'Paralysed bride' expecting first child with surrogate

Rachelle Friedman and her husband Chris.

Right before her wedding, she broke her neck after being pushed into a swimming pool during her bachelorette party. 

One of the first questions Rachelle Friedman Chapman asked when she was being attended to by emergency medical workers by the side of the pool?

Whether she would be able to have children.

The answer was yes, and four years on, her dream is coming true, with the help of a surrogate. 

 

The surrogate is a college friend who had followed her story on her blog, and decided to help out Chapman and her husband Chris, 32.

The couple spent US$15,000 (S$18,700) on IVF treatments, money raised by friends through an online fundraiser, reported Today.com. 

Critics 

After she broke the news on Facebook, though, there were some who questioned whether she was fit to be a mother, due to her paralysis. 

Friedman hit back.

“No one ever questions the physical ability of a single parent, and yet there are two of us in this effort," she told Today.com.

"You have Chris, who is completely able bodied, and then there's me, who maybe can't do as much as he can — but I can do a lot more than people think.

“It's not going to be easy and we're completely aware that it may not be 50-50. But this wasn't just my decision, it was Chris's, too."

Sources: People, Today.com, Rachelle Friedman Facebook

WATCH: How cops return dead wife's stolen camera, with her last moments still intact

He had already lost the love of his life to cancer, but the pain didn't stop there.

In 2012, a year after his 30-year-old wife Erica Werdel-Lacey died, burglars broke into Dave Lacey's home in Santa Ana, California and stole many valuables.

The one priceless item they took: His wife's camera containing all her last moments, including the funeral.

Lacey had not backed up the photos onto his computer as he could not bear to look at the photos. He was waiting for the right time, when the grief subsided.

"It just didn't seem fair, because after all that we went through, to lose those, it was like a punch in the gut," he told CNN.

The couple started dating seriously in the late 2000s and an elaborate wedding was in the works.

Then, Erica went for a body scan after suffering a persistent cold.

Shocking news came in December 2011, just before the wedding: Erica had two large tumors in her chest and behind her diaphragm.

She was suffering from an aggressive cancer called B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Despite the shock, they went ahead with the wedding.

Erica seemed to be getting better in their first year of marriage. But the cancer returned, this time stronger than before.

To cope, she picked up photography to capture simple moments in the limited time left - and took snapshots that money can not buy.

When the camera disappeared, her husband was devastated.

Luckily, Lacey had a tracking app to trace his computer, leading detectives Paul McClaskey and Jerry Verdugo to the two burglars. They arrested David Aguilar and his girlfriend, Monica Molina, who had been involved in a series of thefts.


David Aguilar and Monica Molina pleaded guilty to a series of burglaries. Photo: Facebook

The detectives found pawn shop slips in the pair's home and retrieved two dozen stolen items. Among them was a Canon camera with a distinctive hand-stitched shoulder strap.

When Detective McClaskey scanned through the photographs, he knew he had to return the camera to its owner.

"As I started thumbing through, it was apparent that (the) camera was special," McClaskey’s partner, Mr Verdugo, recalled.


Detectives Paul McClaskey and Jerry Verdugo arrested the two burglars involved in the home invasions. Photos: Facebook, YouTube

The photos however, yielded little clues about the owner's identity. One photo showed a blue house next to a beige wall, somewhere in the north-east side of Santa Ana.

So detectives began their search for the owner in the neighbourhood. They were ready to give up when a resident told them the house they were looking for had been re-painted. The owner had lost his wife to cancer.

"I thought it was a joke at first," Dave Lacey said, describing the moment he got a phone call from police. "I had given up all thought of recovery."

He couldn't believe it until he saw the gadget's shoulder strap and all the pictures that were still intact.

"I feel like someone was watching out for me, just to get it back," Dave Lacey said.

Sources: Daily Mail, YouTube

Where are Singaporeans heading for their year-end holiday?

The top holiday destination at the recently-concluded Natas Holidays travel fair was Europe.

Singaporeans love to travel. It's a fact. We love our overseas holidays.

So where are we heading to this year?

The figures from a survey conducted at the recently-concluded Natas Holidays travel fair show that our number one destination is Europe.

That's basically a whole continent. Where exactly, you may ask? Italy and Finland are the top two choices.

Number two on the list is South Korea, so don't be too surprised if you hear an assortment of 'lah', ''leh' and 'hor' while shopping in Seoul.

Here are the top 10 destinations:

  1. Europe (22%)
  2. South Korea (15%)
  3. Japan
  4. China
  5. Taiwan
  6. Cruise packages
  7. Australia
  8. Malaysia
  9. USA
  10. Thailand

The results are based on a survey of 5,360 people who visited the travel fair and made a purchase.

A total of 56,189 people went to the three-day fair, which had 1,226 booths and 165 exhibitors. Most bookings were for the year-end travel period, though some did book trips for next year.

Ms Patricia Auyeong, acting chief executive officer of Natas, said: "Europe continues to be Singaporeans’ top destination of choice by a large margin, and we are starting to see a trend in Singaporeans choosing more exotic destinations within the European region."

"And in spite of Singaporean travellers' impressive repertoire of visited places, the evergreen destinations – South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan – continue to draw travellers back year after year."

The next Natas Holidays travel fair ​will be in March next year.

Pitch invader who took free kick for Spurs fined

Pitch invader Jordan Dunn takes a Tottenham free-kick during their EPL match against West Ham.
Pitch invader Jordan Dunn takes a Tottenham free-kick during their EPL match against West Ham.

A pitch invader who took a free-kick during West Ham United's English Premier match against Tottenham Hotspur has been fined £305 ($633) for his misdemeanour.

Jordan Dunn was intoxicated when he decided to intrude onto the field at Upton Park, running nearly the full length of the pitch to take a free-kick from unsuspecting Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen.

After his shot was saved by West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, the 22-year-old from Kent was caught by stewards and escorted from the field of play to the cheers of the crowd.

As he appeared before the Thames Magistrates' Court in East London, Dunn plead guilty and apologised for his "moment of madness", avoiding a ban from matches.

Humour

According to AFP, District Judge Gareth Branston saw the humour in the situation and gave Dunn a light-hearted reprimand referencing ex-Manchester United free-kick maestro David Beckham.

Branston said: "Some time into that game a young man ran onto the pitch. That was you. You weren’t paid to do that.

"You took it (the free-kick) for them. To be frank you were probably a little tired by the time you got to the ball.

"It was a longer run than was strictly necessary.

"You had consumed alcohol and your stride pattern was a bit out of kilter but to borrow a phrase you did bend it like Beckham.

"Regrettably it was about 30mph slower than Beckham."

At least Dunn can rest assured that he did better than Eriksen, whose subsequent effort flew over the bar.

Source: AFP

Eat my shorts! Zenit sign...Bart Simpson?!

Bart Simpson shows off the jersey he will wear for Russian club Zenit St Petersburg.
Bart Simpson shows off the jersey he will wear for Russian club Zenit St Petersburg.

Stop rubbing your eyes and no, we haven't time travelled to April 1.

That's Bart Simpson you see holding the blue jersey of Zenit St Petersburg with his name in Cyrillic letters.

On a day when clubs around Europe are scurrying about doing their last-minute transfer business, the Russian Premier League leaders have pulled off what could be the coup of transfer deadline day by reaching an agreement with 20th Century Fox for the star from The Simpsons.

 

 

Okay, the perpetual 10-year-old will be a match day mascot for the club instead of joining the playing staff, but that didn't stop Zenit from having a little fun.

Like all prospective signings, it started with Bart arriving at the airport:


Photos from Zenit St Petersburg's official website

On reaching the club's offices, Bart went through his contract with Zenit CEO Maxim Mitrofanov as he put pen to paper.

After putting pen to paper, it was time for the obligatory photoshoot.

Of course, Zenit didn't forget to put Bart through his paces with a proper medical examination.


"Aye caramba!"

Moving on to Zenit's training ground, Bart met head coach Andre Villas-Boas, who seemed to really enjoy meeting his new signing.

He also got a rousing reception from his new teammates.

Next up, a visit to the Petrovsky Stadium...

...where Bart met a new friend in fellow mascot, the Zenit lion.

Bart will don the No. 87 jersey - the same year that The Simpsons began airing - and is "expected soon to make his debut".

Check out more pictures from Bart's "unveiling" from Zenit's official website.

Source: Zenit St Petersburg official website

THE JUDGES

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Timeline on transfer deadline day (UK time)

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Valencia’s ace

Youth academy product Paco Alcacer can’t wait to fire his team back to the top

TARGET: Paco Alcacer (in white) wants to score at least 15 goals this season.
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Top Chinese official heckled by protesters

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What's wrong, Hong Kong?

City in political crisis over voting rights, more protests expected

PROTEST: Pro-democracy lawmakers hold up a banner and placards as Mr Li Fei, deputy general secretary of the National People's Congress (NPC) standing committee, attends a briefing session in Hong Kong yesterday. The signs read, 'shameful'.
PROTEST: Pro-democracy lawmakers hold up a banner and placards as Mr Li Fei (above), deputy general secretary of the National People's Congress (NPC) standing committee, attends a briefing session in Hong Kong yesterday. The signs read, 'shameful'.
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