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Indy teen honored with national award for helping children with cancer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Each year, The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors 25 teenagers across the country who have made a positive impact on their communities.

This year, 18-year-old Tatum Parker from Indianapolis is one of them.

“I know there are so many people in this country who do great things for other people and so it’s really cool to see that other people are recognizing my work,” said Parker.

Parker founded the Tatum Parker Project after beating cancer twice.

She was first diagnosed with a rare bone tumor at age six.

“I was cancer free for a year and then a year later, it came back,” she said.

This time she underwent radiation.

Her mom never left her side, even at eight months pregnant with Tatum’s younger brother.

One day, Tatum received a bright purple backpack filled with toys.

“I loved that backpack. It was just filled with thing after thing all to help keep me entertained in the hospital,” Parker said.

She specifically remember a pink Gameboy inside that got her through that difficult time.

She says a few of the nurses had asked that she share her toys with one boy next to her who had been alone in his room for days.

“And the next day they had brought it all back to me and he had written me a thank you note saying, ‘that it was the most fun I’ve had in the past couple of days thank you for sharing,’” Parker said.

It was then Parker asked her parents to help her fund-raise and create Tatum’s Bags of Fun as a way to make sure all kids in Indiana felt the way she did.

While Tatum applied for the award before college, she is now a freshman at Indiana University and is hoping to become a pediatric oncology nurse.

She comes back to Indy on the weekends, working on the Tatum Parker Project which has now given out 4,000 bags and is also funding cancer research.

The award is named after the mother of American children’s writer T.A. Barron.

Staff there says this year they had more than 400 applicants.

“Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” said Barron through email.

If you know a teenager making a difference in their community, The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is accepting applications starting January.

For more information, head here.


Box office goes ‘Sonic’ again but hears ‘Call of the Wild’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The hedgehog edged the sled dog by a nose at the box office.

“Sonic: The Hedgehog” zoomed to the top of the box office with a take of $26.3 million in its second weekend while audiences ignored critics and heeded “The Call of the Wild” as the Harrison Ford CGI dog flick finished a close second with $24.8 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

It was a strong weekend for both films, with each outperforming expectations and overcoming early doubts about design problems.

Paramount Pictures’ Sega video game adaptation “Sonic the Hedgehog” was a laughingstock when its first trailer was released last year, but after a delay and a title-character makeover, the film has now spent two weeks atop the box office and brought in over $200 million globally.

20th Century Studios’ “The Call of the Wild” was also mocked by many on social media for its CGI dog — the first five film adaptations of Jack London’s 1903 novel all used real ones — and reviews were decidedly mixed with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 62 percent, but moviegoers bought into the digital dog and his 77-year-old co-star, who would have won the weekend were it not for a late surge from “Sonic.”

“For ‘Call of the Wild’ heading into weekend the estimates were all over the place, as low as 10 million for the weekend, some saying it could do 15, maybe 20,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “So like ‘Sonic’ it over-performed.”

In a very distant third with $7 million was “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” in its third week.

The weekend’s other wide release, “Brahms: The Boy II” starring Katie Holmes, was fourth with just $5.9 million.

That was a disappointing opening at a time of year when horror films often do well. 2020 appears to be bucking that trend with family films thriving in the early weeks of the year.

“’Sonic’ and ‘Call of the Wild’ represent two PG-rated movies where that void in the marketplace for families is the key to their success in this part of the year, a time that’s usually dominated by awards holdovers and R-rated films,” Dergarabedian said.

And those family audiences may be why critics didn’t matter for the top two films.

“PG-rated films are more immune to reviews and are more about the audience. If a kid wants to go see a film, they’re going to go see it” he said.

Best picture winner “Parasite” continued its post-Oscars surge in a week where its victory was mocked at a rally by President Donald Trump, bringing in $3.2 million in North America, where it has earned nearly $50 million.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. “Sonic the Hedgehog,” 26.3 million, ($38.3 million international).

2. “The Call of the Wild,” $24.8 million, (15.4 million international).

3. “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey,” $7 million, (10 million international).

4. “Brahms: The Boy II,” $5.9 million, ($2.2 million international).

5. “Bad Boys for Life,” $5.86 million, ($8.1 million international).

6. “1917,” $4.4 million, ($9.4 million international).

7. “Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island,” $4.2 million, ($3.9 million international).

8. “Parasite,” $3.1 million, ($8.9 million international).

9. “Jumanji: The Next Level,” $3 million, ($1.3 million international).

10. “The Photograph,” $2.8 million.