A festival where uninsured artists and musicians exchange work for medical attention is attracting interest from organizers and physicians across the country looking to replicate the model.
A group of artists and physicians in the Hudson Valley conceived of the gathering. About 40 doctors, dentists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and others donated 232 hours of service, valued at more than $38,000, to the bands and artists who played or created sculptures or paintings. "It really is about...helping artists and musicians who are contributing to society find health care at affordable rates," says Arthur Chandler, a doctor at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, N.Y., and an organizer of O+ (pronounced O-positive).
Chandler and other organizers are incorporating O+ as a nonprofit and want to put on art-for-health-care festivals in Kingston and other cities next year. Like-minded artists, musicians, and physicians from Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Nashville, Berkeley, and Lowell, Mass., have contacted O+ looking to replicate the model. "It seems like something that should be everywhere and could definitely be everywhere," says Julia Henderson, a 32-year-old writer and development coordinator at a San Francisco theater who hopes to bring O+ to Berkeley. A transplant from Brooklyn, Henderson says she hasn't had insurance for six years.
Twin brothers Taylor and Tyler wouldn't be here without the help of guardian angels in heaven and on earth.
"Now, I can't believe that it ever crossed my mind," Daniella said of the day she came to Little Rock to get an abortion. "I have two beautiful children. I told my mom, 'I have two babies,' and she said, 'That's right, you do.' I had to kiss them and hold them very tight."
Daniella (whose last name is withheld to protect her privacy) became a mother Dec. 28, but her journey began long before that date.
This summer, she had an appointment at Little Rock Family Planning Services to get an abortion but decided against it after sidewalk helper Maria Maldonado, who regularly prays outside the abortion clinic in west Little Rock, urged her to request to see her ultrasound.
Maldonado, a member of Christ the King Church in Little Rock, and other prayer warriors prayed for Daniella while she was inside the clinic and continued to help her throughout her pregnancy.
"I got to meet a lot of people. I think I met every one of the prayer warriors," Daniella said during a phone interview with Arkansas Catholic. "The labor and delivery area was full of people."
Taylor and Tyler weren't born on Christmas Day when they were due. The two were born in the early morning Dec. 28 at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock.
Dec. 28 is not without significance -- it is the feast of the Holy Innocents, which commemorates the massacre of all Jewish boys 2 years old and younger in Bethlehem and surrounding areas, ordered by King Herod. Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and the baby Jesus, which spared him. On Dec. 28 the Church and pro-life community often remember children who have died because of abortion or children who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death.
"They're gaining weight good and eating and crying a lot," Daniella said. "My mom has them spoiled rotten already."
Daniella, 19, is adamant about helping other women.
"I have a story to tell and if telling it can result in stopping someone
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