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peterspiro/iStock/ThinkStock(WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.) -- Three young women are giving back to their community.

According to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV, the women are volunteers at White Plains Hospital in Westchestery County, where they provide comfort to worried parents in the neonatal intensive care unit. That unit happens to be where all three of the women were born.

Kathryn Linehan, 21, Parris Lloyd, 19 and Sofia Flissler, 15 were all pre-mature babies born at White Plains Hospital in the NICU.

Linehan weighed less than five pounds when she was born and Flissler, who weighed in at one pound 11 ounces, spent three months in the NICU. Lloyd, along with her twin brother, was in the NICU for 32 weeks, according to WABC-TV.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When medications work they alleviate pain, heal infection, prevent disease or even save lives. But every medication comes with the risk of side effects — and, occasionally, those side effects are debilitating or deadly. Are companies always reporting those adverse effects in a timely manner, though? Apparently, they are not, according to researchers.

Drug manufacturers are required to report serious adverse events — those involving "death, a life-threatening adverse drug experience, inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, a persistent or significant disability/incapacity, or a congenital anomaly/birth defect” — to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within 15 calendar days after such cases are reported to the company.

But in a new report, a group out of Minnesota found that while 90 percent of the reports involving serious adverse effects were filed within 15 days, 10 percent were filed with the FDA between 16 days and greater than 180 days after the initial report was filed with the company.  The group also found that the 10 percent of delayed reports were more likely to involve death of a patient.

The group arrived at these findings after examining the quarterly FDA Adverse Event Reporting System data files over a 10-year period to see how manufacturers adhere to the policy.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Kristen Anne Photography(NEW YORK) — If you ask 100 different parents about their journey to parenthood, there would be 100 different stories to share.

In the case of the Olsons of Minnesota, the journey to becoming parents for the third time was not only a figurative one, but a literal one as well.

Sarah and David Olson always knew they wanted three children. Her pregnancies, neither of which came easily, were "brutal," the couple told ABC News. She was sick throughout, and was in and out of hospitals. One pregnancy even broke her pelvic bone, she said.

Their first child is a boy named Zakary. Their second child, Levi, was born with Spina Bifida and has had many surgeries. "Despite the fact we were told he wasn’t going to walk, Levi has defied the odds and is running around torturing his older brother," David Olson told ABC News.

Those difficult pregnancies and medical complications didn't deter the couple. "We love our boys but knew our family was not complete. Regardless of Levi’s ongoing medical scenario, we wanted a third child. We tried to become pregnant for about eight months with no luck," David said.

The couple took a trip to New York City for Sarah's birthday and it was on the flight, Sarah said, she wanted to consider adoption. David’s father and sister-in-law were both adopted. Sarah’s niece had recently been adopted from China.

"We both have incredibly favorable attitudes towards adoption," David said. "We prayed about this idea and didn’t tell anyone for a while."

The couple hooked up with Christian Adoption Consultants. After four potential matches and four disappointments as the children they thought were theirs were placed with other families, the call came at noon on a Tuesday.

"Are you ready for a miracle?" their adoption consultant said. "We have a stork drop situation and if you say yes, this is your daughter!”

A stork drop situation is when a couple takes a baby on a moment's notice.

The couple made childcare arrangements for their boys and booked a flight to Tallahassee, Florida, for 5 a.m. the next day. They took along their friend and photographer Kristen Prosser of Kristen Anne Photography to document the journey.

"We named our daughter Tilly Pearl," David said. "Tilly means 'Strength through adversity.' We have a deep connection with that statement. Pearl means “a precious thing, the finest example of something."'

Flight and other travel delays made the journey from Minnesota to Tallahassee a 14-hour one.

"We walked into the room expecting to meet our baby, but it was empty. The charge nurse was busy and couldn’t bring her down yet. Another wait. Those 20 minutes may have been hours," David said. "But the time came and she was rolled in. As soon as we saw her, our hearts felt complete. There are no words to describe it. How to you explain love for a human you just met? That is the power of adoption. We prayed and prayed for this baby to come into our lives, and that time had finally come. Within 30 hours of receiving the call, we were holding our baby girl. Such a surreal moment."

"Thank you to the birth moms that choose life for their children," the couple wrote in an email to ABC News. "Thank you to the adoptive parents that sacrifice to bring children home into their forever families."

Sarah and Tilly are still in Florida as they wait for paperwork to be complete and the money needed to travel home to rejoin the rest of the family. To read more about their journey, visit Olson Family Adoption.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Women with newborns get advice, of course, from their families, friends and neighbors. But a new study reveals that up to half of mothers don't get any advice from their doctors on some important topics, including where and how to put their infant to sleep.

Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 mothers of infants at 32 different medical centers across the country to learn what mothers recalled being told about breastfeeding, immunizations, pacifier use and baby sleep. They also looked at where this advice was coming from (doctors, nurses, family and media) and whether it was accurate.

Doctors were the most common source of advice, but one in five women did not recall receiving any suggestions from them regarding breastfeeding or sleep position. Furthermore, more than half reported getting no advice regarding sleep location and pacifier use.

But even more concerning, the study, published Monday in Pediatrics, found that more than one in four women received “bad” advice on where and how to put their babies to sleep.

Family members seemed to provide the worst recommendations, with two-thirds of advice being inconsistent with current guidelines.

Black mothers, Hispanic mothers and first-time moms were the most likely to get accurate advice.

It's worth nothing that most of the women getting “bad” advice actually received conflicting, rather than purely bad advice. In other words, they reported receiving at least two different recommendations from their doctors and, in the majority of cases, at least one of these recommendations was consistent with guidelines.

The study was also based on what mothers recalled, so it may not reflect the advice that was actually given.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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

Did you know that acupuncture may be able to help stress and anxiety?

Research shows that this go-to pain reliever may also be good for keeping you calm and can treat things like PMS, menopause symptoms and even infertility.

So how does it work? We don’t completely know. But 3,000-plus years of practice in traditional Chinese medicine has pointed to the targeting of so-called "trigger points" along pathways called meridians or channels.

When an area is stimulated, it causes a therapeutic response in the body that is thought to repair and balance. So if you’d like to give it a try, talk to your doctor and find a licensed and reputable acupuncturist.

And sometimes, it’s even covered by insurance.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Ridofranz/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The overwhelming majority of young cancer patients are unaware of the affect that chemotherapy could have on their fertility, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at nearly 500 patients from around the U.S. involved in the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program. They found that 80 percent of women and 74 percent of men between the ages of 15 and 39 were not aware that cancer therapy can impact their fertility.

In fact, 29 percent of men and 56 percent of women said they hadn't discussed options that could preserve their fertility, such as egg or sperm freezing.

Researchers also noted that even among those patients who were aware of the risks, 70 percent of men and 93 percent of women did not make arrangements to preserve their fertility.

The study was published in the journal Cancer.

Researchers also note that additional counseling on the impact and options available to cancer patients when it comes to fertility is important, particularly for younger patients.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Henrik_L/iStock/ThinkStock(TUSTIN, Calif.) -- One town in California can't scratch away this itch.

According to ABC News affiliate KABC-TV, a two-block section of Tustin has “higher than normal rates” of mosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus. The area includes 40 homes and two public parks.

In Orange County, 32 samples of mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, and 26 of them came from Tustin, said KABC-TV, and officials are working to control the problem.

“Our staff have been canvassing this area for the better part of a month,” Jared Dever, a spokesman for Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, told KABC-TV. “Going door-to-door, doing property inspections, finding any mosquito breeding sources we can possibly discover.”

So far there is no explanation for the positive samples because according to KABC-TV, most of Orange County has levels below normal for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says to reduce the risk of being infected with the virus, to wear insect repellent or protective clothing. The CDC also says about 1 in 5 who are infected will develop a fever or other symptoms, and less than 1 percent will develop a serious and potentially fatal neurological illness.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following the release of two secretly recorded videos that appear to feature the discussion of the price of fetal tissue involving a Planned Parenthood employee, the organization’s president said on Sunday it has done nothing illegal and criticized those responsible for the videos.

“Planned Parenthood has broken no laws," Cecile Richards, the president of the non-profit, said on "This Week." "We have the highest standards. The care and health care and safety of our patients is our most important priority."

The anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress released two videos showing Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussing procedures for providing fetal tissue to researchers, including possibly changing some aspects of the abortion process to preserve tissue samples. It is illegal to use a different method of abortion in order to facilitate tissue donation.

A second video released this week seems to show a different Planned Parenthood official, Mary Gatter, discussing price ranges of tissue samples. While the sale of fetal tissue for profit is illegal, abortion providers can legally be reimbursed for the costs of processing and transporting the samples.

“The folks behind this, in fact, are part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind, you know, the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their -- in their churches,” she said. "That's what actually needs to be -- to be looked at."

In response to the claims of illegal behavior in the video, Planned Parenthood asserted that all of its actions are legal as well as ethical. In addition, the organization said the video was “heavily edited,” stating that “similar false accusations have been put forth by opponents of abortion services for decades.”

ABC US News | World News

ABC US News | World News

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VILevi/iStock/Thinkstock(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- The World Health Organization announced Friday that in the first two weeks of this month, six new cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, also known as MERS, were identified in Saudi Arabia.

The new cases involve patients between the ages of 35 and 77, according to the WHO. Four of the patients were identified as being in stable condition, with the other two listed as "critical."

Four of the patients reportedly had a history of contact with camels and/or consumption of their raw milk, which are considered known risk factors.

WHO says there have been 1,374 laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS since September 2012, and at least 490 related deaths.

The disease has also spread in recent months in South Korea, with more than 100 people there diagnosed with the disease this year. At least 14 have died from MERS in South Korea.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Minerva Studio/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- A new treatment has been approved for the most common form of skin cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug for advanced basal cell carcinoma, a skin cancer that's easy to treat, if caught early enough.

Odomzo, a daily pill, from Novartis, has been approved for patients whose cancer hasn't spread to other parts of the body but, has recurred after surgery or radiation therapy.

The drug can stop or reduce the growth of cancerous lesions.

The drug, however, does have some side effects including hair loss and nausea. For pregnant women, possible birth defects in the fetus.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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XiXinXing/iStock/ThinkStock(CLEVELAND) -- On Christine Taber’s wedding day, the surgeon who helped give her a new lease on life 10 years ago was again tasked with saving the day by becoming an emergency wedding photographer.

“Our photographer for the reception bailed out last minute,” Taber told ABC News. “Between being a surgeon, saving my life and taking pictures. ... He’s incredible.”

Ever since undergoing a liver transplant at 14, Taber said she knew she wanted to invite Dr. John Fung, director of the Cleveland Clinic Health System Transplantation Center, to her wedding.

“He’s been around to make sure I feel confident about my health,” she said.

The pair have known each other since Taber was a teenager in need of a new liver. Born with biliary atresia, Taber’s liver lacked bile ducts and she grew up knowing she would have to get a liver transplant.

When she was 14, complications set in that affected how much blood her lungs were getting. A transplant suddenly became critical.

“I was scared a lot of the time but being at the clinic and talking with my doctors made me feel more confident. I could really tell that they knew what they were doing, and literally [trust them] with my life,” she said.

To get her a liver quickly, Fung performed a rare “split liver” transplant. In this case, a donated deliver is divided in half and given to two patients.

“It’s the same technology as [from] a living donor, instead of getting a half from a liver donor and we’re getting two halves from deceased donor,” Fung explained to ABC News. “This is one way to expand the donor pool.”

Taber quickly recovered from her transplant but still saw Fung periodically for check-ups.

“It was nice having him as a reassurance that … things was going to be OK,” Taber said. “You still have those worries, 'What if it starts to reject and what if I get sick?'”

Ten years after her transplant, Taber still sees Fung at the airport where she works as a manager.
“I would see her once every 2 or 3 weeks,” Fung said. “You like to think that your patients can lead a normal life. That’s what she was able to do.”

At the wedding, in Cleveland on June 27, the pair even shared a “dollar dance,” where anyone can dance for 30 seconds with the bride or groom for a dollar.

“As an attendee it was a lot of fun,” said Fung, who said he was excited to get to try out his photography hobby at the reception.

“This is a continuation of our relationship and friendship,” he said. “I’m looking forward to when they have kids.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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HandmadePictures/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering adding a percent daily value requirement for sugars on food labels.

The proposal, a supplement to a 2014 rule that focused on updating nutrition facts labels, would be based on the recommendation that daily intake of calories from added sugars should not exceed 10 percent of all calories taken in. The FDA will seek public comment over the next 75 days, and will re-open the 60-day period on the 2014 proposal.

The newest proposal, the FDA says, is now further supported by additional studies that suggest lower amounts of sugar-sweetened food and beverages in an individual's diet are linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Remains/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first treatment in a new class of drugs for patients who were not able to significantly lower their LDL cholesterol levels with statin therapy.

Praluent, an injection drug, can be used alongside diet in adult patients with heterozygous familial heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) or patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks or strokes, according to a statement released by the FDA.

The drug belongs to a new group of inhibitors which target a protein that blocks the number of receptors on the liver that removes LDL or "bad" cholesterol from the blood. This drug will free up those receptors lowering cholesterol levels.

All 2,476 patients involved in the clincal trials had HeFH, an inherited condition that causes high levels of bad cholesterol, or were at a high risk of experiencing a stroke or heart attack.

In five placebo-controlled trials, the patients who were already taking high doses of cholesterol medication saw at least a 39 percent reduction in cholesterol levels.

Trials are still ongoing on the effects Praluent has on patients taking statins in terms of reducing cardiovascular risk.

Side effects of the drug include itching, swelling, pain, or bruising at the site of injection, nasopharyngitis and the flu. Allergic reactions such as a skin rash can also occur. Patients are advised to seek medical assistance if they experience a serious allergic reaction.

Heart disease is the number one killer among men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 610,000 people die each year.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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luiscar/iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The world's first malaria vaccine passed a major hurdle on Friday thanks to a positive review by European drug regulators.

A shot created by British drug makers GlaxoSmithKline, Mosquirix also known as RTS,S is the first of its kind to show promising signs in malaria prevention among children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to a statement by GSK, the World Health Organization will recommend a policy on how to use the vaccine by November, but it's future faces uncertainty as independent African nations must also approve the drug.

In clinical trials conducted in seven African countries, Mosquirix offered mixed results. Children aged five to 17 months received the best protection after being given three doses one month apart; however, results waned after a year which would make a booster shot necessary 18 months later.

Malaria spreads through mosquito bites infected with the parasite plasmodia. It can cause death if left untreated.

"While RTS,S on its own is not the complete answer to malaria," said CEO of GSK Sir Andrew Witty. " It's use alongside those interventions currently available such as bed nets and insecticides, would provide a very meaningful contribution to controlling the impact of malaria on children in those African communities that need it the most."

According to the WHO, at least 584,000 people died of malaria in African countries -- most of them children under five-years-old.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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akiyoko/iStock/Thinkstock(LITTLE ROCK, ARK.) -- A 9-year-old girl has raised $47,000 by selling bracelets to get medical treatment for her best friend, who has a rare and dangerous skin disease.

Bethany Walker started making small rubber bracelets in the hopes she could sell them for a few dollars and raise money to help her friend, Anne Marie Cox, get a saltwater pool, she and her family said. In just 19 weeks, the girl managed to raise enough money for the Cox family to construct a therapy pool in their backyard.

The good deed led to Bethany qualifying as a finalist in a national scholarship for community service sponsored by IZOD and J.C. Penney.

"I feel really great," Bethany told ABC News on Friday about seeing her friend get to use the saltwater pool. She said their favorite things to do in the water are "race and play with the Barbies."

Anne Marie, 10, needed the pool to help cope with a rare genetic skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa, which causes blisters to appear on the skin due to a slight pressure or friction. The saltwater pool can help her blisters heal and ease her pain.

“Any kind of friction or trauma to the skin causes the skin to blister and come off. Being out in the summertime is just not going to happen,” Anne Marie’s mother Kandi Cox told ABC News. “She can’t go to public pools or anything like that. She really has to be in a protected environment.”

Early last year, Walker decided she wanted to make rubber band bracelets to help her friend after the family had little luck fundraising. Cox said she was touched by Bethany's offer but didn’t predict how big Bethany’s bracelets could get.

Neither “her mom nor I even fathomed what this little girl could do,” Cox said. “She started making bracelets and put them together with these little cards. ... I believe she raised that money in 19 weeks.”

After Walker raised about $47,000 through her Bracelets by Bethany Facebook page, she's started using the bracelets to fundraise for other causes as well. Construction on the new saltwater pool finished this June, Cox said.

“It’s been really neat watching that relationship cultivate with these two little girls who just have a love for one another,” Cox said, noting that for the first time Anne Marie has been able to take part in the same summer activities as her friends and family.

“We have a race, like who can swim the fastest,” Anne Marie told ABC affiliate KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Even though the pool is therapeutic to help ease Anne Marie’s stiff joints and pain from her scars, she told KATV her favorite part about having the pool is “spending time with my family.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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