Unplanned Pregnancies Hurt Military Women, Mission Readiness

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Women in the military have access to some of the nation's best health care, which includes free birth control.  But a new study shows that many women are not using it and the rate of unintended pregnancy is double that of the general population.

And today, with the Department of Defense ending its longtime ban on women serving in combat roles, an unplanned pregnancy could have wider ramifications not only for a woman's health, but for her opportunities for advancement.

An estimated 10.5 percent of active duty women, ages 18 to 44, reported an unplanned pregnancy in the prior 12 months in 2008, the last year for which there are statistics, according to researchers at Ibis Reproductive Health, a nonprofit organization that supports women's sexual and reproductive rights.

That number was higher than in 2005, when the rate was 9.7 percent.

In the non-military population, about 5.2 percent of women of reproductive age report an unintended pregnancy each year, according to the study, published this week in the February issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The Ibis study was based on surveys of more than 7,000 active-duty women; the statistics were obtained from the Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act.  Rates were equal among those women who were deployed and those serving stateside.

Women make up 202,400 of the U.S. military's 1.4 million active duty personnel; more than 280,000 women have deployed over the last decade to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's terrific that women are getting recognition for their role in combat missions and are being considered for all types of promotions in the armed services," said lead author Kate Grindlay, senior project manager at Ibis.  "But for women to reach their potential, they must be able to access birth control for their personal health and well-being."

About 900 women had been unable to deploy in the past year due to a pregnancy, either planned or unplanned, according to the study.  The highest rates were among younger women with less education who were either married or cohabitating, researchers said.

The authors of the study say that an unwanted pregnancy not only disrupts a woman's military career, but takes a toll on military readiness because pregnant women cannot be deployed or must be evacuated from war zones.  They say the military needs to take a more "comprehensive approach" to address the problem.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Google Revamps Eating Options to 'Nudge' Healthy Choices

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- At Google's New York City offices, it's rumored you are never more than 150 feet from some kind of food.

The building sports a cafeteria with too many options to choose from, with scattered micro kitchens full of free food for employees, 24/7. Employees never had to leave the building for nourishment.

But with all this food goodness came unwanted pounds. And now, Google has put itself on a diet.

Like most everything in the search giant's office culture, the cafeteria was hyper-analyzed and re-engineered to be loaded with "nudges" intended to lead people towards healthier food choices. For example, research shows people tend to pile up on the first thing they see, so the salad bar was moved to a prime real estate spot by the front entrance.

"There are all these different color-coded signs here to let you know what's healthy," said Googler Ashley Moak, pointing out green tags that indicate low-calorie food, yellow tags for moderate-sized portions and red tags for pastas and desserts.

But it wasn't always this way. The healthy nudges began when Google employees started complaining that they were gaining weight. Joe Labombarda, the executive chef at Google's Manhattan office, said the unlimited food perk, which was originally designed to maximize productivity and loyalty, created an undesired side effect: People kept coming back for more -- and often.

"Some people may gain 15 pounds when they start to work here," Labombarda said.

So plates and take-out containers were swapped out for smaller sizes to "nudge" smaller portions, further encouraged by a posted sign that read, "People who take big plates tend to eat more." Nobody wants to be seen with too much food on their plate or, heaven forbid, two containers full of food.

Desserts weren't taken away but moved to the far corner of the cafeteria. Here, servings can be consumed in three bites -- enough to satisfy a craving but not be a diet buster.

"Let them have that beautiful but delicious dessert, but not gorge on it," Labombarda said.

According to the search giant, the 3,000 employees who work at the Manhattan office consume 124,500 pounds of berries, 348,600 pounds of protein and 224,200 shots of espresso annually.

Jennifer Kukoski , who heads a department at Google called people analytics, crunched the numbers on employee eating habits and overhauled how food was presented around the building.

"We're busy," Kukoski said. "Everyone has work that they are trying to get done, and so you don't want to think a lot about what they are going to grab as a snack. So let's make the thing that people default to the healthiest one possible."

She orchestrated experiments to subtly change how employees ate at the office. A big one involved moving M&Ms from the "gravity bin" dispensers into opaque jars. With the candy "hidden" employees had to go hunting for them.

"We found that when we moved the M&Ms from those gravity bins to these containers -- didn't take them away, everything's still there -- in seven weeks, New York Googlers consumed 3.1 million fewer calories from M&Ms," Kukoski said.

In fact, Kukoski added, during the experiment, the proportion of total calories the employees consumed from candy dropped 9 percent, from 29 to 20 percent, and the proportion of total fat consumed from candy dropped 11 percent, from 26 percent to 15 percent.

"People like to know their numbers at Google," Kukoski said. "We're a bit of a data-driven company."

The drink section also went under behavior modification. In the coolers, water bottles were moved to eye level and the sodas sent down to the bottom shelf.

"We put all the water bottles up and we found that Googlers consumed 47 percent more water when the bottles were right there and they could just grab it," Kukoski said.

Other employees weren't drinking water because they thought it would take too long to fill up their glass. So when word got around you could fill a glass up with water in 7 seconds, consumption increased.

Watch the full story on ABC’s Nightline at 12:35 a.m. ET

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Boy’s Severed Finger Leads to Insurance Angst

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Irene Azzollini was relieved when doctors were able to reattach her son’s middle finger after he chopped it off in a freak accident, but the insurance company error that resulted in a $10,000 out-of-pocket bill left her feeling nothing but stressed and defeated.

“I wasn’t aware of the charges,” the boy’s mom, Irene Azzollini of Millbrae, Calif., said. “At no time did the surgeon or the hospital or the nurses say anything like, ‘She’s not in your network.’”

Lucas Gonzalez, 12, was on his way to camp one morning in July when he grabbed a heavy door by the outside edge and slammed it behind him. He didn’t get his finger out of the way in time, and severed it from the knuckle, severing the bone, two nerves and two arteries in the process.

While Azzollini, 45, put the severed finger on ice, her husband stopped the bleeding. At 8:18 a.m., he hadn’t left yet for his job as a paramedic.

They went to Mills Peninsula Medical Center in San Francisco, where Lucas spent three hours in emergency surgery to have his finger reattached. Today, he’s returned to almost full mobility.

“The doctor was an amazing, fabulous surgeon,” Azzollini said. “I will not take that away from her.”

But she soon found out that her son’s surgery wasn’t covered by her insurance, Health Net. When they didn’t pay, the doctor’s office started coming after Azzollini instead of negotiating with the insurance company, telling her she owed money for “services rendered” or it would show up on her credit report.

“The problem needed to be worked out between the insurance company and the doctor,” Linda Leu, who works at a California patient advocacy group called Health Access, told KGO. “And the provider should not have immediately turned to the consumer to try to bill them.”

Still, Leu said the practice is not uncommon because doctors and insurance companies tend to disagree about compensation.

Azzollini said she called Health Net, but they “barely” talked to her, and her insurance agent wasn’t able to help either. Defeated, she started to pay the doctor the thousands of dollars she owed, until a friend told her to contact the consumer protection team at KGO-TV, the ABC News affiliate in San Francisco.

KGO reporter Michael Finney took the challenge, bringing 20 years of experience “fighting for the little guy” with him. He said companies know that he’s not going to give up easily.

“She may have resolved the issue, but as a lone consumer, it is hard to be heard and taken seriously,” Finney told ABC News.

Once Finney got involved, the insurance company discovered that Lucas’ hospital visit had been incorrectly coded “outpatient” instead of “emergency,” altering the coverage.

“Health Net strives for excellent service at all times, and we are glad for the opportunity to remedy the situation on behalf of our member,” the company said in a statement.

The issue took about two weeks to resolve in November, with the insurance company paying the doctor on Nov. 29. On Jan. 15, the doctor’s office reimbursed Azzollini for full amount she’d paid so far: $2,655.40.

“We want consumers to know that when billing errors occur, there is a way – no matter what they have been told – to get things righted,” Finney said.

Consumers should communicate with providers when they visit the emergency room to see whether doctors are within their network, said Cheryl Fish-Parcham, the deputy director of health policy at Families USA, a national consumer-protection nonprofit. She said the hospital can specifically assign doctors who are covered.

Fish-Parcham said many states have laws designed to help the consumer in an emergency.

“A few states have laws that require an out-of-network provider and the insurance company to negotiate payment in emergency situations and hold the consumer harmless for everything except co-pays or co-insurance,” she said. “There also might be laws in your state requiring some disclosure that providers who treat you in a hospital might be out of network.”

She said consumers can also appeal if they think they’ve been billed inappropriately.

To find out about health insurance assistance programs in your state, click here.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Hillary Clinton's Glasses Are for Concussion, Not Fashion

State Department photo(WASHINGTON) -- The thick glasses Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been wearing in public since returning from a concussion and blood clot last month are the result of lingering effects of her health problems, a Clinton aide confirms.

"She'll be wearing these glasses instead of her contacts for a period of time because of lingering issues stemming from her concussion," said spokesman Philippe Reines.  "With them on she sees just fine."

During more than five hours of testimony before Congress, Clinton could be seen wearing glasses that appeared to have a thick left lens with lines across it.

Reines did not specify what type of lens the secretary was wearing, but medical experts say a fresnel prism is common in cases like these.  Fresnel prisms usually come in the form of a piece of thin, transparent plastic that can be adhered to existing lenses.  The special grooves in these prisms change the way light enters the eye, making them useful in treating double vision.

Dr. James Liu, director of the Center for Skull Base and Pituitary Surgery at the Neurological Institute of New Jersey, said that a concussion and head injury can lead to blurred or double vision in some cases, and that this symptom can linger for a while during recovery.

"It is possible that blurred or double vision can last up to weeks and even months," he said. "This really depends on the severity of the head injury.  In cases of concussions, these symptoms are usually temporary and eventually resolve with time."

The glasses did not seem to affect Clinton's demeanor during her testimony, where she became emotional when talking about the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans killed in the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  The secretary confidently answered questioned posed by senators and House representatives, and even sparred with some over her handling of the Benghazi crisis.

New York Magazine published an article showing a slideshow of Clinton adjusting her glasses during her testimony, with comments about what her expressions meant.

Reines said that the secretary "got a kick out of the" article, using her special glasses to see the slideshow "crystal clear."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Thirteen Secrets the Weight Loss Pros Don’t Tell You

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- ABC's Good Morning America has teamed up with Reader’s Digest on a special series, “13 Things Experts Won’t Tell You.”

This month, Reader’s Digest unveils the secrets weight loss professionals won’t tell you, like how to maximize your workouts, what may be holding you back from losing weight and how to get the most bang for your buck.

1. Do not arrive at a training session in the following states: a. on an empty stomach, b. coming off a cold/stomach bug, or c. on four hours’ sleep.  It wastes your time and a personal trainer’s when your body isn’t fueled, hydrated and ready to work.

2. If you find your workouts are getting a little stale, a trainer is a great way to put some pep in your push-ups.  If you can’t afford one, get some friends together for a small group session.  They cost less per person -- and working out with friends is proven to improve your commitment and overall weight loss.

3. To kick start your metabolism, opt for intervals.  In a recent study, women who did 20 minutes of cycling sprints lost three times as much fat as those who cycled slowly and steadily for 40 minutes.

4. When you hit the point where you think you can’t go on, imagine you have a trainer right next to you, cheering for you.  Studies show that actively encouraging yourself improves outcomes.

5. You can do OK at the drive thru.  There are now some reasonable options if you look for them.  Stay away from anything with the word “crispy,” steer clear of all mayo-heavy sauces (use mustard instead) and stick to no-fat dressing.

6. Nibble on the move.  If you are shopping and fading from hunger, avoid settling in at the food court and, instead, nibble your way through a shopping marathon.  Pick up a snack, such as a hot pretzel, a small bag of roasted nuts from a kiosk or even a chicken taco and nibble on the move.  Portable meals can still weigh you down, so check calorie counts on your mobile phone before you go.

7. Douse your afternoon slump or hunger pangs with water.  The energy drop that hits in afternoon is likely a combination of perfectly natural factors -- the results of a light lunch, mild dehydration, a momentarily lack of iron or a crash off that coffee you had at the late-morning meeting.  Before wandering to the cafeteria or fridge, start your recovery with a tall glass of water, which boosts your blood flow and, as a side benefit, makes you feel full.

8. It’s hard to win against a cookie.  While food is not addictive the way cocaine or alcohol is, there are some uncanny similarities.  When subjects at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia were shown the names of foods they liked, the parts of the brain that got excited were the same parts activated in drug addicts.

9. Your bedroom, not the kitchen, might be making you fat.  Sleep deprivation upsets our hormone balance, triggering both a decrease in the hormone leptin (which helps you feel full) and an increase of the hormone ghrelin (which triggers hunger).  As a result, we think we’re hungry even though we aren’t -- and so we eat.  Sleep may be the cheapest and easiest obesity treatment there is.

10. Your weight really is genetic.  When scientists first discovered a gene in certain chubby mice, they called it simply the fatso gene.  Turns out, people with two copies of the gene were 40 percent more likely to have diabetes and 60 percent more likely to be obese than those without it.  Those with only one copy of the gene weighed more too.  But your “destiny” is no excuse.

11. Ear infections can taint your taste buds.  In one study of more than 6,000 people, researchers found that people over age 35 who had suffered several ear infections had almost double the chance of being obese.  Why?  These infections can damage a taste nerve running through the middle ear.  When researchers found the at former ear-infection patients were a little more likely to love sweets and fatty foods, they theorized that the damaged nerve might cause them to have a higher threshold for sensing sweetness and fattiness.

12. Fat might be your mom’s fault.  A growing body of science suggests that sugary and fatty foods consumed even before you’re born can mess with your weight.

13. At dinner, make yourself useful serving people and cleaning up.  It gets you away from your plate, but still makes you a vital part of the meal.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


One of China's Early AIDS Heroes Hounded into Hiding Identity

ABC News Radio(BEIJING) -- In 2005, Dawei Tian was sitting on an airplane, writing a movie script about a gay man with HIV. It was the story of his life. He was proud to be traveling around the country by airplane (something his parents had never done), giving speeches and being interviewed about his experience and attitudes.

Dawei was the first Chinese man to admit his sexual orientation and HIV-positive status on state television.

"I told the TV station there was no need to hide my face or voice, I wanted to use my real name because I wanted to show the audience the real me: sunny, happy and normal. I wanted to educate them that gay men are normal people as well, and that HIV carriers are not terrifying," he told ABC News recently.

After a glamorous time on TV and giving speeches, Dawei looked forward to helping people have a better understanding of what it means to be a gay man and HIV carrier. He thought he would make a lot of friends and that he would be famous.

That didn't happen. China was not ready to accept a gay lifestyle and AIDS still carried a strong stigma.

In the years since, Dawei's parents have been ostracized. Family and friends believed he did something immoral and shameful. Dawei was pressured to leave his apartment by the landlord who offered him two month's rent and extra 500RMB, about $80. He was fired by his company and couldn't get another job. When the gay community in the city he was living in found out he carries HIV, he found he could not get a date.

Today Dawei lives in another city under a fake name. The backlash was so fierce that he has abandoned the lesson he was preaching. When asked by ABC News, "Would you tell your partner you are an HIV carrier when you have sex?" Dawei answered, "Of course not."

Dawei is not alone in China. According to a report released by the Ministry of Health right before World AIDS Day in 2012, between January and October of 2012, there have been almost 70,000 newly-registered HIV and AIDS cases. The report says sexual transmission is responsible for 85 percent of the cases.

Dawei remembered that when he first came to Beijing, he met a man on the Internet. It was the first time Dawei felt normal, that he wasn't the only one in this world interested in men and that he did not have to repress his feelings anymore.

"I knew nothing about safe sex or protecting myself. I thought AIDS was so far away from me," he remembers. "At that time I only knew condoms were used for contraception. I would never get pregnant with another man, so I thought it was not necessary," said Dawei.

Sex education is still considered taboo in Chinese society. Parents are afraid the sex education will encourage young people to have sex before getting married. Until five years ago, Chinese police would use possession of condoms as evidence that suspects were involved in prostitution.

The stigma surrounding gay men in Chinese society make intervention efforts difficult. Homosexuality was not removed from the official list of mental disorders until 2001. Most gay men in China are married and under social pressure to hide their sexual orientation.

Zhao Zheng, works for Tianjin Dark Blue Working Group. It is a grassroots organization committed to HIV prevention and care for HIV-positive people. "Sex education in China is very poor, especially for gay men," he said. One time Zhao was invited by a group of male students from a big university in northern China to give a speech about AIDS. The school administration told him that he could talk about AIDS, but would not allow mentioning condoms.

Professor Zhang Liqi, director of Tsinghua University's Institute of Human Virology and Integrated Research Center for AIDS, says the lack of sex ed in China poses a danger to the country.

"Sex education is far behind the pace. If the government doesn't take any measures, it is very dangerous for China. The Chinese dream will never come true," Zhang said.

Now Dawei has moved to another city, which he refuses to identify. He has changed his name and identity and is working as an on-call foot masseusse. In his free time he is working on writing his movie scripts. On World AIDS Day in 2012, Dawei took the train and traveled to Beijing to attend a small fundraising event. Sitting in the corner of a small book store near the Drum Tower in Beijing, Dawei's pure white jacket highlighted his pale complexion. He looked very clean, and smiled to everyone at the event who was trying hard to give him extra hugs to make him feel more welcome. It has been eight years since he was affected with HIV. He says he still feels quite healthy and strong.

Dawei refused to take a picture. He said he has stopped showing his face in public. He is trying to live in a low-key lifestyle. The only thing he cares about right now is whether he can be treated and seen as a normal person and live a normal life. His dream of turning his personal story into a movie is still strong, but Dawei has not written the end of the movie as he doesn't know how his life will turn out.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Doctors Save Toddler After Pencil Pierces Skull

ABC News(BOSTON) -- A New Hampshire toddler is on the mend after she impaled herself with an orange colored pencil, which lodged between her eye and the back of her skull two weeks ago.

Susie Smith was with her 20-month old daughter, Olivia, who was coloring with a set of new colored pencils, sitting on a chair, when the toddler fell off.  At first, Smith didn’t realize her daughter was injured, she told WMUR, the ABC News affiliate in New Hampshire.

“I remember my 3-year-old saying, ‘The pencil is in her head,’” Smith told WMUR. “And I said, ‘No, it’s not.’”

She didn’t notice the orange colored pencil sticking out of her daughter’s eye. That’s because four inches of the pencil were lodged inside her head, and only two inches of it were sticking out.

Smith called 911, and Fire Chief Dan McDonald arrived to see the pencil sticking out at a 45-degree angle, but didn’t know how long it was.

Olivia traveled via helicopter to Children’s Hospital in Boston, where neurosurgeons removed the pencil. It somehow missed the optic nerve and major arteries, but Olivia suffered three strokes during the ordeal.

Although the toddler had difficulty moving her right side because of the strokes, Smith said she kept placing things in her daughter’s right hand. It was an attempt to get Olivia to drink from a sippy cup that she was finally successful.

“All of a sudden, she moved her right hand all the way up – shaking, shaking, just like that – and she started drinking,” Smith told WMUR.

Olivia is expected to make a full recovery.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Penelope Cruz Sports Acupuncture Beads

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The swath of tiny studs in Penelope Cruz’s ear isn’t the latest piercing fashion — it’s auriculotherapy, a form of acupuncture used to fight stress, pain and infertility.

The gold beads were spotted Jan. 10 at the Madrid premiere of Venuto Al Mondo, sparking rumors about whether the 38-year-old actress and husband Javier Bardem were hoping to give their toddler son a sibling.

“Auriculotherapy can be used for fertility, but those are not fertility points on her ear,” said Jill Blakeway, director of the Manhattan-based YinOva Center for complementary medicine. “Hers is a very standard protocol for people with stressful, busy lives.”

Auriculotherapy uses relexology points on the ear to tap into distant parts of the body, according to Blakeway.

“It’s almost like there’s a little homunculus; a little representation of the body that comes during embryonic development,” she said, describing how points in Cruz’s ear help calm the heart, mind and spleen, and bring the body into balance. “Auriculotherapy is remarkably effective.”

During a treatment session, auriculotherapy needles are inserted about a quarter inch into the outer ear. When the session is over, Blakeway said the needles are removed and replaced with tiny gold or silver beads affixed with a sticky bandage that “potentiates the treatment.”

“It’s quite popular for relaxation,” Blakeway said of auriculotherapy. “We also do a lot for hunger, for people on diets.”

Acupuncture is gaining popularity in the U.S. as patients — and doctors — embrace a more holistic approach to medicine.

“Western medicine is very good for some things and not very good for others,” said Dr. Tony Chon, a medical acupuncturist with the Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program. “Treatments like acupuncture and stress management therapy look at patients as more of a whole rather than their individual parts.”

But studies on acupuncture have yielded a “hodgepodge of results,” Chon said, because the gold standard placebo-controlled trial doesn’t always work. “It’s hard to study because people have pain and stress for different reasons,” he said.

Blakeway said acupuncture is “particularly good for treating chronic long-term imbalances like arthritis, irritable bowel, asthma, allergies and hormonal imbalances that cause infertility.” Her husband, YinOva Center co-director Noah Rubenstein, performed acupuncture on Kristen Davis during an episode of Sex and the City. Davis’ character, Charlotte, was undergoing in vitro fertilization.

“Some studies have shown that acupuncture increases IVF rates,” said Dr. William Hurd, division chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. “Based on the limited data, we don’t recommend it, but we do offer it.”

Acupuncture’s stress-relieving effects in some patients can also boost the odds of becoming pregnant, Hurd said.

“The stress of not getting pregnant makes it less likely to get pregnant, so we encourage everyone to try anything they find helpful for stress as we help them with the medical side of it,” said Hurd.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Family Uses Billboards to Find Kidney Donor

ABC News(SNELLVILLE, Ga.) -- Mandie Hale has spent her entire life in and out of hospitals after a bout with E. coli at age two sent her into kidney failure.

Now 22, Hale, from Snellville, Ga., is nearing the end of her chances with dialysis because of the toll the treatments have taken on her body.  Spurred on by the urgency of time and the unexpected generosity of complete strangers, Hale and her family are making a bigger-than-life attempt to finally find a kidney donor match.

Hale’s face and name are now on a series of billboards throughout the Atlanta area with the plea “Find A Kidney Match for Mandie.  Save Her Life!” and the phone number of her personal donor coordinator.

The E. coli and subsequent infections coupled with the long-term dialysis and frequent hospitalizations and surgeries have weakened Hale’s vascular system to the point where her veins are very brittle and she’s unable to have blood drawn.

“The last time I went into the hospital, about a month ago, we had a really big scare because I didn’t have any way to do dialysis and they were worried my last graft wasn’t going to work,” Hale told ABC News. “When that happened it freaked us all out, and my mom is on a mission to do whatever it takes.”

Hale’s mom is Joanna Cotes; she donated a kidney to her daughter when Hale was 14.  Hale’s body rejected the kidney, however, and it was removed after just five years.

Not long after, Hale had a series of seizures and a stroke soon after that forced doctors to remove her original kidneys and put her on a treatment of dialysis four times a week, with each treatment lasting approximately three hours.

With options running out for her daughter, Cotes reached out to the owner of a billboard on the property where she works to place a local advertisement.  She offered to pay for the billboard but the company, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, had another idea.

The South Carolina-based company instead offered Cotes a deal to put her daughter’s plea on 12 of their LED digital billboards in the greater Atlanta area, at no charge.

“With my mom, I’m not surprised.  That woman does everything for me.  If she could give me her other kidney, she would,” Hale said.  “With the billboard company, it’s unexplainable honestly.  That’s money they’re pretty much giving up.  I don’t have words.”

For Fairway, after hearing Hale’s story, the opportunity to help was a no-brainer.

“We said we are in it.  We are absolutely all in it,” a spokeswoman said.  “We just felt that we could help her out in a great sense if we were to reach out to the Atlanta community at large instead of just a display in an area that didn’t have as much of an impact.”

“We just absolutely could not and would not ever think of charging for something like this because it’s so important to help,” she added, noting the company plans to leave the billboards up indefinitely, as long as they have space and Hale is still searching for a donor.

Hale, whose long history with the disease makes finding a match more difficult, says the donor team has been so overwhelmed with calls they’ve had to bring in extra staff to help.

While no match has been found yet, Hale has every reason to continue searching. She is engaged to be married to her boyfriend of seven years, Mike Mcwillson, but is waiting to tie the knot.

“I want to be healthy and not worrying about dialysis,” she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Most Common Lies Parents Tell Kids

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Have you ever lied to your child to stop a tantrum? Ever told a fib to get them to behave? You are not alone.

A study published in the International Journal of Psychology found that 84 percent of parents in the United States and 98 percent of parents in China lie to their children to make them behave. When lies are told to children it gets the clinical description of “instrumental lying.”

In both countries, the most common lie told by parents is the same. It occurs when a child is having a tantrum in public and the parent says he or she will walk away and leave the child if the kid does not behave.

Another common lie is a false promise of buying a requested toy or other item at a later date if the child behaves.

Parents lie the most about food, spending money and misbehavior, according to the study.

Parents in the United States lied more about fictional characters such as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy compared to parents in China.

One possible reason parents lie is because of the stress they feel when their children don’t behave, researchers said.

The study also found that mothers and fathers lie at the same rate, but that Chinese parents were more accepting of telling lies to their children.

“When teaching children, it is okay to use well-intentioned lies. It can promote positive development and prevent your child from going astray,” one Chinese participant said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio