Brittany Maynard's Family Looks Back After Year-Long Fight to Pass 'Death-With-Dignity' Bill

David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The family of Brittany Maynard is speaking out one day after California Governor Jerry Brown approved controversial "right-to-die" legislation. Tuesday also marks the one-year anniversary of Maynard's public battle to pass the legislation.

Maynard, who suffered from brain cancer, grabbed headlines last year after she announced that she moved to Oregon in order to take advantage of the state's “Death With Dignity” Act. Maynard decided to end her life last November with the support of her family and husband after doctors determined that her cancer was incurable.

A video posted Tuesday from Compassion and Choices, a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes "aid in dying" legislation, shows new footage of Maynard weeks before her death.

“When you realize you’re going to die and you realize how you’re going to die, you have choices to make and those choices aren’t easy,” she said in the video.

Maynard was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma, a particularly virulent form of brain cancer, in January 2014. Two months after her diagnosis Maynard's doctors told her she only had six months to live, according to her husband Dan Diaz.

Brittany Maynard died last year after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.

Diaz, who petitioned California lawmakers to pass the "right to die" legislation, told ABC News he was relieved after Gov. Brown signed the bill. The law allows physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally-ill patients with less than six months to live.

“I felt a huge sense of pride and love for Brittany for beginning this conversation last year,” Diaz said.
Diaz said Maynard had wanted to speak out so that no one else would have to go through the same experience she did. He said he remains frustrated that they had to move states and find a new medical team after Maynard was given just six months to live.

“All of these people, these stories, that’s why Brittany was speaking up. It was not just about her,” said Diaz. “It was about anyone who would find themselves in this horrible predicament.”

Maynard moved to Oregon so she could be given a prescription that would end her life.

In the new video Maynard said her decision to share her story publicly wasn't easy. "I decided to share it because I felt that this issue of death with dignity is misunderstood by many people in our community and culture," she said.

Diaz said he plans to continue his fight to pass “aid-in-dying” legislation in more states.

“My promise with Brittany was to do what I can to help move legislation forward so that no one else goes through what she went through,” said Diaz. “The fact that one voice can make such a difference and Brittany’s voice certainly did…it’s a tribute to her.”

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How a Child With Autism Became ‘His Own Man’ After Treatment

Courtesy of the Exkorn Family(NEW YORK) --  When he was 2 years old, Jake Exkorn couldn't talk, make eye contact or follow instructions because he had autism.

But today, Exkorn is a nineteen-year-old freshman at the University of Michigan and hardly even remembers what it was like to have autism.

"My memories are pretty limited," Exkorn told ABC News' "Nightline." "I don't say, ‘Hi I'm Jake. I used to have autism when I was little.' But if it comes up, if they see an article or something or a segment where I'm in it or ask about it, I'm more than happy to tell them about my past."

It's a remarkable change from when "Nightline" first met Exkorn when he was 4 years old.

In 2001 Exkorn had been recently diagnosed with autism, which many people think of as a lifelong condition. But in some cases, individuals can recover from autism.

When he was 2 years old, Jake Exkorn couldn't talk, make eye contact or follow instructions.

Starting in 1998, two-year-old Exkorn went through an intensive therapy called applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment, which has become a standard treatment, but it was not well known then.

During these therapy sessions, children are taught in small steps how to wave and how to speak. Month after month, Exkorn sat in a chair for 40 hours a week taking lessons and slowly making progress.

Though Exkorn has few memories of his ABA therapy sessions, his parents remember it all.

"I think that part of our lives was so intense and the therapy was so intensive and it was like we were living in this snow globe," Exkorn's mother Karen Siff told "Nightline." "And the rest of the world didn't exist. I mean we barely--I barely left the house during those two years."

Through ABA treatment, Jake Exkorn learned how to wave and how to speak.

His parents still keep the chair that their son had his therapy sessions in because they credit the treatment for his extraordinary transformation.

"Hours and hours and hours and hours in this chair learning, learning how to learn and seeing some of the videos and seeing the little boy in this chair's happy memories for me," Exkorn's father Franklin Exkorn told "Nightline."

However, there is no predicting which children will respond to ABA treatment as dramatically as Jake Exkorn did.

Fifteen years ago, "Nightline" also met 10-year-old Andrew Parles, who was making progress with ABA therapy.

Parles had learned to ride and skate, and though it was clear he was not going to make the same transformation as Exkorn, Parles was learning to communicate by pointing and speaking a few words.

"Nightline" visited Parles again in 2006 when he was 15 years old and attending a basketball game with his family. But today, Parles is a 25-year-old man living with a severe autism.

Parles' parents say when he was 19, things started going wrong after years of progress. He no longer speaks, so his parents are his voice.

"The pain of the regression for me was worse than the pain of diagnosis. Because at diagnosis, there were plans. There was evidence that people move forward," Lisa Parles said. "Maybe for a brief period I thought, ‘Oh, he'll be a lucky one that recovers.' But even when we knew it wasn't that, it was still always moving forward."

Andrew Parles lives at Bancroft, a specialized caregiving setting in New Jersey, where a staff helps him cope with daily life, tasks like eating breakfast to cleaning himself.

Because of his severe autism, Parles strikes himself constantly. He's damaged his ears and had to be hospitalized three times in the past year to save his vision after he detached his own retinas.
Still, Parle's parents said they are certain he understands them and they spend as much time with him as possible, though they can't care for him on their own.

"It's so hard to admit that you can't do it, because you can't imagine that anyone will love your child the way you love them and do it the way that you do it," Lisa Parles said. "But the truth was that we weren't serving him well because we were so exhausted it was hard to follow the plan."

Siff's experience raising an autistic child is obviously very different from Lisa Parles' experience. Siff's turned her journey of raising son Jake into the play "Do This," which will be opening shortly in New York, and wrote "The Autism Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping, and Healing--from a Mother Whose Child Recovered."

"I have moments where I have what I would call gratitude attacks," Siff said. "Gratitude attacks where [I watched] him get his diploma at graduation, [and] people talked about living beyond their wildest dreams. Things like that or watching him put on his tux and get ready for prom."

"He's grown up to be his own man," Franklin Exkorn said.

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Seattle High School Football Player Was Brought to Hospital With Head Injury Before He Died 

KOMO-TV(SEATTLE) -- A high school football player who was hurt in a game had surgery for a head injury days before he died at a Seattle hospital.

Kenney Bui, 17, died Monday, three days after arriving at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, according to hospital officials.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said Bui arrived with a head injury and was quickly taken into surgery. After surgery, Bui was transferred to the intensive care unit and was sedated and on a ventilator, as is common for patients in the ICU.

The medical examiner's office said it plans on examining Bui Wednesday before releasing a definitive cause of death. The exact nature of Bui's injury was unclear as was how it was suffered during the game.

Bui's father, Ngon Bui, told ABC News that his son had been playing since he was a sophomore and that he hoped he would be able to play in college as well.

"I'm so hurt inside my body," Bui told ABC News. "Kenney was very very smart kid and good student with good grades. Everything good for him."

Dr. Alan Hoffer, a neurosurgeon at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said football players are particularly vulnerable to head injuries.

"Football players are exposed to entire spectrum of traumatic brain injury from mild injury (concussions) to most severe...which are bleeding of the brain" or swelling of the brain, said Hoffer.

Hoffer said stories about the injuries or deaths of high school football players reveal how important it is that players get medical attention if they exhibit any symptoms associated with a head trauma, explaining that the consequences of repeated concussions are still not fully understood.

"It’s important for kids and their parents to be educated about traumatic brain injury," said Hoffer."[Concussion,] it is a mild traumatic brain injury. They require medical care and they really need to be cautious about getting back to play before they are fully recovered. It may have life-altering effects down the road."

Bui, who played wide receiver and defensive back, was injured during the fourth quarter of a Friday night football game, according to ABC affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle. Another high school student in a different school district was critically injured in a different football game on the same night and had two broken vertebrae, according to his family's fundraising site and the Seattle Times.

Susan Enfield, the Superintendent of Highline Public Schools, referred to a statement from earlier in the week: "It is with great sadness that School Board President Bernie Dorsey and I share with you that TEC High School senior Kenney Bui, who was critically injured in Friday night’s Evergreen v. Highline football game, died this morning.

This is a devastating loss for all of us -- Evergreen students, families, and staff, and our entire Highline community.

Our deepest condolences go out to Kenney’s family and all who knew him. Please join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers."

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Mom Says Flight Attendant Shamed Her for Using Breast Pump in Plane Bathroom

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- A Phoenix woman said she felt embarrassed after she was reprimanded by a flight attendant on a recent flight.

Mariana Hannaman, who was traveling aboard an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Phoenix, told ABC News' Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV that she was reprimanded by a flight attendant for pumping breast milk in an airplane bathroom.

Hannaman told KNXV she went into the bathroom for privacy. After 10 minutes, a flight attendant knocked on the door, according to Hannaman. Hannaman says she told the flight attendant through the door she was pumping breast milk. About two minutes later, Hannaman says, the flight attendant came back and ordered her to open the door, telling her "Well you need to stop doing this right now" and asked Hannaman to leave.

In video taken by Hannaman, the unidentified flight attendant said Hannaman should have alerted the flight attendant crew that she would be in the bathroom for an extended period of time.

Hannaman said she felt “diminished” by the experience.

“I opened the door, with the pump still attached to my breasts and she looked down and then said ‘What are you doing, you can’t do that here. You’re taking too long, there’s other passengers,’” Hannaman recounted to KNXV.

American Airlines said it has apologized to Hannaman by both phone and email and said the flight attendant’s actions were not in line with the company's policies. American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott said the airline supports breastfeeding mothers and that passengers are allowed to pump or breast feed in both their seats or in the lavatory.

Scott said it is usually a good idea for passengers to alert flight attendants if they want to pump in the bathroom because flight attendants would become concerned if a passenger is in the lavatory for an extended period of time.

“They're there for safety and security, that is their role on the aircraft,” Scott said of flight attendants. “We have instances often [of] people having some sort of medical emergency in the lavatory.”

Scott said the airline was planning on highlighting the episode as an "educational tool" to remind employees of the company policy.

Hannaman could not be reached by ABC News for additional comment.

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Dog Survives Gunshot to Head During Burglary of Owner's Home in Florida

WFTS-TV(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) -- A five-year-old dog recently survived being shot in the head during a burglary at his owner's home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback named Anubis had the bullet -- which went through his skin, grazed his skull and lodged in his neck -- removed Tuesday by Dr. Andrea Smith, a veterinarian with a BluePearl emergency veterinary clinic in Clearwater, according to a BluePearl spokeswoman.

"It's incredible, he's very fortunate," the spokeswoman said. "The bullet nearly missed major arteries and blood vessels."

The 150-pound dog's owner, Chris Watson, told ABC News that "Anubis has been in unusually high spirits" despite all the trauma's gone through in the past 24 hours.

"Anubis has been handling the whole situation better than I am," Watson, 39, told ABC News. "He's the most friendly dog you can meet. He's like a little boy. He loves people, and he's been the highlight of the clinic here. That's what makes this all the more painful. I don't understand why anyone would want to shoot a dog like him in the head."

The St. Petersburg Police Department wrote on Facebook that Watson's home had been broken into and ransacked on Monday morning and that investigators are hoping the bullet retrieved from Anubis will provide a clue to help catch the burglar still at large.

Watson, an independent distributor for Pepperidge Farm, explained that he left for work around 3:45 a.m. on Monday and that when he came home around 11 a.m., he discovered his "entire house destroyed."

"I tried calling out for Anubis, but he didn't answer, so I called police, and the K9 unit went in for me because I was too shaken up," he said. "Sure enough, Anubis came around the corner, and when he saw me, he immediately came over and put my head to my lap. That's when I realized he was bleeding."
Police then shined a light and saw a "prominent bullet hole" in Anubis' scalp, Watson said, adding that his father came and took Anubis to a primary care vet and that Anubis was later transferred to BluePearl.

"Anubis is my son," he said. "I can have my items stolen or my house damaged, and all that is replaceable. But Anubis? He's family."

Watson, who lives alone with Anubis, added that he plans on moving out of the area soon.
Police ask that anyone with information about the suspect or incident please call 893-7780 or text SPPD and the information to tip411.

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Caleb Bratayley's Family Had History of Heart Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Days after YouTube celebrity Caleb Logan Bratayley died at the age of 13 from an "undetected medical condition," his parents tell ABC News that the family has a history of "hypertrophic cardiomyopathy," a heart condition where the heart muscle "becomes abnormally thick," according to the Mayo Clinic.

The disease can go undetected and people suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy "have few, if any, symptoms," the Mayo Clinic adds. But the disease can result in heart rhythms that are abnormal, which can be serious if not deadly.

Caleb died Thursday of natural causes, the family wrote over the weekend on Instagram, adding that the death of their 13-year-old boy "has come as a shock to all of us. Words cannot describe how much we will miss him." The Bratayley family used a pseudonym for their YouTube page.

Last night, the family added more details about Caleb's death, writing, "Tests have confirmed today that Caleb passed away from an undetected medical condition. We'll have more definitive answers in the coming weeks but ask that you help us celebrate his life instead of focus on his death."

Caleb's last video for the family page, which has more than 1.6 million subscribers, features the young star pondering what he'd ask his future self. The family also shared a montage of Caleb and his two sisters in a clip titled, "Caleb, Gone But Never Forgotten." The clip contains moments from a docu-series Caleb and his family were making with ABC News-Lincoln Square Productions about the American Revolution and the 2016 presidential race.

The Bratayleys are associated with Maker Studios, a Disney-owned digital company. Disney is also the parent company of ABC News.

The Bratayley family will livestream their son's funeral at 8 p.m. Tuesday "due to an outpouring of support and people's hope to be part of his memorial," they said.

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Your Body: Choosing the Sex of Your Baby

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Boy or girl? If you could choose, would you?

A growing number of couples are deciding to forego the surprise of labor and delivery and actually choose the sex of their baby.

It’s called gender selection and Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, a director at The Fertility Institutes, says up to 90 percent of his patients come to him because they want to decide whether they have a boy or a girl.

Now, gender selection for non-medical reasons is not without controversy. Ethically, on the side for gender selection, are the concepts of patient autonomy and reproductive liberty. On the opposing side are issues of possible gender discrimination and the inappropriate use of medical resources.

The United States is only one of a handful of countries that allow gender selection.

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Parents’ Pressure Could Be Lowering Kids’ Enrollment in Youth Sports

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Are parents taking all the fun out of kids playing sports these days?

That’s exactly what some experts are saying. By taking the competitive edge to the extreme, it could be having negative effects on your child’s desires to play.

A survey by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association has discovered that over a recent five-year span, the number of kids and teens playing team sports declined nearly 4 percent and that participation in all sports in general is down 10 percent. Some experts are placing the majority of the blame on pressure from parents.

“Parents are getting increasingly competitive about showing that their kids are number one in everything and sports is just another example,” Lindsay Powers, editorial director of Yahoo Parenting, told ABC News.

Amanda Joy Visek, an associate professor at George Washington University, surveyed nearly 150 children, asking what they found fun about sports. The results were that kids reacted positively to team dynamics, trying hard and learning. However, on a list of 81 factors contributing to their happiness, they put “winning” all the way down at number 48.

“When there’s such an overemphasis on winning, it really takes away the enjoyment and fun experience from the kids,” Visek, Ph.D., explained.

Lisa Harper, a mother of two, values hard work and discipline in sports.

“It translates into school, it translates into professions,” Harper, of Redwood City, California, said.

So how do we get kids back on the field enjoying athletics again? Experts say a shift in parents’ attitudes and expectations could do the trick.

“Parents should take a step back and really listen to what their kids want,” said Powers. “For overly competitive parents, it’s never too late to make a change.”

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Study: Recommended Amount of Exercise Isn't Enough

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Health officials had recommended that just a half hour of low-impact exercise each day is be enough to "substantially" lower the risk of heart failure — however, a new study says that's not the case.

According to Professor Jarett Berry, who co-authored the study just published in the journal Circulation, "Walking 30 minutes a day as recommended in the physical activity guidelines, may not be good enough," adding, "significantly more physical activity may be necessary to reduce the risk of heart failure."

The study from the University of Texas crunched data from 370,000 people regarding their health and exercise levels over an average of 15 years, and the findings of Berry and his team were consistent across all ages, genders, races, and countries studied.

The minimum recommended amount of exercise led to just a 10 percent lower risk of heart failure.

However, the researchers found that people who doubled that amount enjoyed nearly a 20 percent lower risk, while those who did four times as much as the minimum amount — which amounts to ten hours of exercise a week — enjoyed a 35 percent lower chance of heart failure.

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General Mills Voluntarily Recalling Cheerios That May Not Be Gluten-Free

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  General Mills said that it's recalling some Cheerios cereal products, because some boxes may be mislabeled gluten-free that contain wheat.

The company said Monday that it's voluntarily recalling Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios products made at its facility in Lodi, California, due to an incident that allowed wheat flour to enter its gluten-free oat-based system.

A spokeswoman for General Mills said there have been reports of illness by consumers online and two illness complaints were reported directly to General Mills related to the affected products.

The company asks customers to check the "better if used by" code dates on Honey Nut Cheerios boxes for July 12-25, 2016 with plant code "LD" at the end. For example, "12JUL2016 LD" to "25Jul2016 LD."
For the yellow boxes of original Cheerios, the dates are July 14-17, 2016:

14JUL2016 LD

15JUL2016 LD

16JUL2016 LD

17JUL2016 LD

The company said this voluntary recall affects products made in four days of the original Cheerios and 13 days of production of Honey Nut Cheerios.

The company, which is transitioning five varieties of Cheerios to gluten-free, said other cereals produced at General Mills' other facilities are not affected.

"We want to reassure you that this was an isolated incident and we have implemented a solution to ensure that this will not happen again. We'll also continue to test products and our oat flour supply to ensure our products meet the gluten-free standard. We care about what you and your family eat and we are truly sorry for this mistake. We will work extremely hard to earn back your trust," according to a statement from the Cheerios Twitter handle.



Customers who want refunds or have questions should call General Mills consumer services at 800-775-8370.

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