctors thought might have caused it."


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"A nurse said to me that I have been unlucky, but I think I've been extremely lucky. I could have died when I had my first cancer, I could have had a stroke when I had my blood clot, but I didn't."

One of the mainstays of Vicki's childhood, through good times and bad, was her love of horses.

She had riding lessons from the age of eight, developing a talent for dressage and winning several competitions as a teenager on a horse called Toby that she rented with a friend.

Then, turning 21 in January 2016, it looked set to be the best year of her life, with her meeting her fiancé in the unlikely setting of her nail technician mum Helen's 'H-themed' fancy dress party, for her 50th birthday, at Hertfordshire's Chipperfield Cricket Club.

Recalling how she was dressed as a Hell's Angel at the 23 July bash, Vicki said: "He plays cricket for that team and was still there with some of his mates getting a bit p****d when we arrived, so they joined the party, although not in fancy dress.

"My mum went over, dressed as Helen of Troy, and interrogated him, asking why he hadn't met me. It was so funny!
"I couldn't have met anyone more perfect for me. He's so positive and he just lifts me up and makes everything fine."

Life was great for the couple until November 2016 when Vicki found a lump in her left breast.


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She continued: "We were getting ready to go out and I'd just had a shower and I remember watching a video that advised women to check our breasts in the shower.


"When I felt mine, I found a lump. I showed Simon and he told me to talk to my mum, which I did."

When Vicki saw her GP she was given an emergency referral to the St Albans City Hospital breast clinic for a biopsy and mammogram.


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A few days later on 17 November she was called back to St Albans and given the devastating news that she had Grade 3 breast cancer.


She recalled: "Mum was with me and while I was totally shocked, I think she'd had her suspicions."

She continued: "Still, we both just cried and cried and cried."

On 8 December 2016 she had a double mastectomy, to stop the cancer from spreading to the other breast – a procedure that is only performed on 50 women under 30 a year in the UK, according to the NHS – and reconstructive surgery.

After her operation at north west London's Royal Free Hospital, Vicki – who has no family history of breast cancer – also had six rounds of chemotherapy and was given hormone repression treatment, to "kill anything floating around."

Speaking about her treatment, she said: "Every time I get taken down to surgery I cry.

"I've been having operations since childhood but I never get used to them. I can't quite get the hang of being brave when it comes to going into surgery.

"But the most difficult ordeal was the chemotherapy. It's the hardest thing that I have ever had to endure. You lose your hair and your confidence."

She continued: "I lost the ability to physically do what I wanted. I got tired going up the stairs and while it saves lives it's a massively destructive path to go down in order to save your life."


Before starting her six-month course of chemotherapy in January 2017, Vicki tried, unsuccessfully to harvest her eggs, with a view to having children in the future.


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She explained: "Initially there was potential for four eggs and then it gradually went down to one and it was a phantom egg. So that's kaput for my eggs."

She added: "To be fair, I was first told this was likely when I was 12, so, for years I have been pondering the other options, like adoption or egg donation."

With her chemo finally over at the end of June, 2017, Vicki started looking to the future. Her hair grew back and she and Simon went traveling.

Vicki said: "We travelled around South East Asia from February to June 2018, going to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and a bit of Western Australia, which was wonderful."

She continued: "Then we worked for a few months and went around Europe from August to October, before going skiing with my family in Bulgaria over New Year."


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But then during a routine checkup on 20 February 2019 her breast doctor found another lump where the cancer had been before on her left breast and said that looked like scar tissue.

Vicki said: "It grew between the skin and the silicon and saline implant, so I could feel it below the nipple."

Doctors acted quickly and on 25 February Vicki had a biopsy which, on 6 March led to catastrophic news.

She said: "A nurse asked me to come in to the hospital and I thought 'I don't like this'. I asked why and made them tell me on the phone. Something in me wanted to hear it and my first question was 'Am I going to die?'

"I think my breast care nurse just said something to console me."

She continued: "I just didn't think it was my turn to go through it all again. I had thought that it might come back but not until I was 30 or later."

As Vicki and her family prepared for yet another battle, Simon took a step towards making one of her dreams a reality.

She said: "Simon proposed on 19 March. I'm a massive Anne Boleyn fan and he proposed in the chapel of the Tower of London where her body was buried."

But, a day later on 20 March, at a scheduled appointment following a routine CT scan at Watford General Hospital, Vicki was horrified to be told doctors had seen "a speck" on two of her spinal vertebrae.


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They explained that her breast cancer was now stage four, it had spread and she also had spinal tumors that were inoperable.
Vicki remembers seeing her builder dad, Dave, 55, cry for the first time, when they told him and her brother what had happened.

She said: "I'd never seen Dad cry before, but we're very close and normally pretty good at receiving bad news, so it was a shock."

Giving her anywhere between three and 30 years to live, they said they could not be more precise until they see the results of an MRI scan on 10 April, which she is expecting any day, due to the aggressive nature of breast cancer in young people.

Still, Vicki, who is also waiting for a new treatment plan, went ahead with a lumpectomy on 28 March at St Albans to remove her breast tumor below the nipple on her left breast.

She said: "I'm terrified of what my medical team will say next, to be honest. I said to my oncologist I thought everything would go back to normal but it didn't.

"This cancer will never be out of me now. There's nothing I can do. I eat healthily, I don't smoke, there's literally no reason for me to have been dealt this card."

"I'm most scared of not being around to watch my family grow old."

She added: "And I want to get married and have children, or even see my friends and brother have children and get married. I'd like to look after my parents when they get old too."

But, despite her fears, Vicki – who returned to work a week after her lumpectomy – is still determined to give herself incentives to carry on, the most important of which will be to buy a horse of her own.

She continued: "Being with horses is my escape from the anxiety, fear and sadness of the cancer that lives in me and how it's going to affect my life."

She said: "I even have list of horse names, that's how sad I am! Simon told me to call it Lord Elrond and I thought of Thor, so that's the short list at the moment.

"My dream is becoming a reality and I said to myself 'You can have your dream horse' and it takes away the fear."
To donate to Vicki's horse fund at www.gofundme.com/vick039s-wish


The company behind the Assassin’s Creed video games has pledged 500,000 euros (around $564,900 USD) to help restore Notre Dame Cathedral.

French publisher Ubisoft featured a painstaking recreation of the landmark in its 2014 game Assassin’s Creed Unity, which is set in Paris during the French Revolution.

Now, after fire ripped through the 850-year-old building earlier this week, the company is vowing to help with its reconstruction.

“As the smoke clears on the events that unfolded on Monday at the Notre Dame de Paris, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Parisians and everyone around the world moved by the devastation the fire caused," Ubisoft said in a statement. "Notre Dame is an integral part of Paris, a city to which we are deeply connected. Seeing the monument in peril like this affected us all. In light of Monday’s events, we will be donating €500k to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the cathedral. We encourage all of you who are interested to donate as well.”

Ubisoft dedicated 14 months of production time – a total of 5,000 hours of work – to recreating the cathedral for Unity.

The interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Assassin's Creed Unity

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Game players are able to climb up the outside of the building and explore the intricate detail of the interior.

Such is the realism of the rendering there has been speculation the research and analysis could help with the upcoming restoration efforts, though a spokesperson for Ubisoft said the company was “not currently involved”.

“It is important to keep in mind that what we did for the game was not a scientific reconstruction but rather an artistic vision,” the spokesperson said. “While we wanted to be very precise with details, there are some differences in terms of scale and with some elements. That being said, we would be more than happy to lend our expertise in any way that we can to help with these efforts.”


Notre-Dame Cathedral in Assassin's Creed Unity

PA Viral

Unity will be available for free to PC users for the next week in a move Ubisoft says will “give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre Dame”.

“Video games can enable us to explore places in ways we never could have otherwise imagined,” Ubisoft said. “We hope, with this small gesture, we can provide everyone an opportunity to appreciate our virtual homage to this monumental piece of architecture.”

Also contributing to the efforts to restore the cathedral was Disney, who produced an animated version of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback Of Notre Dame in 1996. They announced a five million US dollars contribution.

“The Walt Disney Company stands with our friends and neighbours in the community, offering our heartfelt support as well as a five million US dollars donation for the restoration of this irreplaceable masterpiece,” Disney chairman Robert A Iger said.

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Chinese state media reported the last known female Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle has died.

She was estimated to be over 90 years old.

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PA REAL LIFE

TW: Eating Disorder and triggering images.

Breanna Cornell enjoys being suspended by her skin from metal hooks and running 100 mile ultra-marathons, has spoken of the "immense sense of joy and feeling of achievement" provided by her hobbies. Which have helped her combat anorexia and body dysmorphia.

Cornell said both activities involved pushing her body to the limit and, while having sharp objects threaded into her skin was initially uncomfortable, the fear and excitement was also thrilling.


Cornell lives in Coconino County, Arizona – where suspension is illegal, since it is not considered a medical procedure unless it is carried out by a doctor. Nevertheless, Cornell has taken part in the practice 12 times, since being introduced to it by her then boyfriend, two-and-a-half years ago.


"There is certainly a connection for me between long-distance running and suspending that accounts for why I enjoy them both so much," she said. "There is that feeling of fear and adrenaline at the start that then becomes an almost calm-like meditation once you get going, and then the overwhelming feeling of achievement at the end."


Despite the inevitable pain experienced by hook suspension, Cornell insists she is not a masochist, seeing the pastime more as an artistic and emotional expression, while admitting that she does enjoy challenging her body.


PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

Hook suspension has been practiced by Native Americans for hundreds of years.


"I wouldn't say that I derive my pleasure in suspending – or marathon running for that matter – from the pain, but I would certainly say that I like being able to push my body to its limits, which does involve some amount of pain," Cornell said. "For thousands of years, humans have endured pain as part of daily life, but in the modern world we have been able to live pain free. This seems to me to make us lacking at a genetic level as pain is an essential element of human existence and I, for one, couldn't do without it."



PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

A long-distance runner since childhood, Cornell completed her first marathon just after leaving school in 2010, but soon set her sights on greater goals than 26.2 miles and in 2012 was competing in ultra-marathons in Africa.


Around the same time she developed a penchant for body modification, having her first tattoo, a wing on her foot, aged 18, followed by a series of piercings on her ears and nose.


"Growing up, I had had a lot of problems with anorexia and body dysmorphia, where you have a very negative perception of your body," Cornell added. "I liked getting piercings and tattoos of drawings that I had made, because it allowed me to look at my body and focus on them instead of the way I looked."



PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

At this point hook suspending was not yet on her radar, although she was aware of it, but viewed it as "gory and unpleasant."
That changed in April 2016 when she joined her then boyfriend, a suspension enthusiast, at an event.


Watching him being strung up by a professional piercing artist at a studio in Phoenix, Arizona – where suspension is legal – she was fascinated.


PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell


"Up until that point, I didn't think it was for me at all. It looked very scary and frankly quite gory," she explained. "But then, as soon as I saw it for myself, I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to do."


She would have to wait another six months, however, before she could be hooked up herself. But in October 2016, she arranged a session with the same piercing artist in Phoenix, costing $100.



PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

"I was really, really nervous beforehand and was sick twice because there was so much adrenaline pumping through me," she said. "I was put in the 'suicide' position, so called because it looks like a person hanging as the hooks are through the skin at the top of your back, and there was a lot of fear to overcome, as I lifted my final toe off the ground, as it feels so unnatural. But once I was up there, suspended five feet off the ground, I had a rush of immense joy and it felt as though I was weightless and floating."



PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

Staying suspended for half an hour, Cornell knew as soon as she was eventually let down that she would have to do it again – she was, literally, hooked. So, six months later, she returned – this time being rigged up in a 'superman' position, flying forwards with 10 hooks along her back and legs.


Having now been suspended 12 times, or roughly every six months, Cornell says her hobby provides her with an outlet for her emotions.


PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

"My response to each suspension really varies on my mood. If I am happy then I will have a lot of fun and swing around a bit," she explained, adding that she also chooses her position according to her mood. "But if I am feeling a bit stressed then it can be really nice to get into a more static position like the hammock – where you are sitting into the suspension with your knees and shoulders hooked. That way, I can sit comfortably for hours and just relax."


Despite its long history and growing popularity around the world, hook suspension is not without its detractors, some of whom Cornell has encountered.


PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell

"I realize that not everyone will understand the appeal. One person I know said it was 'appalling.' But that's why I often try to compare it with marathon running – a much less maligned pastime," she said. "There is just as much pain involved in running long distances, but you don't necessarily do it for that reason – you do it for the satisfaction of having pushed your body. And that, for me, is one of life's greatest joys."



PA REAL LIFE - Breanna Cornell