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Privacy Policy

LAST UPDATED: 24 May 2018

Comic Sands in the United States is concerned about privacy issues and wants you to be familiar with how we collect, use and disclose information. This Privacy Policy describes our practices in connection with information that we collect through the website owned and controlled by us, or operated by us or on our behalf, from which you are accessing this Privacy Policy (the “Site").


UPDATES TO THIS PRIVACY POLICY

The “LAST UPDATED" legend at the top of this page indicates when this Privacy Policy was last revised. Any changes to this Privacy Policy will become effective when we post the revised Privacy Policy on the Site. Your use of the Site following these changes means that you accept the revised Privacy Policy.


PERSONAL INFORMATION

“Personal Information" is information that identifies you as an individual or relates to an identifiable individual:

  • Name
  • Postal address (including billing and shipping addresses)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Credit and debit card number
  • Profile picture
  • Social media account ID
  • Financial information required to invoice or pay you

  • Collection of Personal Information

    We and our service providers collect Personal Information in a variety of ways, including:

  • Through the Site
    • We collect Personal Information through the Site, for example, when you sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase.
  • From Other Sources
    • We receive your Personal Information from other sources, such as publicly available databases;
    • joint marketing partners, when they share the information with us
  • If you connect your social media account to your Site account, you will share certain Personal Information from your social media account with us, for example, your name, email address, photo, list of social media contacts, and any other information that may be or you make accessible to us when you connect your social media account to your Site account.

    We need to collect Personal Information in order to provide the Site to you. If you do not provide the information requested, we may not be able to provide the Site. If you disclose any Personal Information relating to other people to us or to our service providers in connection with the Site, you represent that you have the authority to do so and to permit us to use the information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.


    Use of Personal Information

    We and our service providers use Personal Information for legitimate business purposes, including:

  • Providing the functionality of the Site and fulfilling your requests.
    • To provide the Site's functionality to you.
    • To respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests.
    • To send administrative information to you, such as changes to our terms, conditions, and policies.
    • To allow you to send messages to a friend through the Site. By using this functionality, you are telling us that you are entitled to use and provide us with your friend's name and email address.
  • We engage in these activities to manage our contractual relationship with you and/or to comply with a legal obligation.

  • Providing you with our newsletter and/or other marketing materials and facilitating social sharing.
    • To send you marketing communications that we believe may be of interest to you.
    • To facilitate social sharing functionality that you choose to use.
  • We engage in these activities with your consent, to the extent consent is required by applicable law.

    Analysis of Personal Information for business reporting and providing personalized services.

  • To personalize your experience on the Site by presenting content, products, and offers tailored to you.
  • We provide personalized services either with your consent or because we have a legitimate interest.

  • Allowing you to participate in sweepstakes, contests or other promotions.
    • We may offer you the opportunity to participate in a sweepstakes, contest or other promotion.
    • Some of these promotions have additional rules, which could contain information about how we will use and disclose your Personal Information.
  • We use this information to manage our contractual relationship with you.

  • Aggregating and/or anonymizing Personal Information.
    • We may aggregate and/or anonymize Personal Information so that it will no longer be considered Personal Information. We do so to generate other data for our use, which we may use and disclose for any purpose.
  • Accomplishing our business purposes.
    • For data analysis, for example, to improve the efficiency of our Site.
    • For audits, to verify that our internal processes function as intended and are compliant with legal, regulatory or contractual requirements.
    • For fraud and security monitoring purposes, for example, to detect and prevent cyber attacks or attempts to commit identity theft.
    • For developing new products and services.
    • For enhancing, improving, or modifying the Site and our services.
    • For identifying usage trends, for example, understanding which parts of our Site are of most interest to users.
    • For determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns, so that we can adapt our campaigns to the needs and interests of our users.
    • For operating and expanding our business activities, for example, understanding which parts of our Site are of most interest to our users so we can focus our energies on meeting our users' interests.
  • We engage in these activities to manage our contractual relationship with you, to comply with a legal obligation, and/or because we have a legitimate interest.


    Disclosure of Personal Information

    We disclose Personal Information:

  • To our third party service providers, to facilitate services they provide to us.
    • These can include providers of services such as website hosting, data analysis, payment processing, order fulfillment, information technology and related infrastructure provision, customer service, email delivery, auditing, and other services.
  • To third parties like SendPulse, to permit them to send you marketing communications, consistent with your choices.
  • To third-party sponsors of sweepstakes, contests, and similar promotions.
  • By using the Site, you may elect to disclose Personal Information:
    • On message boards, chat, profile pages, blogs and other services to which you are able to post information and content. Please note that any information you post or disclose through these services will become public and may be available to other users and the general public.
    • To identify you to anyone to whom you send a message via the Site.
    • Through your social sharing activity. When you connect your Site account with your social media account, you will share information with your friends associated with your social media account, with other users, and with your social media account provider. By doing so, you authorize us to facilitate this sharing of information, and you understand that the use of shared information will be governed by the social media provider's privacy policy.

    • Other Uses and Disclosures We also use and disclose your Personal Information as necessary or appropriate, especially when we have a legal obligation or legitimate interest to do so:
    • To comply with applicable law.
    • This can include laws outside your country of residence.
  • To respond to requests from public and government authorities.
    • These can include authorities outside your country of residence.
  • To cooperate with law enforcement.
  • For example, when we respond to law enforcement requests and orders.
  • For other legal reasons.
    • To enforce our terms and conditions; and
    • To protect our rights, privacy, safety or property, and/or that of our affiliates, you or others.
  • In connection with a sale or business transaction.
    • We have a legitimate interest in disclosing or transferring your Personal Information to a third party in the event of any reorganization, merger, sale, joint venture, assignment, transfer or other disposition of all or any portion of our business, assets or stock (including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings). Such third parties may include, for example, an acquiring entity and its advisors.

  • OTHER INFORMATION

    “Other Information" is any information that does not reveal your specific identity or does not directly relate to an individual:

  • Browser information
  • Server log files
  • Information collected through cookies, pixel tags, and other technologies
  • Demographic information and other information provided by you that does not reveal your specific identity
  • Information that has been aggregated in a manner such that it no longer reveals your specific identity
  • If we are required to treat Other Information as Personal Information under applicable law, then we may use and disclose it for the purposes for which we use and disclose Personal Information as detailed in this Privacy Policy.

    Collection of Other Information

    We and our service providers collect Other Information in a variety of ways:

  • Through your browser or device:
    • Certain information is collected by most browsers or automatically through your device, such as your Media Access Control (MAC) address, computer type (Windows or Mac), screen resolution, operating system name and version, device manufacturer and model, language and Internet browser type you are using. We use this information to ensure that the Site functions properly.
  • IP Address:
    • Your “IP Address" is a number that is automatically assigned to the computer that you are using by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). An IP Address can be identified and logged automatically in our server log files whenever a user visits the Site, along with the time of the visit and the page(s) that were visited. Collecting IP Addresses is standard practice and is done automatically by many websites, applications and other services. We use IP Addresses for purposes such as calculating Site usage levels, helping diagnose server problems, and administering the Site.
  • Using cookies:
      Cookies are pieces of information stored directly on the computer that you are using. Cookies allow us to collect information such as browser type, time spent on the Site, pages visited, language preferences, and other anonymous traffic data. We and our service providers use the information for security purposes, to facilitate navigation, display information more effectively, and to personalize your experience while using the Site, as well as for online tracking purposes. We also gather statistical information about the usage of the Site in order to continually improve the design and functionality, understand how the Site is used and to assist us with resolving questions regarding the Site. Cookies further allow us to select which of our advertisements or offers are most likely to appeal to you and display them while you are on the Site. We also use cookies in online advertising to track responses to our advertisements and we use cookies or other files to track your use of other websites.
      If you do not want information collected through the use of cookies, there is a simple procedure in most browsers that allows you to automatically decline cookies, or be given the choice of declining or accepting the transfer to your computer of a particular cookie (or cookies) from a particular site. You may also wish to refer here and here. However, if you do not accept these cookies, you may experience some inconvenience in your use of the Site. For example, we may not be able to recognize your computer and you may need to log in every time you visit the Site. You also may not receive advertising or other offers from us that are relevant to your interests and needs.
  • “Do Not Track" signals:
    • The Site will continue to operate as described in this Privacy Policy, whether or not a “Do Not Track" signal or similar mechanism is received from your browser.
  • Using pixel tags and other similar technologies:
    • Pixel tags (also known as web beacons and clear GIFs) are used in connection with some Site pages and HTML-formatted email messages to, among other things, track the actions of Site users and email recipients, measure the success of our marketing campaigns and compile statistics about Site usage and response rates.
  • Physical Location:
    • We collect the physical location of your device by, for example, using satellite, cell phone tower or WiFi signals. We use your device's physical location to provide you with personalized location-based services and content. We also share your device's physical location, combined with information about what advertisements you viewed and other information we collect, with our service providers and/or marketing partners to enable them to provide you with more personalized content and to study the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. In some instances, you may be permitted to allow or deny such uses and/or sharing of your device's location, but if you choose to deny such uses and/or sharing, we, our service providers and/or our marketing partners may not be able to provide you with the applicable personalized services and content.
  • From you:
    • Information such as your preferred means of communication is collected when you voluntarily provide this information.
  • Uses and Disclosures of Other Information

    We may use and disclose Other Information for any purpose, except where we are required to do otherwise under applicable law. In some instances, we may combine Other Information with Personal Information. If we do, we will treat the combined information as Personal Information as long as it is combined.


    THIRD PARTY SITES OR SERVICES

    This Privacy Policy does not address, and we are not responsible for, the privacy, information or other practices of any third parties, including any third party operating any site or service to which the Site contains a link. The inclusion of a link on the Site does not imply endorsement of the linked site or service by us or by our affiliates.


    THIRD PARTY ADVERTISERS

    We use third-party advertising companies to serve advertisements regarding goods and services that may be of interest to you when you access or use the Site.

    You may receive advertisements based on information relating to your access to and use of the Site and other websites or online services on any of your devices, as well as on information received from third parties. These companies place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser (including through the use of pixel tags). They also use these technologies, along with information they collect about your online use, to recognize you across the devices you use, such as a mobile phone and a laptop. If you would like more information about this practice, and to learn how to opt out of it in desktop and mobile browsers on the particular device on which you are accessing this Privacy Policy, please visit here and here.


    SECURITY

    We seek to use reasonable organizational, technical and administrative measures to protect Personal Information within our organization. Unfortunately, no data transmission or storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. Please also be aware that we use third-party cloud service providers that provide hosting, data storage and other services pursuant to standard terms and conditions that may be non-negotiable; these service providers have informed us or the general public that they apply security measures they consider adequate for the protection of information within their system, or they have a general reputation for applying such measures. If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure (for example, if you feel that the security of any account you might have with us has been compromised), please immediately notify us in accordance with the “Contacting Us" section below.


    CHOICES AND ACCESS

    Your choices regarding our use and disclosure of your Personal Information

  • We give you many choices regarding our use and disclosure of your Personal Information for marketing purposes. You may opt-out from:Receiving marketing-related emails from us: If you no longer want to receive marketing-related emails from us on a going-forward basis, you may opt-out of receiving these marketing-related emails by clicking on the unsubscribe links provided in emails.
  • Our sharing of your Personal Information with affiliates for their direct marketing purposes: If you would prefer that we not share your Personal Information on a going-forward basis with our affiliates for their direct marketing purposes, you may opt-out of this sharing by turning off this feature in any services we provide you.
  • Our sharing of your Personal Information with unaffiliated third parties for their direct marketing purposes: If you would prefer that we not share your Personal Information on a going-forward basis with unaffiliated third parties for their direct marketing purposes, you may opt-out of this sharing by turning off this feature in any services we provide you.
  • We will try to comply with your request(s) as soon as reasonably practicable. Please note that, if you opt-out of receiving marketing-related emails from us, we may still send you important administrative messages, from which you cannot opt-out.

    How you can access or change or delete your Personal Information

    If you would like to request to review correct, update, suppress, restrict or delete Personal Information that you have previously provided to us, or if you would like to request to receive an electronic copy of your Personal Information for purposes of transmitting it to another company (to the extent this right to data portability is provided to you by applicable law), you may contact us by writing to us here or to Personal Information Request, Comic Sands, 1001 6th Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY, 10018. We will respond to your request consistent with applicable law.

    In your request, please make clear what information you would like to have changed, whether you would like to have your Personal Information suppressed from our database or otherwise let us know what limitations you would like to put on our use of your Personal Information. For your protection, we may only implement requests with respect to the Personal Information associated with the particular email address that you use to send us your request, and we may need to verify your identity before implementing your request. We will try to comply with your request as soon as reasonably practicable.

    Please note that we may need to retain certain information for recordkeeping purposes and/or to complete any transactions that you began prior to requesting such change or deletion (e.g., when you make a purchase or enter a promotion, you may not be able to change or delete the Personal Information provided until after the completion of such purchase or promotion).


    RETENTION PERIOD

    We retain Personal Information for as long as needed or permitted in light of the purpose(s) for which it was obtained and consistent with applicable law.

    The criteria used to determine our retention periods include:

  • The length of time we have an ongoing relationship with you and provide the Site to you (for example, for as long as you have an account with us or keep using the Site);
  • Whether there is a legal obligation to which we are subject (for example, certain laws require us to keep records of your transactions for a certain period of time before we can delete them); or
  • Whether retention is advisable in light of our legal position (such as in regard to applicable statutes of limitations, litigation or regulatory investigations).

  • USE OF SITE BY MINORS

    The Site is not directed to individuals under the age of thirteen (13), and we do not knowingly collect Personal Information from individuals under 13.


    JURISDICTION AND CROSS-BORDER TRANSFER

    Your Personal Information may be stored and processed in any country where we have facilities or in which we engage service providers, and by using the Site you understand that your information will be transferred to countries outside of your country of residence, including the United States, which may have data protection rules that are different from those of your country. In certain circumstances, courts, law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies or security authorities in those other countries may be entitled to access your Personal Information.

    If you are located in the European Economic Area (comprised of the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, together “EEA"): Some of the non-EEA countries are recognized by the European Commission as providing an adequate level of data protection according to EEA standards (the full list of these countries is available here. For transfers from the EEA to countries not considered adequate by the European Commission, we have put in place adequate measures, such as standard contractual clauses adopted by the European Commission to protect your Personal Information. You may obtain a copy of these measures by contacting us in accordance with the “Contacting Us" section below.


    SENSITIVE INFORMATION

    We ask that you not send us, and you not disclose, any sensitive Personal Information (for example, social security numbers, credit card information, information related to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or other beliefs, health, biometrics or genetic characteristics, criminal background or trade union membership) on or through the Site or otherwise to us.


    THIRD PARTY PAYMENT SERVICE

    We will use a third-party payment service to process payments made through the Site. If you wish to make a payment through the Site, your Personal Information will be collected by such third party and not by us, and will be subject to the third party's privacy policy, rather than this Privacy Policy. We have no control over, and are not responsible for, this third party's collection, use and disclosure of your Personal Information.


    CONTACTING US

    Comic Sands is located at 1001 6th Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10018, is the company responsible for the collection, use, and disclosure of your Personal Information under this Privacy Policy.

    If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us by email here, or please write to the following address

    Comic Sands

    1001 6th Avenue, 14th Floor

    New York, NY 10018

    Please note that email communications are not always secure; so please do not include credit card information or sensitive information in your emails to us.


    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS IN THE EEA

    If you are located in the EEA, you also may:

    Contact us here with any questions about this Privacy Policy.

    Lodge a complaint with a data protection authority for your country or region, or where an alleged infringement of applicable data protection law occurs.

    Advertising Privacy Statement

    This Site is affiliated with AdThrive, LLC ("AdThrive") for the purposes of placing advertising on the Site. AdThrive uses standard and widely-available tools for the placement and serving of ads, including those provided by Google, Inc. and its affiliates. We publish interest-based advertisements on the Site; that is, ads that are tailored to reflect your interests. To help understand your interests, AdThrive, Google and our other advertising partners will track your behaviour on our website and on other websites across the Internet using cookies.


    A cookie is a file containing an identifier (a string of letters and numbers) that is sent by a web server to a web browser and is stored by the browser. The identifier is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. Cookies may be either "persistent" cookies or "session" cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed. Cookies do not typically contain any information that personally identifies a user, but personal information that we store about you may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.


    By using this Site, you consent to the use of such cookies and the sharing of data captured by such cookies with AdThrive, Google, and our other third party partners. You can view, delete or add interest categories associated with your browser by visiting: https://adssettings.google.com. You can also opt out of the network cookie using those settings or using the Network Advertising Initiative's multi-cookie opt-out mechanism at: http://optout.networkadvertising.org. However, these opt-out mechanisms themselves use cookies, and if you clear the cookies from your browser your opt-out will not be maintained.
    For European Economic Area Residents


    If you reside in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), then under the GDPR and applicable data protection laws you have the rights, among other things, to access your personal data, have us erase it, and/or restrict its further processing. If you wish to access or delete your personal data (if any) maintained by us or AdThrive related to advertising on the Site, you can contact AdThrive at info@adthrive.com. If you wish to see a list of the advertising partners we work with or change which of those partners track your behavior using cookies, click the ad preferences icon. (Available in the EU.)

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    The parents of Ja'bari Gray, a baby boy born on New Year's Day in San Antonio, have only been able to hold their son twice in three months––because Ja'bari has no skin.

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    Collect/PA Real Life

    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?"


    Collect/PA Real Life

    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.


    Collect/PA Real Life

    "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.


    Collect/PA Real Life

    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."


    Collect/PA Real Life

    "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.


    Collect/PA Real Life

    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.


    Collect/PA Real Life

    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.


    Collect/PA Real Life

    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."


    Collect/PA Real Life


    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.


    Collect/PA Real Life

    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

    PA Viral

    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.

    VCG/VCG via Getty Images

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

    She was estimated to be over 90 years old.

    Keep reading... Show less
    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