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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Isabel Brito, a 58-year-old widow, is used to taking care of others. For years she took care of her husband after a stroke, visited bedridden patients, adopted an elderly neighbor who lives by herself and who, according to her estimates, should be around 90 years old.

This is not unusual in a Brazilian favela like this one in Paraisópolis. What had never happened to . . .

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