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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seven people have now died from a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in the Bronx.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, seven people have now died from the Bronx Legionnaires' disease outbreak with 81 reported cases so far.

The seven people who died from the disease were older and had preexisting medical conditions.

A statement from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said the city's drinking water supply was safe throughout the city and was unaffected by legionella. It also said water towers were unaffected as well as home air conditioner units.

The statement also said the DOHMH would continue to monitor for new cases by conducting epidemiological investigations, interviewing individuals reported with Legionnaires' disease, and more.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(TACOMA, Wash.) -- When Alicia Wheatley of Tacoma, Washington, worried about how to to pay for the ongoing medical care her toddler needs to treat an eye disorder, she found help in an unlikely place: Online crowdfunding.

Wheatley’s daughter Chayla is just 2 years old and suffers from amblyopia in her right eye. The disorder causes decreased vision, and Chayla needs multiple eye surgeries to correct it or she could risk going blind in the eye.

Chayla wears an eye patch to strengthen the muscles in her eye, but it’s only a temporary solution.

Trying to pay for Chayla’s surgeries is putting the Wheatleys in a position they never imagined.

“We’re done everything right to get where we are, and we still can’t afford good healthcare,” Wheatley said. “It breaks my heart.”

Her husband Ray Wheatley's military job was cut due to a troop draw down and the family’s military health insurance, which did cover some of Chayla's medical care, will run out in a matter of months. His new civilian job pays less and what his future insurance will cover is uncertain.

So friends and family recommended they going online and crowd-fund to pay Chayla’s treatment, using the same sort of online fundraisers, such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, GiveForward and, that inventors, entrepreneurs and struggling filmmakers use to launch their projects.

So Alicia Wheatley launched an online campaign through a website called GiveForward, setting a fundraising goal of $10,000 and hoped for the best.

GiveForward has about 14,000 medical fundraisers, most, the company says, are people who actually have health insurance but still need help paying for treatments that aren't covered. Medical crowdfunding has been successful for many families, and an estimated $2.5 billion was raised in 2012, according to a report by research firm Massolution.

There have been some instances of crowdfunding fraud, where people have pretended to be sick or misuse the money, but GiveForward said those instances are rare. The company said they have stringent security systems in place to make sure those asking for money are legit. But with federal regulation still evolving, experts caution that consumers should do their research before donating.

Crowdfunding has worked for other families in the past. Patrick and Kristin Wilkinson of San Francisco raised over $20,000 on GiveForward so that their 4-month-old son Phoenix could get a bone marrow transplant.

“I think the hardest part is feeling helpless,” Kristin Wilkinson said. “As parents you’re supposed to protect your child, and in that situation you can’t.”

Phoenix was born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), a rare genetic disorder.

“Going undiagnosed, if a child has SCID, it’s fatal,” Wilkinson said. “As soon as they get an infection… their bodies can’t fight it.”

Wilkinson works for Airbnb, and her son’s GiveForward page was sent to the entire company and it took off from there, raising $20,000 in just 24 hours and over $50,000 total over 10 months.

Like Alicia Wheatley, the Wilkinsons have health insurance through Kristen's job at Airbnb, but because Phoenix’s care so time-consuming, Kristin and Patrick weren’t able to work for months, so they said the crowdfunding money was much needed.

“It just gives you faith in humanity again,” Kirstin Wilkinson said. “It was really unbelievable.” But Wheatley’s online fundraising for her daughter was slow going. Heading into Chayla’s latest round of surgeries, Wheatley had only raised $610 dollars. Her online social network is small, and for the most part, not very wealthy.

“I don't have that many friends on Facebook that’s over 30 that have…established savings accounts and all that,” Ray Wheatley said.

With help of her tech savvy cousin, Alicia Wheatley turned to Twitter and Facebook, and started the hashtag #Eyes4Chayla to try to spread the word, but it was an uphill battle.

“For us small family, small network it’s been a struggle,” she said. “Social media is not conducive for every socioeconomic walk of life.”

As of now, the Wheatleys crowdfunding campaign has ended. They only raised $1,390 over six months, a far cry from their $10,000 goal, but they are continuing to push forward. They have since started a new online campaign through

“For us small family, small network it’s been a struggle,” Ray Wheatley said. “Social media is not conducive for every socioeconomic walk of life.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Mat Hayward/Getty Images(HARWOOD, Md.) -- Hunter Hayes recorded a special performance of his song, "Invisible," for a fan from Maryland he called "a rock star," days before she died from terminal cancer.

Her name was Erin Catterton and she died at 22 years old on Wednesday "with her family and friends by her side at the Mandrin Chesapeake Hospice House in Harwood, Maryland," according to her obituary on

Catterton was a huge Hayes fan and her brother, Robert, reached out to the singer's camp, asking for a video. The country star, 23, responded by sending Catterton a heartfelt performance of "Invisible" filmed in his hotel room in Los Angeles.

Catterton has battled cancer for much of her life. According to her brother, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just 4 years old. Just a few weeks ago, doctors found a tumor in Erin's uterus.

"Erin's happiest moments were spent every day by her mother and father's sides enjoying anything from small shopping trips to vacations in Nashville and Savannah," her obituary continued.

Hayes' rep told ABC News that Erin and her entire family got to watch the video before she passed.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Teachers across the country are advocating for the right to pump breast milk at work.

After discovering a loophole that leaves salaried workers unprotected under federal law, teachers from states including Texas and Florida are fighting for the right to pump at work.

The Affordable Care Act currently protects working mothers with hourly wages, but the law does not require employers to provide time and space for pumping for women in salaried positions.

Anna Johnson-Smith, a former teacher in Texas, told The Washington Post she felt like she had to choose between her teaching career and her child when her principal denied her request for a small break every afternoon to pump.

“A 15-minute break was all I was asking for,” Johnson-Smith told The Washington Post. “We’ve come so far in our society in so many ways, and here in 2015, we’re still fighting for the right to provide breast milk for our babies.”

High school teacher Monica Howell told The Washington Post when she returned to work after having her baby last year, she was denied a request for a break to pump after the first class of the day by her assistant principal. Her principal later reversed the decision, but it wasn't enough. Some days she couldn't find someone to watch her classroom and she would have no time to pump.

Howell's union, the United Teachers of Dade, provided a new contract for Fall 2014 where new mother teachers were given the right to have "reasonable" time to pump in a private space.

According to the National Library of Medicine, women without medical problems should give their babies breast milk for at least the first six months after birth. Women who don't pump their breasts or breastfeed may feel painful engorgement or plugged ducts and infection.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Liquidlibrary/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The problems of “picky eating” in kids may extend beyond the dinner table -- perhaps even to the psychiatrist’s couch, according to a new study published in Pediatrics Monday.

Duke University researchers looked at 917 kids between 2 and 6 years old, assessing their degree of picky or “selective” eating. They found that children with moderate to severe selective eating were more likely to also exhibit increased symptoms of anxiety, social anxiety and depression.

When they followed up later on with a subgroup of these kids, the researchers also found that selective eating in younger years may even predict psychological issues later on.

The researchers say the findings show that parents need better advice from doctors when it comes to dealing with kids who are picky eaters -- and that they may even want to be on the lookout for more serious psychological issues.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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

Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school.

And contrary to popular belief, teens crash most often because they are inexperienced.

So, here are some things you should know:

Make sure your teens get all the practice they can. There are graduated driver licensing systems, online driving programs and numerous support groups that allow your teen to have a safe and effective way to gain experience.

Coach your teens the right way when they are in the driver’s seat, and demonstrate good habits when you’re at the wheel. This makes a bigger difference than you think.

Lastly, hold them accountable. Making a contract to drive will remind your teen that safety is priority, and driving is a privilege.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Hemera/Thinkstock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — The longtime debate over whether men and women can be “just friends” continues. This time, science is weighing in.

Researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study on college students and found that both men and women believe that actual platonic friendships between opposite sexes are possible, reports Vocativ.

Sounds promising, but most students also reported thinking that most men-women friendships hold secret sexual attraction. The participants estimated that about 63 percent of relationships have at least one person who secretly wants to get physical.

What’s even more interesting is that men and women showed similar levels of discomfort with their significant others forming a “friendship” with a member of the opposite sex.

Basically, men and women believe in platonic relationships…just not for their significant others.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Bronzer is the secret for getting that beach-ready glow without soaking up damaging UV rays.

The look has been perfected by A-list celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham.

Makeup guru and Yahoo Beauty’s editor-in-chief, Bobbi Brown, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday as part of the Yahoo Your Day series – a collaboration between GMA and experts from Yahoo – to share the basics about bronzer.

Brown said bronzer was the quickest way to give some life to the face, adding that it can also be used to correct foundation that’s not the right color.

“Bronzer will absolutely" make your skin look healthier, she said.

Bronzer is used after foundation and concealer have been applied, Brown said. People should choose a bronzer that works with their skin tone and which doesn’t have any shine.

“And the way to put it on is to smile. You find the apple of the cheek. And then you blend it up. And then the trick is you also blend it down,” she said, adding that a wide brush should be used.

Bronzer should also be used on the forehead and nose so the sun-kissed effects appears natural. But, she added, the goal isn’t to give the user the appearance of a tan.

“You just want to tint the skin. … A lot of women just put it on the cheek. And then they walk away. But you use it, you blend it. You can put blush on top of it. You can put a little bit of shimmer on top of it,” she said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Health care officials in Puerto Rico are bracing for more Medicare cuts, according to The New York Times.

The island is facing a huge cut to Medicare as well as a shortage of funding for Medicaid.

The Times reports that more than 60 percent of those living in Puerto Rico take Medicare or Medicaid.

Decreasing funding for these programs have sparked lobbying in Washington and grave concern among doctors and patients.

 Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Four people have died from Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx this summer.

A fourth person died from Legionnaires' disease in the South Bronx part of New York, according to a report on Saturday. There have been 65 confirmed cases of people with Legionnaires' since July 10, 55 of which were hospitalized.

The four people who died from the disease were older and had additional medical conditions.

Five locations have tested positive for legionella and all have been disinfected, though officials say they are expecting more cases to rise.

Daniel Tejada battled the disease and spoke to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV about his condition.

"I was about to wait one more day to go to the hospital and if I would have waited that one more day, I don't think I'd be here right now," Tejada, who was back home Saturday night, told WABC-TV.

According to WABC-TV, Highbridge, Morrisania, Mott Haven and Hunts Point are four neighborhoods where the outbreak is most prominent.

"I can't say where I got it from because I'm a cab driver and I'm everywhere so I could have caught this in any borough," Tejada told WABC-TV.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical company Hospira announced Friday that they are aware of "cybersecurity vulnerabilities" associated with the company's Symbiq Infusion System.

The devices, computerized pumps that allow for continuous delivery of general infusions, are used in hospitals and nursing homes. Hospira notes in a statement that there have been no known breaches of their devices.

Still, the company has "worked with [customers] to deploy an update to the pump configuration" and "[provide] our Symbiq customers with another layer of security for the devices while they remain in the market for another few months."

The updates, Hospira adds, "will address reported vulnerabilities specific to Symbiq."

The FDA adds that the devices are no longer being manufactured or distributed, recommending that healthcare facilities transition to alternate infusion systems as soon as possible.

Breaches of the Symbiq device "could lead to over- or under-infusion of critical patient therapies," the FDA adds.

"As we learn about vulnerabilities, we are committed to continuing to communicate with customers regarding cybersecurity, software and infusion pump updates or enhancements," Hospira's statement reads.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Thanks to a revolutionary procedure, a woman who was blind for 16 years is now able to see.

Carmen Torres, of South Florida, is the first recipient of a bionic eye. At 18, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, in which the vision declines over a period of time, according to ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV.

“You have to move forward with your life," Torres, 45, said of her condition at a news conference Friday.

Through an implant on the eye, the patient wears special glasses containing a video camera. An image is processed through a tiny computer affixed to a purse or belt. A signal is sent into the glasses that then transmits the image to the implant.

According to Torres, she can now see sidewalks and buildings as well as find windows and doors.

"It's very emotional,” she told reporters. “But I am very strong and I didn't cry. I was happy and just laughing like crazy."

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York City doctor, who made headlines after he was diagnosed with Ebola, said he hoped an experimental vaccine could be “a way forward” for a region decimated by the deadly virus.

Craig Spencer, an emergency room physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital, made headlines last year when he contracted Ebola after treating patients for the disease in Guinea. His diagnosis in New York City set off a wave of media coverage of the 33-year-old doctor who spent 20 days in isolation as he fought off the deadly disease.

After his treatment Spencer returned to Guinea to treat patients and he got to see firsthand how the vaccine trial affected patients and health care workers.

In a newly published study in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers found that an experimental Ebola vaccine appeared to be successful in early trials. Thousands of patients who had been exposed to Ebola were given the vaccine right away or after three weeks. Those given the vaccine right way were found not to develop the virus, although researchers started tracking virus results after 10 days in case anyone who had already been infected. Sixteen of those who were given the vaccine after 21 days developed the virus.

Officials from the World Health Organization said more research would be needed to confirm the early findings from the Guinea-based study.

Spencer said it was difficult for health workers to get the trial underway — many in the country were still afraid of health care workers or heard rumors about the government not helping patients in need.

“When I was back, it certainly was not calm, it was not easy,” said Spencer. “Many people were still very uncomfortable with Ebola in the country.”

After seeing the devastation of the disease with no clear treatment or vaccine, he said the vaccine is “certainly helpful,” but remains concerned people will assume it can end the outbreak alone.

He pointed out the outbreak had decimated the medical infrastructure in the countries hit hard by Ebola leading to deaths by other more common illnesses or complications like childbirth.

More people “could die of measles than will die of Ebola throughout this outbreak,” explained Spencer, citing that 200,000 people are expected to get the measles virus in the area.

“There was a study that estimated that up to 7 percent of doctors in Sierra Leone and 8 percent in Liberia,” had died from Ebola, said Spencer. “This was for a region that before the outbreak had less practicing doctors [in] countries combined that there were in the one hospital in New York City where I was treated.”

He remained concerned that if people think the vaccine works they will no longer think help is needed, even though measles—which can be prevented with a vaccine—also kills far more than Ebola.

“One of the big messages is that Ebola is bad but post-Ebola could be worse,” said Spencer.

Spencer said he's gone to Africa for years and expects he’ll be back in west Africa in the next year to work with patients.

“I’ve learned so much about medicine and humanity," Spencer said. "What it really comes down to is everyone deserve the same right to be treated and to be free of disease.” said Spencer.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(DESTIN, Fla.) -- A heroic act to save a drowning girl last Saturday left a Special Forces soldier paralyzed.

Sgt. First Class Tim Brumit was responding to screams that a girl was drowning in the waters of Crab Island in Destin, Florida, amid a storm. As he later recalled, he felt his neck break immediately upon hitting the water. He was pulled out of the water by another soldier, according to ABC News affiliate WEAR-TV.

"They said 'don't go in the water it's storming,' I dove,” he said. "My misjudgment was that the wave moved out of the way and turned into a foot of water probably, and soon as I went, I'm 6'4, so I went in the water, hit my head first, and I'm like, ‘Oh, I'm done.’"

A member of the 7th Special Forces group who had been deployed 11 times in 12 years, Brumit was taken to Baptist Hospital paralyzed from the neck down. He suffered a damaged spinal cord and two broken cervical vertebrae.

Still, Brumit expressed optimism and said: "I've been through tougher. This is not going to set me back." He said he would still go back into the water again.

The drowning girl was rescued by a person on a boat.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC)(DERWOOD, Md.) -- A Maryland animal shelter is hoping that a heartfelt letter written by Susie the cat's previous owner before her death, will help the feline's chances of finding a forever home.

"I'm sure that when she wrote it, she wrote it just to the intent of getting it to the adopter," said Katherine Zenzano, community outreach coordinator of Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center in Derwood, Maryland. "But we realized Susie was wasn't going anywhere. Some cats are really great at selling themselves and Susie wasn’t selling herself.

"If this letter can in any way help Susie, or any other cats in the same situation, we are happy to get it out there because we think it can touch a lot of people."

Zenzano told ABC News that Susie, a 5-year-old domestic short-hair orange tabby, was brought into MCASAC on May 15 by her owner's son, who said he was no longer able to care for his mother's cat following her death.

"He had said that he could not have the cat where he lived," she added. "We assume his mother knew this was going to happen because she wrote a letter to the person that was going to adopt Susie. He gave it to our intake counselor, so that's now in a file waiting for whoever comes to adopt her, and it will be passed onto them."

"It [the letter] was very touching," she added. "The adoption counselor had tears in her years. She couldn’t bring herself to read it, but she though it could serve a purpose."

Susie's owner's note read, in part:

Dear Friend, Thank you for adopting my friend, Susie. She was one of three cats in a litter. November 15, 2010 is her approximate birthdate. She moved in with me on December 1, 2010.

Susie is unusual but I enjoy her company.

She is a good snuggler but she likes to be the boss. She spends much of her time on my bed but I always seems [sic] to know where I am. I hope you enjoy Susie as much as I have.

Zenzano said it's not often the shelter learns this much about an animal, but thinks sharing the letter could help make Susie a desirable pet for potential owners.

"It's just a sweet history of their life together," she added. "Every cat has a story. Every animal that comes here has a story and we are left to guess so much. We piece together a lot of the story for them, but with Susie we have a lot to go on."

While Susie was at first a bit skittish coming to the shelter, Zenzano said she's warmed up to the staff and has been profiled as a "love bug."

She added that there have been some families that have expressed interest in adopting Susie, but there have yet to be any serious inquiries.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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