Monday, October 22, 2018
News Roundup

Pediatric cancer survivor becomes a mermaid for life

First, Amelia Collins used her dream of being a mermaid to help her body recover from the chemotherapy treatments she received to fend off leukemia.

Next, the 8-year-old Ocala girl celebrated her remission by donning a finned tail and swimming with the iconic mermaids at Hernando County’s Weeki Wachee Springs Park.

Now, a new all-women’s Tampa-based non-profit whose symbol is the mermaid has made Collins the first girl they will mentor into womanhood.

"We are mermaid sisters. We are all about mermaid kisses and starfish wishes," said Joni Cusimano, a founder of A League of Xtrodinary Woman.

"Our intent is to help young girls become the women of tomorrow."

Cusimani and her four founding members took Collins to a Chuck E. Cheese in mid-October and presented a plaque to the little girl declaring her an honorary mermaid for life.

"We told her we are real mermaids who have been allowed to walk with human legs so we are able to help young girls like herself," said Cusimano, who also founded the Krewe Of Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Amelia was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and the chemotherapy caused her muscles to atrophy. To rebuild her muscles, she’d press her legs together and swim like one of the legendary aquatic creatures. The motion is great for strengthening the body’s core.

In August, Tampa-based MUCH Foundation, which works to bring fantasy to life for sick children, brought Amelia to Weeki Wachee to swim with its mermaids. Park officials said she can do so again whenever she returns.

So, among the coming gifts the League of Xtrodinary Woman will present to Amelia is a season pass to Weeki Wachee Springs Park.

The organization will then continue to assist Amelia in any way they can and look for others to mentor, whether the girls are sick, underprivileged, without a mother or simply need another strong woman figure in their lives.

Said Amelia, "I’ve never felt so important before."

Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

Comments
Veteran blames fight over football on TV in shooting deaths of girlfriend and her son, 10

Veteran blames fight over football on TV in shooting deaths of girlfriend and her son, 10

TAMPA — A man accused of fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend and her 10-year-old son told deputies they attacked him after an argument over changing the channel to watch a football game, an arrest report says.Evidence at the scene contradicts tha...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
World Series Game 1 to be cold one for Dodgers, Red Sox

World Series Game 1 to be cold one for Dodgers, Red Sox

BOSTON — It’s looking to be cold for Game 1 of the World Series, but at least the Red Sox and Dodgers will probably avoid the rain. Forecasts for Tuesday night call for the temperature to be around 50 for the 8:09 p.m. first pitch. It will cool off ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Buccaneers AfterMath: Dirk Koetter chooses his inconsistent kicker over his inconsistent quarterback

Buccaneers AfterMath: Dirk Koetter chooses his inconsistent kicker over his inconsistent quarterback

TAMPA — By beating the Browns 26-23 in overtime Sunday, the Buccaneers snapped a three-game losing streak and Tampa Bay breathed a collective sigh of relief.It wasn’t pretty, the kind of game the NFL should move to 4 a.m. to hide it from ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cool! Fall has finally arrived in Tampa Bay

Cool! Fall has finally arrived in Tampa Bay

Folks waiting for fall can finally rejoice. A brisk morning will lead to a pleasant day in Tampa Bay, and highs this week will remain in the mid to upper 80s -- with an even cooler weekend forecast.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Numbers to know from the Lightning’s record-setting night

Numbers to know from the Lightning’s record-setting night

CHICAGO — The Lightning always strives to put up a high volume of shots in every game.But there is a high volume of shots, and then there's what the Lightning put together Sunday against the Blackhawks in the second period.Lightning players pep...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Gators preparing for top-10 showdown with Georgia

Florida Gators preparing for top-10 showdown with Georgia

GAINESVILLE — As No. 9 Florida prepares for to play No. 7 Georgia on Saturday, the Gators aren't putting any extra attention on a top-10 matchup, the appearance of ESPN's College GameDay or any of the other hoopla surrounding the rivalry's...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hooper: Stand up for the arts, vote no on Amendment 1

Hooper: Stand up for the arts, vote no on Amendment 1

The Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts put everything I love about the arts on display at its annual gala on Oct. 18.I only wish legislative leaders had joined the group in saluting the grace of artist Mernet Larsen, the innovation of the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
News at noon: Argument over TV blamed for double homicide; greyhound racing amendment is getting ugly; and more

News at noon: Argument over TV blamed for double homicide; greyhound racing amendment is getting ugly; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Cops should get body cameras before cell phones get them

Cops should get body cameras before cell phones get them

It’s happened again. Another snippet of video. Another Florida cop being questioned. This time, it’s in Coral Springs, and the cop is punching the midsection of a 14-year-old girl who is pinned on the ground with two cops above her, and ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
When you gotta go, you gotta go, right? Deputies arrest man after he enters Spring Hill home, uses the bathroom

When you gotta go, you gotta go, right? Deputies arrest man after he enters Spring Hill home, uses the bathroom

SPRING HILL — A Palm Harbor man was arrested Saturday after Hernando deputies said he drunkenly pulled his convertible into a driveway, went inside a home and used the toilet.Daniel Alfred Jenk, 40, faces charges of burglary, driving under the influe...
Updated: 4 hours ago