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Monday
Apr162018

35 reported cases of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce: CDC

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Contaminated chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, is likely to blame for the E. Coli outbreak that has infected 35 people across 11 states, including 22 hospitalizations, according to the CDC.

"Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick," the CDC said in a statement.

If a consumer is unsure if the lettuce is romaine and if a restaurant or retailer has romaine lettuce from the Yuma area, 185 miles southwest of Phoenix, the CDC recommended that the lettuce should be discarded.

Over 200 million eggs recalled for salmonella concerns; sold at Walmart, Food Lion stores

The three people that have been hospitalized with E. Coli in this outbreak have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said.

No deaths have been reported, and the last related illness was reported on March 31.

Of the 35 illnesses reported in this outbreak, nine people were in Pennsylvania, eight in Idaho and seven people in New Jersey. Other states that have reported cases include Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, the CDC said.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Those who have reported illness range in age from 12 to 84 years old, with a median age of 29, according to the CDC. Of those, 69 percent were female.

More cases of E. Coli infection may be reported in the coming weeks, since some people may not immediately report the illness.

"Illnesses that occurred after March 27, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported," the CDC said. "This takes an average of two to three weeks."

No specific grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been linked to the contaminated lettuce, the CDC said.

CDC officials told ABC News that investigation of the outbreak is ongoing and they expect an update this week.

Yuma has been considered the "winter lettuce capital" of the U.S.; the area hosts an annual lettuce festival.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

Teacher who lost 100 pounds now running to the Boston Marathon finish line

Andy Bell(BOSTON) --  Among the thousands of people running the Boston Marathon today is man who just five years ago weighed 100 pounds more than he does now and could not run more than two minutes at a time.

Andy Bell, of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, is aiming to run the 26.2-mile race in just three hours and 16 minutes.

 Bell’s transformation from out-of-shape high school basketball coach to an athlete running in one of the world’s most exclusive marathons began with a simple 5K race on Thanksgiving that he says his wife forced him to enter.

“She wanted to run a local Turkey Trot,” Bell, 45, told ABC News. “I thought it was the dumbest idea ever, but she wanted to do it and signed us up.”

Bell, a high school sociology teacher, had just been to the doctor before his 40th birthday and was told he needed to take blood pressure medication and that he was on the fast track to diabetes.

"He was a heart attack waiting to happen," said Bell's wife, Heidi Bell. "There was a realization that [if things didn't change], he wasn't going to be around for as long as we wanted him."

 At nearly 300 pounds, Andy Bell decided he would run for 10 minutes on a treadmill at his high school’s gym after basketball practice ended every day.

“Two minutes in [the first 10-minute run] I had to hit the stop button,” he recalled. “There was a bench nearby and I sat down and just put my head in my hands and was crying.”

He continued, “I could not believe it had gotten to this point. I was only 39 years old.”

Andy Bell decided to eliminate fried food and soda from his diet. He kept running on the treadmill every day, just aiming to run 30 seconds or one minute more than the day before.

Andy Bell, who played multiple sports in high school, completed the Turkey Trot and learned that he loved to run.

“[In high school], running was always the punishment for doing what you weren’t supposed to do,” he said. “I was as surprised as anyone that I enjoyed how I felt not only after the run but during the run.”

“I just discovered I was at peace when I was running and it just fueled me to keep adding time,” said Andy Bell, who does not listen to music when he runs, focusing instead on his heartbeat, his steps and the environment around him.

The more he ran, the more weight he lost. The more weight he lost, he said, the faster he ran.

Within one year, Andy Bell said he lost 100 pounds.

 Today, five years later, he has maintained the weight loss and completed 11 marathons, three ultramarathons and 100 Spartan races -- running races that also include extreme obstacles.

"Once he decides to do something, he gives all of himself to it," Heidi Bell said of her husband. "It's nice to be reminded that we're capable or more than we think we are, and he's a perfect reminder of that."

Andy Bell, who is now a certified personal trainer, qualified for this year’s Boston Marathon in his age group by more than six minutes.

 He wakes up at 4:55 a.m. to get his workout done before his wife and three daughters start their days. He follows an eating plan of “everything in moderation,” he said.

“I have a healthy combo of vegetables, good carbs (multi-grain bread) and lean meat like turkey,” he said. “After a long run on the weekends I like to treat myself to a diet soda.”

He and his wife made their trip to Boston a celebration weekend, marking the longest time the two have been apart from their kids since their oldest, 19, was born.

“We’re viewing this as our celebration,” said Andy Bell, who had a racing shirt custom-made for today’s marathon with his wife and daughters’ names on his sleeves.

 When asked what he is most looking forward to during today’s marathon, he quickly replied, “seeing the finish line.”

“I don’t think there’s anything anyone wants to see more than that,” he said. “I’d imagine the emotions and reactions will be very similar to that first two-minute run I had.”

“[I’ll be] collapsed, head in my hands and the emotions will be flowing,” Andy Bell said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

Girls born to obese moms far more likely to start puberty early, study finds

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Girls born to obese mothers are more likely to start puberty early than daughters of normal-weight or underweight mothers, new research finds.

The study, published today in the American Journal of Epidemiology, involved more than 15,000 girls ages 6 to 11 in Northern California, using doctors' records of children's development for the analysis.

The normal age for girls to start puberty is between 8 and 13 years old, with early puberty defined as beginning when a girl is younger than 8.

The research -- when adjusting for factors like the mother's age, ethnicity and education level when she gives birth, and whether she smokes -- found that early puberty was 39 percent more likely among girls born to obese mothers, and 21 percent more likely among those with overweight mothers.

The gap was even larger when comparing girls of overweight and underweight mothers. Daughters of overweight mothers started puberty on average seven months earlier than those with underweight mothers.

It is already known that a mothers’ weight can affect the weight of her children.

But this is the first large-scale study showing that it may also affect the age at which a daughter reaches puberty. Researchers think the association might be related to fetal development in the womb.

“What we are learning is that the in-utero environment may affect the timing of future pubertal development” Ai Kubo, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California and one of the authors of this study, said in a press release. “[This] makes sense since human brains are developed in utero and the brain releases hormones affecting puberty”.

Girls who undergo puberty early are known to experience higher rates of depression and anxiety. Later in life they are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, cardiac conditions and some breast and reproductive cancers.

However, this study did not follow girls who had puberty early for years or measure the rates at which they suffered such health problems. Researchers also looked only at the age girls started puberty, not the time taken to complete it.

When comparing groups of girls based on ethnicity, the study found that the association between a mother's weight and a daughter's age at puberty onset was strongest for children of Asian ethnicity. Girls born to overweight Asian mothers were 53 percent more likely to start puberty early compared to daughters of Asian mothers of normal weight.

American girls in general have begun in recent years to start puberty at younger ages, partly because of higher rates of childhood obesity.

However, the average age of puberty has fallen also for children who aren’t overweight, leading doctors to think that other factors besides a girl's weight may be involved.

Although this study adjusted for several factors -- including the child’s weight before puberty and the mother’s age and whether she smoked -- it isn't certain that every possible factor which could affect the onset of puberty was accounted for.

The research also found that girls born to mothers with hyperglycemia, a high blood-sugar level, were more likely to start puberty early.

Interestingly, no such association was found when mothers had gestational diabetes, a condition in which blood-sugar levels rise temporarily during pregnancy. Researchers think this might be because the women with this diagnosis took extra care of their health.

“It’s possible that women with the diagnosis of gestational diabetes were more careful about weight and diet, which might have changed the amount of weight gain,” Kubo suggested.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

No, you can't tell "in your bones" if it's going to rain 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  If you're not one of those people yourself, chances are you know someone who insists they can tell if it's going to rain thanks to a bum knee or a trick elbow.

Sorry to inform you, however: researchers from Harvard Medical School say they've proven you don't have a super power. 

After comparing data from 11 million primary care visits for back or joint pain in the United States to weather stats from thousands of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stations, the scientists found no connection between the visits and rainy weather.
 
"The bottom line is: Painful joints and sore backs may very well be unreliable forecasters," noted study lead Anupam Jena with Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Apr152018

Blind bride details how 'extremely difficult' it is planning her 'fairy tale' wedding

James Day - Wedding Photographer(NEW YORK) -- A blind bride is planning her wedding despite how "extremely difficult" it's been without being able to see, among other things, her wedding gown.

Stephanie Agnew became engaged to Robert Campbell last Christmas when he dropped down on one knee in front of family. The South Melbourne, Australian, couple has spent the past year busily planning their fall wedding.

Photographer James Day, who met Agnew, 31, when the two were in high school, has been documenting her wedding planning in hopes to "raise awareness about vision loss," the bride told ABC News.

Agnew was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with cone-rod retinal dystrophy, which causes deterioration of the retina and gradually leads to blindness. The bride was familiar with the genetic condition because her mother and two brothers have the same condition.

The former real estate agent told ABC News that "having no vision can be extremely difficult but I do not let it stop me it just means I have to find different ways of doing things."

"It is extremely difficult trying to plan a wedding when you are blind," Agnew continued. "The majority of images online have no descriptions and everything is extremely visual. Forget trying to find inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram!

"I have to rely on the people around me to find things that I say I like and try to understand my vision for the day and pick things that they know I would like even if they don’t," she added. "I have a vision in my head of what I want but without having images it is extremely hard to describe this to others."

Agnew recently tried on wedding dresses at Luv Bridal in Australia with her family, bridesmaids and her brother Cal, who doesn't have cone-rod retinal dystrophy. She had to rely heavily on her family and attendants describing what her fingers were touching.

Day wrote in a blog post about the couple that Agnew regrets not trying on wedding dresses while she still had her vision. Right now, she can only see shadows and shapes, and also relies on a seeing-eye dog to navigate her world.

Agnew said she was initially "hesitant" to try on wedding dresses without seeing them.

"I thought I would get upset because I couldn’t see what I look like, but I enjoyed the experience overall," she admitted.

For Agnew, planning her wedding -- the big day is in November! -- means relying on others to interpret her vision. But she's still excited to wed 48-year-old Campbell.

She told ABC News she's most looking forward to "getting the fairy tale that I always wanted despite the fact that I am blind."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Apr142018

Celebrity bridal designer Amsale Aberra who passed away from cancer last week lives on through tribute show

Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  A tribute was held for the late celebrity bridal designer Amsale Aberra at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City.

The designer, who's dressed brides such as Jessica Alba, Ayesha Curry and Hilaria Baldwin, passed away last week, succumbing to uterine cancer. She was 64.

For more than 30 years, her classic designs appealed to brides who appreciated quality over swarms of tulle, who desired a timeless design over the latest bridal fad. On Friday, succeeding design director Margo Lafontaine delivered what brides have come to expect.

After the Nouvelle Amsale collection brought tons of affordable silk bridal gowns down the runway, her eponymous collection impressed. The more upscale spring 2019 collection, which includes Amsale Blue Label, featured Chantilly lace, oversized bows perfect for any bride wanting to make a statement from behind and Amsale's signature, illusion.

As the show ended, a tribute video played, featuring Aberra's career highlights, including her appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Then, the music cut off for a moment of silence.

Then the final dress, which was Aberra's very first design in 1990, gracefully marched down the catwalk. The floor-length duchess satin column gown, featuring a sheer illusion neckline, was paired with long silk gloves. And the back of the dress had added drama thanks to a pleated train, with hand-rolled satin rosettes.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr132018

Family of newborn taken after birth sues hospital, Native American tribe

Creatas/Thinkstock(KENDALL, Fla.) -- The family of a newborn who was taken from a hospital after she was born is suing the Native American tribe who sent an officer to take her as well as the hospital, which they claim was negligent in allowing the infant to be discharged.

On March 18, the baby girl, named Ingrid, was taken from West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Kendall, Florida, by a Miccosukee Tribe police officer who presented hospital staff with a tribal court order to obtain custody of the baby.

Lawyers for Ingrid's parents, Justin Johnson and Rebecca Sanders, filed the lawsuit Friday morning against members of the tribe as well as the hospital.

They accused the hospital and members of its staff of several counts of negligence in regard to Ingrid's discharge, her personal medical information and failure to mitigate the release of her personal information, attorney Maximilian Steiner said in a press conference Friday. The parents also accused the hospital of the tort of outrage and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

"The hospital has a duty to protect their patients," attorney Richard Wolfe said. "There was a simple act of negligence."

The lawsuit also accuses several members of the tribe -- including Michael Gay, the officer who allegedly took Ingrid, and Sanders' mother, Betty Osceola -- of false imprisonment, conspiracy, the tort of outrage and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Steiner said.

Wolfe alleged that Gay conducted the "kidnapping" at gunpoint and violated federal law when he brought his gun off tribal territory.

"The officer who came to the hospital illegally had his hand on his gun," Rolfe said.

The lawsuit did not allege negligence on behalf of the tribal members because they have sovereign immunity, Wolfe said.

Johnson said that while he and his family are "doing much better now" that they have their daughter back, he's afraid that the "Miccosukee Tribe would possibly try this again."

"It's like waking up from a nightmare and then still wondering if something like this can happen again," he said. "We're trying to make sure it doesn't happen."

Sanders also said she is "still fearful," describing the ordeal as traumatic.

"I'm afraid to go anywhere alone or anywhere that I can't protect my daughter from anything happening to her," she said.

The custody battle began last month after a tribal judge granted custody of baby Ingrid and Sanders' two older children to Osceola, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

The parents alleged that Osceola falsely claimed Johnson had abused Sanders' older children in order to get the tribal court to grant her custody.

On Friday, Johnson said he was unaware of the abuse allegations until baby Ingrid was taken from the hospital. Sanders said she was "dumbfounded" by the allegations, adding that Johnson is like a father figure to her older children.

Miami-Dade police said that a tribal police sergeant had asked them for backup to enforce a federal court order to take the baby from the hospital, but it was later determined that there was no federal order, just an order from the tribe.

Days later after she was taken, a tribal judge ordered the baby to be returned to Johnson and Sanders.

But Sanders' two older children are still in her mother's custody, she said on Friday.

"My ultimate goal in this situation is to get my other two children back," she said.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Johnson, and a subsequent lawsuit will be filed on behalf of Sanders, Wolfe said, adding that the separate filings are part of their legal strategy.

The appropriate amount of monetary damages in the lawsuit will be determined by a jury in Broward County, Wolfe said.

The attorneys have contacted both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Florida State Attorney's office, calling for them to criminally charge those responsible for Ingrid's kidnapping, Wolfe said.

A spokeswoman for the Baptist Health system declined to comment on the pending litigation, but said the hospital feels "for everyone involved in this challenging circumstance."

"It is our policy to be in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and to work in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards," Dori Alvarez, corporate director of marketing and communications for Baptist Health, said in a statement to ABC News.

A spokesperson for the Miccosukee Tribe was not available to comment on the lawsuit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr132018

Tearful mom describes joy of seeing colorblind son experience ‘everything in Technicolor’

ABCNews.com(MARIETTA, Ga.) -- A colorblind boy’s new special glasses instantly made his world brighter and, for the first time, full of color.

Cameron Fink and his mother, Erin Fink, joined "Good Morning America" Friday from their home in Marietta, Georgia, to describe the memorable moment when the 6-year-old put on the glasses and was able to see more shades of color than he has ever known.

"It has been amazing,” the overjoyed boy said. “There's been so much colors and there's even some that I didn't know existed.”

They first noticed his struggle to distinguish colors when he was a 3-year-old in preschool, Fink said, adding that colorblindness runs in the family.

He had struggled to distinguish between shades of red and green and used to see the world in muted hues, Fink said, until she gave him the special pair of optical-assistance glasses that can correct a red-green color deficiency.

"When I gave him the glasses, I didn't know if they were going to work or not, and as soon as he saw the color red for the first time it, was amazing," the mother said, holding back tears.

"Seeing him see the world and all these colors he didn't know existed is incredible. He's an awesome little boy and we just have so much fun together now when we go outside and he can see everything in Technicolor. It's indescribable."

The young boy, who was still wearing the glasses on "GMA,” said there are "too many colors" to describe all the new hues he has discovered, but he already has a new favorite.

"My favorite color is red," he said.



Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr132018

Here are the people most likely to use marijuana based on their professions, study says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- People can now buy marijuana for medical use in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Should employers be worried about safety hazards of marijuana use both on and off the job?

A survey released by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) Thursday may help inform employers in Colorado about marijuana use in their industry.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) -- a phone survey about health habits in general -- and published a breakdown of marijuana use by industry and job.

Of the more than 10,000 workers surveyed, 14.6 percent answered yes to the question, “Did you use marijuana or hashish in the last 30 days?” They were not asked whether they used marijuana while on the job. Not surprisingly, use was more common in males and among young people, with nearly 30 percent of those in the 18- to 25-year-old age group reporting at least one use in 30 days.

Which profession smokes the most pot?

In the “accommodation and food services” industry, 30 percent of workers reported smoking pot at least once in the past month. Those in the job category “food preparation and serving” had the highest use at 32 percent of workers.

What other professions have a high proportion of marijuana users?

“Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media” came in second at 28 percent.

Marijuana use was reported by 19 to 21 percent of workers in “production,” “life, physical, and social science,” “sales and related,” and “installation, maintenance, and repair.”

What about people in high risk jobs?

While the study doesn’t reveal if anyone actually got high on the job, the researchers did take a special look at industries in “safety-sensitive occupations” in which workers are responsible for their own safety or the safety of others.

Those in construction, manufacturing, and agriculture industries all fell above the state average in percentage of workers reporting marijuana use. Notably, healthcare, utilities, or mining, oil, and gas all had less than 10 percent of their workers report marijuana use.

All three of these low-use industries are also those known to perform drug testing on employees.

The impact of marijuana use on job safety

This survey raises as many questions as it answers. The first and obvious, question: How many of these individuals have routinely or ever been under the influence of marijuana on the job? Similarly, just how frequently are they using?

We don’t have the answers. In the overall BRFSS population, employed and unemployed, just under half of the “within the month” marijuana users reported daily or near daily use. Of the remaining users, just about one-fourth of the population report using weekly, and the remaining one-fourth used only one to three times per month.

Since just over half of the total survey group was employed, it's impossible to say how many of the daily users are in the workforce. Another drawback to the survey, adults who had been employed within the past year -- even if they were not working at the time of the survey -- were included. It’s possible, then, that the time they were using pot and the time they were working in the reported profession had no overlap.

There's very limited evidence to suggest that marijuana use increases the risk of the workplace injury. However, there's certainly potential for problems if daily marijuana use is coupled with full-time work, particularly in safety-sensitive industries.

“The country is gradually becoming legalized with marijuana. We have highly anxious people," said Dr. Scott Krakower, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York, with an interest in drug use and abuse. "I think that is going to lead to increased marijuana use in a lot of industries. I don’t know if we’re 100 percent prepared for that.”

It is well-established that in the short term, marijuana use is associated with slow reactions, low attention, poor coordination and impaired executive function, or higher-level thinking. At higher doses, with variance depending on a person's body mass index and tolerance level, it can cause hallucinations, paranoia, delusional beliefs and feel emotionally unresponsive. All of the above impact a person’s ability to function in the workplace.

“There’s no good clear timeline” for the effects of marijuana to leave the system, Krakower said.

“If employees are smoking marijuana on their breaks," he added. "It’s going to have a downward repercussion for the rest of the workday.”

Infrequent marijuana users, defined as those using less than weekly, will become impaired after smoking or ingesting 10 milligrams or more of THC, a finding which “applies to smoking, eating, or drinking the marijuana or marijuana product,” according to the CDPHE. They should wait at least six hours after smoking or eight hours after eating or drinking marijuana before entering the workplace or performing safety-sensitive activities. Most of these studies were performed with a dose of 18 to 35 milligrams of marijuana; a typical joint can contain more than that.

Drug screens are unreliable for evaluating whether someone is impaired from marijuana use, as they can remain positive for up to 30 days after last use in people who use marijuana frequently.

Public health officials and employers will benefit from more standardized reporting of circumstances related to marijuana use when it comes to safety events, from machinery accidents to car crashes.

Next steps: Workplace marijuana use policies

In states where marijuana use is legal, companies are currently left to their own judgment regarding workplace use.

Those with a policy that allows medicinal or recreational marijuana use during personal time will have difficulty interpreting a positive drug screen -- was the employee high at work or does the result reflect his or her use last weekend?

Experts have suggested implementing standardized cognitive testing rather than drug screens for those approved to use marijuana while employed -- or for those with a suspected marijuana-related workplace safety incident.

For those allowing medical marijuana use among employees, Krakower suggested that “companies should come up with a specific template that goes to the doctor. To justify how long ... for what ... what’s the frequency, duration [of use]. Will there be regular check-ins?”

Marijuana use is frequently linked to mental health issues

If an employee is using marijuana, Krakower suggests that employers dig further.

“Is there anxiety, is there ADHD, is there depression?" he said. "If marijuana is there, what else are we missing? Are we meeting [our employees'] needs?”

Federal law allows employers to prohibit employees from working under the influence of marijuana and may discipline employees who violate the prohibition without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Several states have laws, however, which prohibit discrimination based on its use, citing evidence supporting the positive effects of marijuana on various health conditions. With widespread legalization, we will likely see publicized court cases surrounding these issues.

Now that marijuana is legal, Krakower said, “It’s a whole new world.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr132018

Bride with stage 4 cancer enjoys 'beautiful' wedding despite doctors' urging her to push up the date

Tiffany Ellis Photography(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Despite being urged by doctors to do otherwise, one bride battling stage 4 cancer kept her wedding date because it had a special meaning for her.

Laurin and Michael Bank wed on March 24, which was also the couple's third anniversary of when they first started dating.

Still, the two were unsure if they'd ever make it to their wedding date due to Laurin's battle with stage 4 cancer in her bones, liver and lungs.

"We were just very adamant about ... not letting cancer rule our lives. We were going to have a wedding on our terms," Laurin, 29, told ABC News. "Mike and I, we’re a team. I know that if he supports me, it’ll work out."

The Columbia, South Carolina, newlyweds began dating three weeks before Laurin underwent a double mastectomy in April 2015. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer seven months before. Along with her surgery, Laurin was treated with chemotherapy and radiation before doctors said they found no evidence of cancer in her body.

"I was going through a divorce at the time," Michael, 34, recalled. "Neither of us were looking for anything serious. Our entire relationship has been focused on enjoying life and having fun and that’s exactly what we're doing."

They were having so much fun, in fact, that Michael proposed to his now-wife at Niagara Falls in June 2017.

"He he got down on knee and asked if we can keep this party going? And I said, 'Yes!'" Laurin said.

But the couple would be hit with hard news two months later.

Laurin's cancer had returned, and it had spread throughout her body.

"We were in shock," Laurin said. "Because I had done so well ... it was kind of a shock to us."

But for Laurin, it wasn't the first time she had heard those two words in her lifetime: stage 4. Both of her parents died from stage 4 cancer. When Laurin was 17 years old, her mom passed away from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and her father died when she was 22 years old from stage 4 colon cancer.

"Unfortunately there's a long family history of it," she said, referencing her family's history of cancer. "In a sense, I wasn’t completely blindsided."

Doctors urged the couple in September 2017 to move up their wedding date. They urged them, again, at another doctors' visit in December.

"They just weren't sure if I would ... be able to walk down the aisle without assistance or be able to walk around without oxygen because all of the signs were not good at that point," Laurin explained. "But Mike and I decided that we would keep the wedding date. It’s booked, and our friends and families had their flights booked. We said, 'We're not changing anything.'"

Mike said he also wanted to keep their wedding date to give Laurin "something to keep looking forward to," adding, "I knew her biggest dream was for us to be married."

And on March 24, the couple's third anniversary, the two wed in front of approximately 225 guests.

They received help planning their "beautiful" day from In the Middle, a non-profit organization that helps grant wishes for those battling breast cancer. Laurin's brother, David, walked her down the aisle.

The two are now making honeymoon plans. They're hoping that Laurin, who's part of a clinical trial to treat her cancer, would complete her treatments by then and be cleared to fly.

"We're hoping that by my 30th birthday in September that we'll be in Italy," Laurin said.

"Amalfi Coast," her husband added, "is her big bucket list item."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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