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Monday
Jan142019

How to fit exercise in the 9 to 5 grind

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Julia Dodds has had trouble trying to fit exercise into her schedule.

"I’ve had fitness trainers, I’ve taken classes, I’ve had nutritionists and I never really saw any results, so it has definitely taken a toll on me," Dodds, a 25-year-old New York City-based senior talent acquisition associate at a tech company, said. "That has given me this side where I don’t really feel like fitting it into my schedule."

So ABC News paired her with Holly Rilinger, the creator of LIFTED, a method that combines meditation and intentional movement.

The program

Rilinger, also a Nike master trainer and Flywheel master instructor, started her 30 days with Dodds by telling her, "We're in this together."

She and Dodds developed a four-part plan for success.

1. Train together twice per week: Dodds and Rilinger's sessions lasted one hour. They focused on resistance training and tailored the workouts to Dodds' needs each sesion.

2. Schedule workouts like a work commitment: Dodds made commitments each week to the times and types of workout she would do and put the workouts in her calendar as if they were appointments she could not cancel.

3. Be accountable with food: Dodds logged her food intake on an app and also texted photographs of her food to Rilinger.

4. Meditate daily: Rilinger called this the key to success. She and Dodds meditated for 10 minutes at either the beginning or the end of their sessions together. Meditating at the start of a workout allowed Dodds to clear her head from work and prepare to train, while meditating after a workout allowed her to reflect on her accomplishments.

"It's only 10 minutes," said Rilinger, who offers her LIFTED sessions remotely so people around the world can train with her. "It's super easy."

What happened after 30 days

Dodds said at the end of the 30 days she not only felt like a different person, but emerged with a different mindset too.

"I used to look for every excuse in the book not to have to work out that day and now I look for every reason to [work out]," she said. "I’m so happy and proud of myself, which is weird. I’ve never really felt that proud of myself."

Dodds added, "I feel strong and empowered and like I can do anything."

Four months after her time with Rilinger, Dodds said she sees now that she used her busy lifestyle as an excuse to not exercise.

"I hope that it inspires other people to know that you can do anything you put your mind to," she said. "Now I know that I can do it and I have this positive lifestyle because of it."

Rilinger took away from training Dodds that the issue of finding time to workout is a "really, really hard thing for a lot of people."

"What I learned from Julia is the struggle is real with work," she said. "She’s taught me to have a lot of compassion for people when they say, 'I’m really just too tired to workout in my daily life.'"

Now here's an at-home workout for you

Rilinger demonstrated 10 exercises that can be done at home, at any time and without any equipment.

Combine them for a longer workout, or do them individually whenever you can.

1. Squat to overhead rotation: Lower down to a squat, then rotate through your spine and drive your arms to the ceiling, come back to center, squat to center and rotate on the opposite side.

2. Curtsy lunge to side kick: Drop one foot behind the other knee, a curtsy lunge, and then kick up to the side.

3. Lunge with an upper body rotation: Drop back into a reverse lung, rotate your upper body over the front knee, rotate back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

4. Squat jack: Go down into a squat, dropping hand at the same time, jump feet together and repeat, alternating lowering arms. Modify by stepping in and out of a squat instead of jump.

5. Walking plank: Start in a high plank position, with hands directly under shoulders, lower arms one at a time to the elbow and then push back up to hands. Aim to keep hips square to the ground, with no rotation. Modify by placing knees on the ground.

6. V-up: Lay on your back, with legs and arms extended. Simultaneously lift upper body and legs together, crunching your body in, and aim to reach as close to your feet as possible.

7. Bear crawl: Start on all fours. Lift your knees off the ground. Move opposite hand and opposite foot to walk forward, do the same to walk backwards. Modify by holding the movement stationery.

8. Dead bug: Lay on the ground on your back. Lift legs to 90 degrees and press against one knee with both hands. Press lower back into the ground and extend opposite leg. Repeat on the other side.

9. High plank kick-through (break dance move): Set up in high plank. Kick one foot through the opposite side as you rotate and open up your body. Return foot and repeat with the other foot.

10. Glute bridge: Lay on your back, with your feet close to your body and toes in the air, heels planted down. Drive hips into the air and squeeze glutes. Arms should be extended to the side, palms facing up.

Finish the workout with meditation. Rilinger recommends starting with five minutes per day.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jan142019

Coming back from having a baby

Courtesy Laura McGill(NEW YORK) -- Laura McGill wants to get fit so she can keep up with her 1-year-old son, Charlie.

"Since I’ve had my baby, I feel like I have no core anymore and my son is almost 25 pounds right now," McGill, 33, said. "I want to kind of get stronger so I can lift him up."

So ABC News paired her with Heidi Kristoffer, the creator of CrossFlowX and a mother of three.

The program

Kristoffer focused on making sure the workouts worked with McGill's schedule and would allow her to put herself first.

"You have to make you a priority," she told McGill. "You’ll feel so much better that you’ll be a better mom and you’ll be better at your job because you are more secure in your foundation because you are healthier, physically and mentally."

1. Daily exercise: To make sure McGill's workouts worked for her, Kristoffer asked her what she could handle and started with a daily, approximately 10-minute workout that focused on fast repetitions combined with static hold poses.

2. At-home workouts: She gave McGill exercises to do on her own at home and McGill took online classes of CrossFlowX, the workout Kristoffer created that combines fast-paced yoga flows with high intensity cardio intervals and Kundalini kriyas, fast and repetitive or static poses paired with yoga breathing techniques.

3. Increasing intensity: Kristoffer added a few minutes onto McGill's daily workouts each week.

"The biggest challenge was just finding time every single day to work out," McGill said. "Especially when I wouldn’t get a workout in in the morning and then I’d have a full day at work, I’d come home, I would have to breastfeed my son, put him to bed and then the last thing I wanted to do was hold a plank."

She continued, "But I pushed through it. The more I did it, the more it became part of my routine."

What happened after 30 days

McGill started the 30-day program able to hold a plank for one minute.

By the end of her time with Kristoffer, she more than doubled her time and held a plank for two minutes and 15 seconds.

"I know in my heart that I’ve made a lot of progress and I feel stronger," McGill said, adding that her advice for other moms is to be patient with themselves and start small, even if it's 10 minutes per day.

Kristoffer noticed how McGill prioritized herself and her fitness throughout the 30 days.

"She is a full-time mom, she has a full-time job. She does it all and she still managed to put herself first, so I feel like you really can, anyone really can, put yourself first," she said.

Now here's an at-home workout for you

Kristoffer shared moves to do at home to help you feel "super strong, super capable on your mat and off."

"I start off every CrossFlowX class with an ab series because when your core is engaged, the rest of your body is safe," she said.

1. Superhero plank series: Come to a high plank pose. Line up your plank so your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders, your feet are hip distance apart, belly pulled in.

Extend your right arm and then your left arm as far forward as possible. Then take your right hand back to plank and your left hand back to plank.

Tap your right knee to the outside of your right shoulder and then your left knee to the outside of your left shoulder.

Lower your right forearm to the ground and your left forearm to the ground. Tap your right knee to the outside of your right shoulder and then your left knee to he outside of your left shoulder.

Exhale your right hip to the ground, return to center, then exhale your left hip to the ground. Repeat twice.

Lengthen the right arm, then the left arm, to return to high plank, and repeat the entire sequence.

2. Shoulder twist: Soften your knees with your feet hip distance apart. Take your fingertips to the inside of your shoulders. Twist your shoulders side to side. Continue for at least one minute.

3. Squat variation: Begin in a wide yoga squat. Keep all four corners of your feet completely connected to the ground as you lower your body down. With palms pressed together in front of you, inhale as you raise your body and exhale as you return down. Continue for at least one minute.

4. Mountain climber combination: Begin in high plank pose and run in place (mountain climbers) for one minute. Put your knees down and slide one knee off the mat into frog pose. Cross arms over each other and relax. Switch arms after 30 seconds for one minute total.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jan142019

Get vacation confident with this high-intensity, at-home workout

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Christiana Bau, a 29-year-old graphics coordinator in New York City, is readying for an upcoming, adventure-filled vacation. But she needs help building up her endurance to keep up with all the activities.

"Most times when I go on vacation, the people I go with usually want to go hiking or they want to go biking or surfing," Bau said. "I just sometimes don’t have the endurance to keep up, so I want to increase my stamina to help me get through those activities because sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation."

She added, "I just want to be able to go, have fun, come back and feel recharged."

So ABC News paired her with Tone House founder, fitness model and former collegiate football player Alonzo Wilson.

The program

Wilson committed to helping Bau prepare for an upcoming four-day vacation in Norway that would include lots of kayaking, biking and hiking.

"My advice for her is to pray," joked Wilson, who created an intense four-part plan for Bau.

1. One-on-one training sessions: Wilson coached Bau individually in one-hour sessions twice per week. They focused on explosive moments and core strength to prepare Bau for her travels.

2. Group classes: Bau took three classes at Tone House each week, often the 5 a.m. class. Tone House is described as an "extreme, athletic-based group fitness studio aimed at unleashing the inner athlete in everyone." The studio's warm-up session -- 10 minutes of nonstop movement that includes hurdles and burpees -- could be considered a full class in other studios.

3. Recovery: Bau met with one of Tone House's recovery experts and used cold tub therapy over the 30 days to help recover from her workouts. Tone House's philosophy is: "When you train like an athlete, you need to recover like an athlete."

4. Nutrition: Bau worked with a nutritionist at Tone House and focused on eating high-protein meals with clean ingredients. She also kept a log of her food for the 30 days she trained with Wilson.

What happened after 30 days

While Bau said she felt like quitting about halfway through the 30 days, at the end she was pleased with how far she had come.

"It definitely exceeded all my expectations," she said. "I’ve never, ever had a trainer that’s been so supportive, so caring, pushed me to my limit. Alonzo would know every single time when I’m not trying hard, when I am trying hard."

Wilson said he saw in Bau how effective just 30 days can be in creating healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

"Usually it takes a person about 21 days to make a habit," he said. "When it’s 30 days, you can definitely form a habit. If it’s a healthy habit, like working out, taking care of your body, it goes with you."

Bau's tip for others trying to make change is to not underestimate themselves.

"My last piece of advice, which has been engraved in my mind since day one because of Tone House, is you are stronger than you think you are," she said. "And I truly, truly believe that."

Now here's an at-home workout for you

Wilson created a 10-minute circuit workout that features six sculpting and cardio moves.

"I promise if you continue to do this just three times a week in the morning, it’s going to keep that fat burning going for the rest of the day," Wilson said. "And you’ll be vacation-ready in no time."

1. High knees: Run in a stationary position, driving your knees to your chest. Continue for at least 30 seconds.

2. Push-up walkout: Start in a standing position and walk out to a high plank position. Lower your body into a push-up (modify by going onto your knees as needed) and walk your hands back. Complete at least 10 reps.

3. Rock back: Start in a high plank position. Push your body back towards your heels, into the rock back position. Then spring your feet forward. Once confident with the move, add a knee tuck jump after you spring forward onto your feet. Continue for one minute.

4. Slider arm extension: Use a paper plate, paper napkin or paper towel in place of sliders at home. Place one hand on the slider. From a high plank position, extend your left arm forward and lower your body to the ground (modify by doing the exercise on your knees). Continue for 30 seconds extending your arm forward and then do 30 seconds of extending your arm to the side. Combine the two exercises together (forward extension, then side extension) for 30 seconds. Repeat the 90 seconds with the right arm.

5. Slider mountain climbers: Start in high plank position with both feet centered on a slider (or paper towel or napkin); Do mountain climbers for 30 seconds, extending each leg forward and back. Challenge yourself by doing a one-leg mountain climber.

6. Scorpion push-up: Start in a high plank push up position and lower down to a push-up. As you push back up, rotate your body, keeping your left arm on the ground. Lift left leg off the floor and tap it with your right arm. Return to high plank position and repeat for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side for 30 seconds.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jan142019

Getting wedding fit: Celebrity trainer shares tips, moves for brides-to-be

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Lanie Parr is getting ready for her upcoming wedding in June.

"I’m looking mostly forward to feeling good, looking good," Parr, a 29-year-old New York City resident, said. "I want to lean out. I’m actually looking forward to eating better and having more energy."

So ABC News' Good Morning America paired her with celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, the founder of AKT.

The program

"It really is all about having fun," Kaiser told Parr at the start of their 30 days together. "I don’t want your workouts to be grueling."

Parr was working out one to two days per week prior to training with Kaiser.

1. Dance cardio and strength workouts: Kaiser put Parr on a schedule of six to seven workouts per week using her signature style of dance cardio paired with strength and resistance training. Parr trained in Kaiser's AKT studios in New York City but also used AKT On Demand to train from home and when she traveled.

"The first week I will say, after every class I thought I was going to pass out," Parr said. "After the first seven days, I just went into every class really excited and motivated because I was already seeing results."

2. Nutrition: Kaiser also had Parr eat foods high in protein and skip sugar, recommending that she eat a piece of dark chocolate if a craving struck.

"I think the hardest part of this was being in social settings where I couldn’t enjoy some things that I was used to enjoying," Parr said. "But then after a few weeks of that, it was just the norm for me."

What happened after 30 days

At the end of the 30 days, Parr had lost 11 pounds overall and 13 pounds of fat and gained two pounds of muscle. Her body fat percentage also decreased by seven points.

When she went to try on her once-snug wedding dress, it fit perfectly.

"I felt 100 percent more comfortable in it," Parr said, adding that her advice for others is to just get started and not make excuses.

Kaiser attributed Parr's success to her dedication over the entire 30 days.

"The short-term fitness journey is most people will start to see results and back off," Kaiser said. "But If you really want to keep up a long term goal, keep yourself consistent."

Now here's an at-home workout for you

Kaiser designed a circuit workout for brides-to-be.

In the first round, do each of the five exercises for one minute each, with no breaks in between. In the second round, do each exercise for 30 seconds with no breaks in between.

In the third and final round, do each exercise for 15 seconds at an all-out pace.

"Make sure you’re setting up proper form and then really push yourself," said Kaiser, who recommends doing the circuit four days per week.

1. Deep squat step outs: Hold 8 to 10 pound weights. Lunge to one side, with knees and toes at 45 degrees, return to center, step to the other side and keep repeating.

2. Push- up row: Use 5, 8 or 10 pound weights. Start in a wide push-up position. Bring your chest all the way down to tap the floor, push your body up and then pull one arm up to a row, keeping hips square to the floor. Repeat on other side. Modify by keeping knees on the floor or forgoing the rows and focusing on plank to push-up.

3. Switch lunge with overhead torso rotation: Start in a lunge position, holding an 8, 10 or 12 pound weight. Switch feet two times and then press arms overhead as you rotate your torso in the direction of your front knee.

4. Hammer curl to scaption: Bend forward slightly, lift weights to shoulders in a hammer curl and then extend arms to scaption as you raise your body.

5. Jacks in a circle: Hold a weight in both hands and extend it to the sky as you do a jumping jack, moving in a circle.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Jan142019

New to the gym? Trainer shares three tips for first-time gym-goers

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Brooke Cutler was relying on group fitness classes because she did not feel confident training at the gym by herself.

"It’s definitely intimidating for me coming into a gym and having no idea what [I'm] doing, being around buffer people and stronger people," Cutler, 30, said. "I’m looking forward to becoming more confident and being able to work out on the machines on my own."

Cutler's goal was to build her muscles as well as her confidence.

"I really want to work on my upper body strength and feel comfortable when I look at myself and when I’m working out with other people," she said.

So ABC News' Good Morning America paired her with Lee Lawrence, a personal trainer at Crunch Fitness in New York City.

The program

Lawrence told Cutler that in the gym, everyone is "in the same fight."

"That’s probably the biggest thing for first-time [gym-goers] to know, they can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or anyone else," he said. "They’re in the same fight."

He broke down his 30 days with Cutler into three pieces of advice for first-time gym-goers.

1. Get help from an expert: Lawrence and Cutler met for one hour each week. They covered all parts of the gym, from the machines to the free weights to the mats, and did something different each session.

2. Stay in your lane: Lawrence had Cutler focus on what she was doing, and not pay attention to or think about the people around her. "Stay in your lane and run your race and then we’ll be fine," he said.

3. Make the gym your playground: Cutler and Lawrence agreed that every week they met they would say to each other, "This has been so fun." Lawrence said his biggest goal was to "make sure that we were having a great time."

What happened after 30 days

Cutler discovered her own strength and her own motivation.

"I really surprised myself with the things that I could do and the strength that I had," she said. "I did not know how strong I was."

"I am comfortable going to the gym. I find it exciting to work out," Cutler added. "[Lawrence] taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know how to do, new equipment to use. He has really shown me a way to motivate myself."

One of Lawrence's proudest moments for Cutler was watching her take on the squat rack for the first time.

"Our first time going over there she was a little bit nervous," he recalled. "Once she did it, it was like, ‘Let’s see how much [weight] you can put on after that.’"

Now here's an at-home workout for you

Lawrence shared a workout that will only take 10 to 15 minutes but will give you the most "bang for your buck," targeting all your muscles.

1. Lunges: Holding a set of dumbbells, step back into a reverse lunge and then step directly into a forward lunge with the same leg. Pause before returning to the reverse lunge and repeat sequence.

2. Shoulder press: Start with your palms facing you, at shoulder height. Bring arms out so that both palms are facing outward and raise arms into a shoulder press. Repeat.

3. Squat: Start with weights at shoulder height, palms facing you. Squat down, pushing hips forward and squeezing the glutes as you return to standing. Repeat.

4. Renegade rows: Start in a high plank, with hands on dumbbells. Row one arm at a time, keeping hips parallel to the floor.

5. Plank walk-ups: Start in low plank position. Move hands one at a time to the position of your elbows and repeat. Aim to keep hips still and parallel to the floor.

6. Windshield wipers: Lay on your back with your palms down on the ground. Lift knees to a 90 degree angle. Rotate knees from side to side.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jan132019

Costs of lifesaving drugs rising faster than inflation: Study 

digicomphoto/iStockBY: DR. NAOMI KAPLAN

(NEW YORK) -- Prescription drug prices are rising much faster than inflation rates in the United States, and patients who need life-saving medications are suffering the consequences – sometimes fatally.

Newer, safer products entering the market are one reason that costs are going up, but they’re not the only one. Drug companies are also inflating the price of existing, brand name drugs, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs, which analyzed nearly 28,000 national drug codes —- unique numbers that identify every legally manufactured medication in the U.S. —- from 2008 to 2016.

The prices of brand name injectable drugs, for example, rose by 15 percent each year during that time period, the study found. These injectables include brand name insulin for people with Type 1 (T1) diabetes.

“My monthly cost [was] $900," Sarah Stock, a grandmother from Iowa with Type 1 diabetes, told ABC News. "Insulin used to cost me around $600 per month five years go, and 10 years ago it was $300 per month.”

Stock said that although her current prescription is covered by Iowa Medicaid, the rising costs once forced her to ration her medication. Type 1 diabetics require insulin to control their blood sugar levels, and and without insulin they will die.

Unlike many medications, insulin is like oxygen to Type 1 diabetics – they cannot live without it. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) will set in within hours or days in a T1 diabetic, and the patient will go into a coma and die without insulin –- the only available treatment.

Lantus, a popular brand of long-acting insulin that has been on the market for over a decade, increased in price by 49 percent in the year 2014, the study found.

Meanwhile, the costs of oral brand name drugs nearly doubled in the nine years that were studied. Each year, the prices of these drugs increased at five times the rate of U.S. inflation. Generic oral drugs had the smallest price increases, with a 4.4 percent increase each year —- and yet, this was still double the rate of inflation. Costs for specialty medications, such as those for hepatitis C, rose 13 times faster than inflation, according to the study.

New drugs entering the market accounted for the rising cost of generic and specialty medications, whereas brand name price hikes were primarily driven by drug companies inflating prices on existing medications, the study said.

Patents on specific drugs reduce competition and therefore contribute to rising costs. Patents provide market exclusivity to new, brand name drugs, and encourage manufacturers to innovate and invest in new drug development.

Other companies cannot create an alternative medication during the patent period, which allows the manufacturer of the new drug to make back the money spent on research and development.

When a drug patent expires, however, a generic may not come onto the market. Drugs made from living cells, such as insulin, are expensive to manufacture as a generic and not considered identical to the brand name form. The FDA requires further scrutiny in these cases, which is costly.

These rising prices are impacting patients’ health nationwide.

When Stock would ration her insulin, her blood sugar “would always be above 200; normal is 90 to 120,” she said, adding that in addition to always feeling tired, thirsty and sick, she also had to undergo “surgery a few times to drain infection from wounds that wouldn’t heal.”

In 2017, 26-year-old Shane Patrick Boyle was out of work so he could care for his dying mother in Arkansas, and waiting for his Affordable Care Act insurance to kick in, according to The Nation and a graphic art website called The Nib. A Type 1 diabetic, Boyle couldn’t afford his life-sustaining insulin, so he launched a GoFundMe page to raise insulin money. Boyle died two days after his mother did. He was $50 short of his GoFundMe goal.

Three months later, T1 diabetic Alec Raeshawn ‘Big Al’ Smith, 26, was found dead in his Minnesota apartment, after rationing his insulin because he had aged out of his parents’ insurance and couldn’t afford his own, The Nation reported. The cause of death was DKA, according to his obituary.

Some drug companies have been held accountable for the rising prices. The state of Illinois recently recovered $135 million from a settlement made with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. following a 2005 lawsuit filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan against 47 drug makers. The lawsuit alleged that Teva fraudulently inflated wholesale prices to receive more money in Medicaid reimbursements.

According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, prescription drugs prices fell almost 3 percent in 2018 when adjusted for general inflation, the largest decline in prescription drug prices in 46 years.

Data from the first 10 days of January 2019, however, reveal a price hike in 490 drugs, including approximately two dozen Johnson & Johnson (J&J) drugs, which averaged a 6 to 7 percent price increase, a spokeswoman for Rx Savings Solutions, a prescription drug purchasing solutions company, told ABC News.

J&J said that the average price rise for about two dozen drugs will be 4.2 percent this year, according to Reuters. The pharmaceutical company said rebates and discounts that were negotiated with payers -— such as insurance companies, private employers, and the government -— would improve drug access for patients since they would contribute to drops in net prices.

For Stock, however, any price increase on drugs that are required simply to live are unethical.

“The drug companies are holding our lives hostage so they can profit. Everyone needs insulin to live, but only diabetics have to pay for it”.

Dr. Naomi Kaplan is a resident physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan112019

Mom learns foster baby is her adopted son's sister, so she adopts her as well

Ashley Creative Co.(NEW YORK) -- A single mother received the surprise of her life after discovering that the baby girl she was about to adopt shared the same biological mother as her newly adopted son.

"[Hannah] is the opposite of Grayson," Katie Page of Parker, Colorado, told "Good Morning America" of her kids. "He loves to chill and she's a wild thing. As soon as I started figuring it out that she was his sibling, I said, 'Absolutely, [I'll adopt her].' Once I took in Grayson and I accepted being his mom, I accepted his family."

Page divorced in her early 30s before becoming a foster parent in 2016. During her marriage, she experienced issues with infertility but had dreams of being a mom, she said.

"It was on my bucket list and I also always wanted to adopt," Page added.

Page cared for four foster children before meeting Grayson — a baby boy who was abandoned at the hospital. On May 25, 2017, Page officially adopted Grayson, who is now 2 years old.

"The minute I saw him in the hospital, I fell in love," Page said. "He's so calm and sweet. He has the biggest challenges of all the kids."

A month after Page adopted Grayson, she received a call about a newborn girl, named Hannah, who needed a home.

Page said as soon as she met Hannah, now a year old, that she knew she wanted to give her a forever home as well.

But when Page brought Hannah home and saw the name of the biological mother on the hospital bracelet, she noticed a similarity.

"[The caseworkers] told me her story, which was really similar to Grayson's," Page recalled. "I saw her medical bracelet and the first name of her mother was the same name as Grayson's mom. She didn't have a typical name."

Page said it was unclear whether or not Grayson and Hannah were brother and sister because their mother had lied about her last name and date of birth when she left Grayson at the hospital on the day he was born. Both children had been exposed to methamphetamines in the womb, according to Page.

Page's roommate, Ashley Chapa, was present as she began unfolding the mystery.

"It was as surreal as you could imagine," Chapa told "GMA." "Katie got her binder out from her paperwork with Grayson and we realized, same first name — everything. I've always thought she was a superwoman, but I think she is more now."

On Dec. 28, 2018, Page officially adopted Hannah. Months prior, Page had a DNA test done on the children that confirmed them to be biological siblings, she said.

Page hopes to adopt Grayson and Hannah's 5-month-old sibling this year, she said.

"I was a single woman in a four-bedroom house and now every room in my house is full," Page said. It's never dull. People ask me all the time, 'How do you do it?' I never thought I'd have three babies, but God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan112019

Stress, anxiety weigh on government employees as shutdown continues

JM-Stock/iStockBY: DR. ANEES BENFERHAT

(PHILADELPHIA) -- The federal government’s partial shutdown is affecting an estimated 800,000 federal employees, many of whom will not be receiving their paychecks this weekend even as they continue to work.

About 51,000 of those employees work for the TSA, including Brian Turner, a 27-year-old husband and father to a newborn baby. Turner is a TSA officer at Philadelphia International Airport. During a work break on Thursday, he told ABC News about the anxiety and stress he felt because of his paycheck getting delayed.

“We are a paycheck-to-paycheck family and we depend on that regular income,” Turner said. “Passengers have been very sympathetic. We’ve had a lot of people coming up and saying, ‘Thank you for being here and working without pay.’ That keeps you going even when you’re feeling stressed.”

As government employees move further into January, they’ll have to consider living expenses, such as bills, groceries, and rent or mortgage, and these can really put a strain on families, increasing stress, according to Oscar Holmes IV, Ph.D., an assistant professor of management at Rutgers University School of Business.

When stress hormone levels rise, a person risks poorer health outcomes, such as high blood pressure and insomnia, Holmes said. And as the shutdown gets longer, the consequences of stress can compound, making people more likely to make careless mistakes or become distracted, he said.

Although Turner said that he doesn’t believe his or his colleagues’ job performance has suffered, he agreed that “there’s no shortage of stress,” having had to celebrate the holidays knowing he likely wouldn’t be getting paid.

“It was our baby’s first Christmas, so we wanted to make it big and special, but we had to cut back a lot on that, which was really hard,” he said. “There’s only so much you can cut back, because all our expenses go to the baby and bills.”

Turner said that he started stretching his income once he heard rumors about a possible shutdown, and because his wife works, too, the family has been able to fall back on a little bit of savings. However, he said that some of his colleagues aren’t as fortunate.

“I have some coworkers who are single parents, so I do have colleagues who don’t think they can make it to the next paycheck. … I can imagine if you have to pick between putting food on the table and paying for gas to drive to work, you’re going to choose to feed your kids,” Turner said.

The government shutdown is poised to become the longest ever, with no end in sight. Even when it does end, it’s likely that the effects of it will linger as employees work to make up for missed payments, Holmes said.

“There is likely to be a psychological hangover effect long after the shutdown ends,” Holmes said, adding that it erodes the idea that the government provides stable jobs. “A situation like this makes the reputation of the government as an employer even worse.”

Turner said that he takes great pride in his job, but he agreed that this shutdown makes him think differently about the stability he has working for the government. He was with the TSA during the 2013 shutdown, but said that this one feels different as it’s the first one where he won’t be getting paid on time.

“This seems like it will be happening more and more now, so it’s something I need to be prepared for,” he said, noting that despite his check getting delayed, he still doesn’t plan to leave his job.

“I love my job, and it would never be an easy choice to leave. I’m going to try to hang in as long as I can. There are a lot of dedicated people who work in the government. You don’t go into this line of work for the pay,” Turner said. “I think the general consensus is that people are going to do it for as long as they can. If they have to leave, it’s not going to be by choice.”

Dr. Anees Benferhat is a resident physician in psychiatry in New York City and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan112019

Norovirus outbreak on Royal Caribbean cruise ship sickens 475 passengers

Joel Carillet/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cruise ship is cutting its journey short after 475 passengers and crew members have been infected with a norovirus, Royal Caribbean Cruises announced Thursday.

The cruise line initially reported on Thursday that more than 250 passengers had fallen ill.

“We think the right thing to do is to get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health” the cruise line said in a statement, adding that returning early “also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.”

Guest and crew members began getting sick when the ship departed the Port Canaveral in Florida on Jan. 6. The ship, originally scheduled for a seven night cruise, made its first stop in Haiti Tuesday where the ship hosted a lunch buffet on land, said Abby Perrin, a passenger on the ship told ABC News. That night, Perrin said she and her mother began experiencing symptoms associated with food poisoning, like vomiting.

The next day, the ship arrived to Jamaica, but passengers said they weren’t allowed to leave the vessel.

Thursday morning, the ship headed for its next scheduled destination in Cozumel, Mexico, but officials canceled the cruise while it was still en route. Now it is on its way back to Florida.

“It was pretty upsetting that we weren’t able to get into Jamaica at all,” Perrin said. “Then we were supposed to be in Mexico tomorrow, which we were really excited about, and it turns out we’re going back to Florida instead.”

About three percent of people aboard the ship are affected by the norovirus, according to the cruise company.

Alan Thomas is currently aboard the ship with his spouse and two friends.

“People are still getting sick,” he told ABC News. “At a cafe next to Guest Services last night, there was a kid vomiting in the trash can.”

Thomas shared a video on Twitter of crew members cleaning the ship. He told ABC News that crew members are not allowing guests to serve themselves food or drinks.

Norovirus is a contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. A person can become infected through having direct contact with another infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching their nose and mouth after touching contaminated surfaces, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., according to CDC.

It is not yet known what caused the outbreak, but most instances of norovirus occur in food service settings like restaurants, according to the CDC.

The Royal Caribbean advertises the Oasis of the Seas as one of the world’s largest ships.

In 2017, about 220 passengers aboard a five-night Royal Caribbean cruise suffered from a gastro-intestinal illness.

All of the current Oasis of the Seas passengers will receive a full refund, Royal Caribbean Cruises said in the statement.

“Our guests sail with us to have great vacations, and we are sorry this cruise fell short,” the statement reads.

The cruise company said the ship is scheduled to return to Florida on Saturday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jan112019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release real-time flu statistics for the first time

Tero Vesalainen/iStock(ATLANTA) -- For the first time ever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data about flu cases in the midst of flu season.

The CDC says, so far this flu season, between 6 and 7 million people have gotten sick, with 30 states reporting widespread flu activity.

Despite those reported cases, hospitalizations remain relatively low. The CDC says between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized due to the flu, and the overall hospitalization rate is about 9 per 100,000 cases. Compare that to the same time last year, and it was about 30 per 100,000 cases.

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