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Friday
Feb092018

Kate Walsh shares self-care regimen after undergoing surgery to remove brain tumor

Tommaso Boddi/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's been nearly three years since former "Grey’s Anatomy" and "Private Practice" star Kate Walsh had to face her own health scare.

The actress told Cosmopolitan magazine last year that she had a benign tumor in her brain removed in 2015.

Now Walsh, 50, is prioritizing herself and encouraging other women to prioritize their health.

"You can never talk too much about how important it is for women to be proactive about their health," she told ABC News.

She was one of the many women -- along with Melissa Joan Hart, Tatyana Ali, and "The Bachelorette" star Rachel Lindsay -- to walk the catwalk at this year's Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection.

Held Thursday night inside New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom, the American Heart Association's fashion show, which helps raise awareness for how heart disease affects women, kicked off New York
Fashion Week.

Walsh said that now her trick to self-care involves lots and lots of water.

"I walk around with this giant water bottle," the actress said. "It's a half-gallon. So if I make it through one of these a day, I'm doing great."

Walsh added that her water at times includes apple cider vinegar, lemons and astragalus root, which is considered by some to be an anti-aging and stress-reducing herb.

"I'm always keeping inflammation low," she explained of her additions.

Along with keeping a diet high in good fats and protein -- "tons of veggies," she said -- Walsh loves walking. In fact, it's one of the reasons why she moved back to New York, she said.

But just because she's focused on her health doesn't mean she doesn't splurge sometimes.

"I'm not going to stay away from my potato chips and by the way I love regular Doritos," she gushed. "I like the orange powder."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb092018

Mother gives birth, abandons baby in airport bathroom with handwritten note

Tucson Airport Authority/Storyful

(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Authorities are looking for a mother who they believe abandoned her newborn baby at Tucson International Airport with a handwritten note pleading, "I just want what is best for him and it is not me."

The woman, seen on security footage carrying something wrapped in a blanket and walking with an awkward gait, may have given birth in an airport bathroom in Tucson, Arizona, before leaving the child on a changing table at a family changing room with a handwritten note, Los Angeles ABC station KABC-TV reported.

The Tucson Airport Authority released footage this week of the woman walking through the airport when the baby was abandoned on Jan. 14, and are looking to find out who she is.

The note left with the child read, "Please help me. My mom had no idea she was pregnant. She is unable and unfit to take care of me. Please get me to the authorities so they can find a good home.

"I just want what is best for him and it's not me," the note adds.

Airport security received a 911 call from someone who discovered the baby at the changing table near baggage claim, according to KABC-TV, and they immediately began investigating.

The child was in good condition, authorities said.

The Washington Post reported that airport officials found bloody clothes in an airport bathroom they believe belong to the woman.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Feb082018

Why you should chat with your doctor about your bucket list

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A “bucket list” could be a roadmap for your doctor.

A new study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine proposes that your bucket list, a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying, can become a shorthand for the goals-of-care conversation that everybody tiptoes around but one that is especially important as you age or develop chronic medical conditions.

This study states that a Google search for “bucket list” turned up nearly 84 million results compared to the mere 4.5 million results for the term “advance directives” -- that is, a written statement of people's wishes about end-of-life care.

Thus, the concept of a "bucket list" might be a more approachable way to engage patients about their health behaviors and health-related decisionmaking, the study's authors suggest.

Researchers from the Stanford Unversity School of Medicine conducted an online survey of 3,056 participants across the United States found that about 91 percent of respondents had a bucket list.

Six common themes emerged on the respondents’ bucket list: travel, accomplishing a personal goal, hitting specific life milestones (see kids get married, become a grandmother), spending quality time with friends and family, getting financial stability, and doing a daring activity (go deep-sea fishing).

The desire to travel was the most prevalent item followed by the desire to accomplish a personal goal. The desire to spend quality time with friends and family was also a popular theme, but mainly among participants greater than 63 years of age.

In a press release about the study, one of the authors reported that she had a patient with gallbladder cancer who was really stressed because he wanted to take his family to Hawaii but had treatment for the cancer scheduled.

After an informed discussion about his options and side effects of cancer treatment, they were able to make a decision that aligned with his goals. He went to Hawaii, then came back for treatment.

“Patients don’t see the relevance of an advance directive,” said VJ Periyakoil, M.D., in the press release. “They do see the relevance of a bucket list as a way to help them plan ahead for what matters most in their lives.”

The study concludes by suggesting that clinicians use patients' bucket lists as a "starting point" to crafting personal care plans.
 
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Thursday
Feb082018

Stroke victim fighting for his runaway service dog that woman won't return 

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- When Zeus ran away from his California home over a year ago, David Guindon thought his husky was gone for good. Thanks to a microchip, however, Zeus has been found. But, Guindon says, the woman who has him is refusing to give him back.

Guindon bought Zeus in 2014 as a service dog after he suffered a stroke and heart attack that left him unable to walk, he told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV.

Zeus helped him get around his San Bernardino home in his motorized wheelchair, Guindon told the station.

"If I want to go outside I just tell him, ‘Open the door.’ He'd flip it open for me," Guindon said. "[He would] hold it open long enough so I could get towards it and get out."

 In May 2016, Guindon said, Zeus escaped through the front door. He searched everywhere for the missing dog, posting signs and even hiring a pet detective but Zeus had disappeared.

Then, a year and a half later, he received a phone call from the microchip company. The lost dog had popped up in another woman’s possession and she was trying to re-register the dog in her name.

"I said, ‘Oh no! I want my dog back,’” Guindon told KABC.

He said neither the microchip company nor animal control would release the woman’s information. The only details they would provide were her name, “Shawnee,” and that she lives about an hour away in Lake Elsinore, California.

Neil Trent, executive director of the local animal control organization, said Zeus would have been returned if he had been brought to the shelter as a lost animal and the microchip identified Guindon as the owner.

He said he has filed a stolen property report with the San Bernardino Police Department but the woman is still refusing to return the dog.

The woman hung up the phone when KABC called her, the station reported. Guindon said the next step toward getting Zeus back may be to hire a lawyer.

“I just want my dog back, please,” Guindon said. “I miss him every day.”



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Thursday
Feb082018

Triplets from 'embryo adventure' turn 6 months old

Courtesy Samantha Clark(NEW YORK) -- A little over a year ago, Mickey and Samantha Clark were moving across Oregon. The couple, who had been undergoing fertility treatments, needed to bring their frozen embryos along to another clinic closer to their new home.

So they decided to have a little fun with the embryos along the way by taking some fun pictures.

Samantha told "Good Morning America" that the photos only "took all of 10 minutes" to take and, now, they've been seen around the world.

Courtesy Samantha Clark"We were cracking up the whole time," she said.

Three of those embryos have been born and, today, they turn 6 months old.

It's a sweet celebration for a couple who never knew if they would have a family.

Courtesy Samantha Clark"I had endometriosis and PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome]," Samantha said. "We knew before we got married that it would be difficult to have children, so we decided to forgo a wedding to save our money to pursue having kids through adoption, foster care or infertility treatments."

Courtesy Samantha ClarkThe couple didn't have any luck with adoption or foster care. They intended to try a medicated intrauterine insemination (IUI), she said, but she produced so many eggs because of her PCOS that it wasn't possible. So the couple had to come up with $12,000 for an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, which they ultimately ended up getting the money from an aunt.

Courtesy Samantha ClarkFrom the IVF procedure came their six embryos which needed to be frozen. So when it came time for the couple to move, they couldn't leave those embryos behind and decided to take them on a bit of an adventure. The couple was assured by their doctor it was fine to take a few photos and they were very gentle, she said.

Courtesy Samantha Clark"I didn't actually go down that slide," she said. "And the swing wasn't really moving."

The embryos also met their great-grandparents, she said, and they were amazed by the science that allowed them to meet their great-grandchildren before they were born.

Courtesy Samantha ClarkThe fraternal triplets were named Shepherd, Eleni, and Ayla Clark.

Samantha said she hopes their family's story brings hope to other couples struggling with infertility.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Feb082018

How addicts and their loved ones find 'strength' in online community

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Those with family members struggling with addiction or who have lost loved ones to an overdose have formed a judgment-free haven online where they can openly discuss their issues, creating a vitally important community of support in the midst of a raging national crisis.

"When my active heroin-addicted son finally admitted he had a problem, I didn’t know where to turn, where to educate myself," Dawn Campbell told ABC News. "So I turned to Facebook."

Campbell is one of the over 60,000 members -- including addicts and their loved ones -- in a private Facebook support group called "Affected By Addiction."

"I found a strength in numbers," member Tracey Mae said of the group, which she described as "a kinship, a fellowship."

Member Kelly Wicklund added that when it comes to addiction, "it's not just the addict" but "the whole family" that is impacted.

At a time when nearly half of Americans report having a family member or close friend who has suffered from addiction, according to a Pew Research Center survey released late last year, the online community has become a vital gathering place for both addicts and their loved ones to find support.

"We can come together get ideas, find out information, vent if we need to -- and nobody is going to judge us," member Amy Valandingham said.

Jennifer Dulski, the head of community and groups at Facebook, added that many may feel more comfortable openly discussing addiction online because of how it still carries a stigma.

"Addiction is really somewhat a taboo topic that people don’t talk about much," Dulski said. "So being able to find that community online allows people to open up."

'I should be dead'


One member, Jackie, who wished to only be identified by her first name, told ABC News that she turned to the community as her daughter, Kaitlyn, struggled with addiction.

Jackie described Kaitlyn as "the person that everybody wanted to be friends with -- until she got mixed up with the wrong ones."

At 13, Kaitlyn started drinking and using drugs, and at 18, she moved out of the family home, Jackie said.

Kaitlyn told ABC News she began using "Xanax, Percocets and molly." She added, "Then, you know, went to heroin."

"I was living with the person that was giving me the heroin," Kaitlyn said. "I was getting high."

After finding a friend dead from an overdose, Kaitlyn said she knew she had to turn her life around.

At 20, she is now 15 months clean and sober, but said she has spent almost a third of her young life dealing with addiction and recovery.

"I've been through a lot, especially for my age," Kaitlyn said. "I should be dead."

Jackie said the Facebook group has supported her and Kaitlyn through their entire journey, celebrating each milestone of Kaitlyn's recovery as a group.

'I don’t want to see any more families have to live with losing their child to addiction'

Matt Mendoza, administrator of the Facebook group, told ABC News that they have also "had hundreds, if not thousands, get placed into rehab from people in the group." The Facebook group grew out of a website, AddictionUnscripted.com, also run by Mendoza.

Jackie said she now checks in on the group several times a day to support other mothers and members impacted by a loved one's addiction.

"I tell other addicts who are struggling or new to recovery to keep fighting the fight and stay strong," she said. "Even if it's just for one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time, just for today."

Member Wendy Werbiskis told ABC News that she lost her son, Daniel, to an overdose and now is active in the Facebook group to make sure no other mother has to suffer the same loss.

"I don’t want to see any more families have to live with losing their child to addiction," Werbiskis said. "This is my main reason for staying in this group, if I can reach even one."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb072018

Moms find support, talk 'bad mommy' guilt in secret Facebook group

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mothers from across the country are turning to a secret Facebook group to lend support to each other, creating a virtual safe haven where they can "help make someone else's journey a little bit easier with a kind word, a piece of advice or a story."

"Initially when I started the group, people would start to ask things like what's the best sippy-cup to buy? What do you think about cloth diapers or store-bought diapers," Amy Hermes, the founder and administrator of the private Facebook group Mommy 2 Mommy told ABC News.

"And very quickly people started to form this amazing bond of trust," she added. "People started to have deeper conversations."

Hermes founded the group in 2011, and it has since grown to become a community of nearly 36,000 women. In order to join the secret group, you must be invited by a current member and then approved by an administrator.

"We are focused on making sure it's a safe place to connect, where people don't feel judged or shamed for having a different kind of philosophy," Hermes said.

Mothers from all walks of life flock to the online community 24 hours a day to seek and share their best advice for car seats, pediatricians, sleep training and much more.

Member Laura Mendes told ABC News she turned to the community one night when she was "awake at 3 o'clock in the morning," saying, "I couldn't feed my daughter."

Jennifer Dulski, the head of groups and community at Facebook told ABC News that some members of the virtual community even extend their support to each other in real-life meetups.

"There are also local outposts of this group where people meet in person," Dulski said. "And these communities of mothers really offer something that you don't get necessarily, just with your friends."

Many mothers also turn to the platform to candidly discuss their fears over the pressure to be perfect moms.

Mommy 2 Mommy member Annabel Raymond told ABC News she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support she received when she turned to the group after "having a guilty bad mommy moment."

"That day my resources were really low internally, I just wasn't that resilient, and I found myself getting to a point where I literally couldn't control my feelings," Raymond recalled. "So what I did with them was something that I taught my girls to do, which is to go to the other room and scream into a pillow.

"Even though it was a very human moment for me, I felt guilty," Raymond added.

She said she then posted about what happened in the group, writing in part, "Having a guilty bad mommy moment, today was one of those days."

"After two hours of nonstop whining, I hit the roof and started screaming," Raymond said, adding that later, she found a note that read, "Dear Momma, we know we upset you but we forgive you, love, Lily."

"My heart broke, this parenting business is hard," Raymond said. "The truth is that at the end of the day, I felt like I needed some support and some community.

"Parenting in this day and age is a very lonely process," Raymond added. "I was feeling particularly raw and vulnerable and just felt like I needed some people to relate."

She said one message, from Mommy 2 Mommy member Gemma Remillard, particularly stood out to her when she was feeling down.

"I wrote 'You're obviously doing a great job if they would write this note for you. You're human and with that comes all of the emotions,'" Remillard told ABC News.

Raymond said the note affected her because "in that moment, I really needed another mother reminding me of how important it is to be human, make mistakes, and then correct them."

Hermes said interactions like these are what the group is all about.

"If someone can help make someone else's journey a little bit easier with a kind word, a piece of advice or a story that they did the same exact thing, I think that is life-changing," Hermes said. "And I'm so proud to be a part of that."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Feb072018

Trump adviser says ignore flu shots and 'inoculate yourself with the word of God'

iStock/Thinkstock(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- A Texas-based evangelist with ties to President Donald Trump came under fire this week after video re-surfaced of her telling followers that they don't need to get a flu shot because "Jesus himself gave us the flu shot."

Gloria Copeland, a member of the president's faith advisory council, posted the video last Wednesday, but it began to gain traction this week after a number of watch groups re-posted it on social-media channels.

"Listen, partners, we don't have a flu season," Copeland, 75, said in a Facebook video posted Jan. 31. "We've got a duck season, a deer season -- but we don't have a flu season."

"And don't receive it when somebody threatens you with, 'Everybody is getting the flu,'" she added. "We've already had our shot. He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. That's what we stand on."

A devastating flu outbreak has killed dozens since October. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at least 14,676 people have been hospitalized with influenza since the flu season began in October, double the number from all of last year and the highest ever recorded. The agency urges those who haven't been vaccinated to get a flu shot.

At least 53 children have died from the flu this season, including 16 just last week, according to the CDC.

Copeland, a co-founder of the Fort Worth, Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries, went on to pray for those who were already displaying flu-like symptoms, telling them to protect themselves by declaring, "I'll never have the flu."

"That's great -- that's the way it's supposed to be," she continued. "Just keep saying that 'I'll never have the flu. I'll never have the flu.' Inoculate yourself with the word of God. Flu, I bind you off the people in the name of Jesus. Jesus himself gave us the flu shot. He redeemed us from the curse of flu."

The video received more than 8,000 reactions and nearly 4,000 shares on Facebook as of Wednesday morning. Although some Facebook users agreed with the minister, others accused her of being "reckless" and "irresponsible."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Feb062018

What you need to know about the stomach bug plaguing the Olympics

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While the United States contends with one of the worst flu seasons in years, South Korea is grappling with a very different type of virus. Just days before the Olympics Opening Ceremony, 32 cases of norovirus have been confirmed among private security personnel, resulting in the deployment of 900 military personnel to take their place.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis or inflammation of the stomach and intestines. In other words, this is what most people call "the stomach flu" or even "food poisoning." But the virus is to blame and it can be found in vomit and stool.

How is norovirus spread?

Generally, it’s from contacting norovirus on a surface (such as: touching a surface contaminated with an infected person's liquids) and getting it into your body by touching your hand to your mouth. It can also spread by touching your mouth after direct physical contact with an infected person or consumption of contaminated food or water. It's one of the reasons restaurants have the "employees must wash hands" signs in the bathrooms, so to get any viruses off the hands.

What are the symptoms of norovirus?

Common symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, with other symptoms including dehydration, fever, headache, and body aches. These symptoms typically develop 12 to 48 hours after you are exposed to the virus, and can last for one to three days.

Dehydration is the most concerning symptom -- especially in children, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, decreased urination, and feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness when standing, with severe dehydration requiring hospitalization.

How is norovirus treated?

There are no medications that target norovirus. Symptoms usually go away by themselves after one to three days, but the most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids, including over-the-counter "oral rehydration fluids" can keep water in the body. If you are severely dehydrated, you may need to be hospitalized in order to get IV (intravenous) fluids.

How long am I contagious for if I’ve had norovirus?

Norovirus can be found in the stool for two weeks after symptoms go away. While ill and for at least two days after, it's advised to stay home from work, limit direct contact with others, and not share food with others.

How can I protect myself from norovirus?

Wash your hands with flowing water and soap for at least 30 seconds -- alcohol-based sanitizers are not as effective. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before handling food. In the kitchen, cook food thoroughly and make sure you wash and peel fruits and vegetables. It's also a good idea to clean and sanitize knives, cutting boards, and contaminated surfaces. Also, it's important to refrain from sharing utensils. Outside of the kitchen, you should make sure you wash soiled laundry thoroughly.

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Tuesday
Feb062018

Nationwide flu outbreak shows no sign of easing up as more deaths reported

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A nationwide flu outbreak is showing no sign of easing up as at least four more deaths have been reported in the past few days, including three children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said 14,676 people have been hospitalized with influenza since the flu season began in October, double the number from all of last year and the highest ever recorded.

In New York City, health officials confirmed Tuesday that two children had died. One was identified as 8-year-old Amely Baez of Queens, who died Monday shortly after she was rushed to a hospital with flu symptoms, health officials said.

Dr. Mary Bassett, the New York City health commissioner, said 6.5 percent of all patients seen at hospitals in the city in the past few days were for flu-related symptoms.

"That's the highest we've seen in the last four years," Bassett said at a news conference Tuesday to remind workers to take advantage of the city's sick pay law and stay home if they are not feeling well.

The CDC's latest influenza report shows that at least 53 children have died from the flu this season, including 16 just last week.

CDC officials said most flu seasons last up to 20 weeks and they expect to see increased flu activity for another several weeks.

Savanna Jessie, 7, of Columbus, Indiana, died on Friday, just one day after she tested positive for flu, strep and scarlet fever, her relatives said.

"Everybody is devastated. You never expect it to happen to you," Savanna's aunt, Courtney Hargett, told "Good Morning America."

Heather Holland, a 38-year-old second-grade teacher from Weatherford, Texas, died from flu complications early Sunday. The Weatherford School District sent a letter to parents telling them of Holland's death.

"She was a very, very kind lady, very good teacher. Everybody thought very highly of her, so it's really tough," Lindsay Larossa told ABC station KTRK-TV in Dallas.

In one Atlanta, Georgia, suburb, 50 school bus drivers and monitors called in sick, forcing staff at the Coal Mountain Elementary School in Cumming to drive the buses to get children to school, officials said.

And in Aurora, Illinois, a Catholic school is closed for the rest of the week due to the flu, according to ABC station WLS-TV.

"We have 26 [percent] of the student population out today with more sick children going home as the day has progressed," Holy Angels Catholic School posted on Facebook. "In an effort to try and minimize the exposure to the flu, we will be closing school for the rest of the week."

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