Review Category : Health

Wheelchair-Bound Dog Travels Freely Despite Neurological Disorder

Tom and Tamara Dilworth(NEW YORK) — Meet Mel. He’s an 8-year-old pit bull who has a neurological disease that affects his balance.

Mel got a second chance after being adopted from Yonkers Animal Shelter in New York six years ago by Tom and Tamara Dilworth. Soon the married couple of 12 years realized that Mel had a hard time walking, so they took him to Eddie’s Wheels for Pets back in 2012 to outfit him in a custom wheelchair.

“He was off and running instantly,” Tom, 49, told ABC News. “As soon as he got into it, he kind of stood there and figured it out and then he started walking. Once he started there was no stopping it.”

Mel is getting tons of attention online thanks to Tom, who is a professional photographer based in Mahopac, New York. He’s been documenting the dog’s travels on social media.

With his wheelchair, Mel has been all around the U.S., from Colorado to Rhode Island to Connecticut to Florida.

And despite being “clumsy” thanks to his disease, Tom said his dog is a “happy normal dog with a normal life.”

His favorite hobby?

“He loves getting out and walking around. And hiking,” Tom said proudly.

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Your Body: Caffeine’s Effects on Pregnancy

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

We’ve all heard about not drinking too much caffeine while pregnant, but what about before getting pregnant?

A new study shows that a woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated drinks a day in the weeks before she gets pregnant. This study was interesting because it looked at both men and women’s behavior before conception and early in pregnancy, and their intake of caffeinated beverages.

In OB/GYN, we generally say that about 200mg of caffeine a day is fine. But remember: A lot more goes into fertility status and healthy pregnancies than just one isolated behavior.

If having a baby were such a fragile, delicate process, the human race would have ended long ago.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Woman ‘Shocked’ to Develop Skin Cancer Despite Sunscreen Vigilance

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Annie Tomlin is an expert beauty editor who is known for telling her millions of readers about the importance of sunscreen, so when a red patch appeared on her hairline and wouldn’t go away, she knew something wasn’t right.

“As it grew and grew I thought, ‘this isn’t normal,'” she said.

Two different dermatologists told Tomlin — the beauty director at Self magazine — that the patch was nothing, but when Tomlin ran into Dr. Ellen Marmur at an event, the doctor had a different opinion.

“Instantly I said ‘No, no, no. We have to test that,'” Marmur, a Manhattan dermatologist, told ABC News.

A biopsy revealed that Tomlin had basal cell carcinoma. It’s the most common kind of skin cancer.

Tomlin said she was “shocked” by the diagnosis in November.

“I’m religious about sun protection. I wore it every day as a kid,” she said.

Doctors say skin cancer is becoming increasingly common in young people and those with darker skin tones.

An estimated 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers — the most common types of cancer — are diagnosed each year, according to the American Cancer Society. The overwhelming majority of the cases are basal cell cancers, according to the organization.

Basal cell carcinoma is highly curable, but early detection is key.

“These things become disfiguring and they can spread throughout your body. People die every hour from skin cancer,” Marmur said.

Doctors say people should be vigilant about checking their entire body regularly. It’s something that Tomlin is reminded of every time she looks in the mirror.

“I actually like having the faintest of scars because it’s a reminder in life that this happened and I just want to be as safe as I can when I go in the sun,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin had the patch removed in an outpatient surgical procedure and was declared cancer-free. She writes about her experiences in this month’s issue of Self.

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E-Cigarette Liquid Poisonings on the Rise in Young Children, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — E-cigarette use has increased drastically over the last few years and cases of children being accidentally exposed to the liquid nicotine inside have risen just as drastically.

In a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, researchers looked at the National Poison Data System from January of 2012 through April of 2015 and found an average of 729 exposures (ingestion) to tobacco per month for children younger than 6 years old. E-cigarettes and e-cigarette liquid refills accounted for 14.2 percent of these exposures, but over the study’s time period, the number of monthly e-cigarette poisonings increased 1492 percent.

Exposure to e-cigarettes was also significantly more likely to result in hospital admission and to have a severe outcome than exposure to cigarettes.

The information obtained could also underestimate the actual incidence of exposures since the database only includes those that were voluntarily reported.

The authors are calling for swift government action to regulate these products, as the Food and Drug Administration has recently taken action to restrict sales by age.

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Top 10 Baby Names of 2015

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — You may hear many parents calling out to Noah and Emma on the playground.

It’s because those two names are the most popular baby names for the second year in a row, according to the Social Security Administration.

In fact, Noah — a name derived from one of the most popular books in the English language, the Bible — has taken the top spot for the past three years. Emma spent two years in second place, before the name eventually beat out Sophia, which in 2015 slipped to third place, behind Olivia in second place.

Still, here are the top 10 baby names from last year for males and females:

Males:

  1. Noah
  2. Liam
  3. Mason
  4. Jacob
  5. William
  6. Ethan
  7. James
  8. Alexander
  9. Michael
  10. Benjamin

Females:

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Sophia
  4. Ava
  5. Isabella
  6. Mia
  7. Abigail
  8. Emily
  9. Charlotte
  10. Harper

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Daughter’s Rare Diseases Sparks Inspiration for Photographer

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Holly Spring, a New Zealand photographer, says she was inspired by her daughter Violet to create a photo series showing her daughter living without limitations, despite her illnesses.

Spring’s daughter was born with multiple ailments including Hirschsprung’s Disease, a blockage of the large intestine and Symbrachydactyly, a limb abnormality.

Spring says the series was designed to show her daughter that she “can live a life without obstacles.”

Spring has received awards in her native New Zealand for her images of Violet. “She can do whatever she wants to do and be whoever she wants to be,” she said of her daughter.

View the full photo series here.

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Pregnant Teen with Zika Opens Up About ‘Heartbreaking’ News

ABC News(HARTFORD, Conn.) — A pregnant 17-year-old from Connecticut has tested positive for the Zika virus, telling ABC News the news is “heartbreaking,” as scientists continue to study the link between the Zika virus and severe birth defects.

Sara Mujica said she believes she was infected in February while visiting her fiance in Honduras. She started showing symptoms of the virus just days after learning she was pregnant.

“I had a fever,” she told ABC News. “And the rashes were just growing throughout my body.”

Fever and rashes are two of Zika’s most common signs and symptoms.

Mujica then traveled to Connecticut and rushed to get tested. With the results weeks away, she went back to Honduras to be with her fiance.

Then, her mother called “crying hysterically,” Mujica told ABC News. “She was like, ‘your bloodwork got back and you were positive for Zika.'”

“It’s really heartbreaking knowing that I got Zika,” she said.

“It was such hard news to take in all at once,” she said. “My first thought was, ‘What am I going to do?’ And I asked my mom, ‘What am I going to do?’ I still don’t know if I should do an abortion or take what God gave me.

“It’s a hard decision when something so tragic happens,” she said.

Zika is primarily spread through mosquito bites.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, says that the Zika virus itself is usually mild — but it is very dangerous for pregnant women and their fetuses, due to the risk that the babies will be born with a brain development defect known as microcephaly.

While so far there have been no locally transmitted Zika cases in the continental United States, Mujica is now one of 44 pregnant women in the U.S. who have tested positive for Zika after traveling outside the country.

The Connecticut Department of Health said in a statement to ABC News, “We have been preparing for months both to address positive cases and put measures in place to help prevent mosquito-related transmission.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Tom Skinner told ABC News this week that its focus is “on pregnant women and making sure they’re not exposed to the virus.”

“We want them to avoid traveling to countries with Zika and make sure they know about prevention of mosquito bites,” Skinner said.

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Blogger Writes About How She’s Coping Without Her Mother on Mother’s Day

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While many people have already purchased presents or made brunch reservations to celebrate their mother on Sunday, some will find the Mother’s Day holiday very tough to endure.

Ty Alexander is one of those people. The Brooklyn-based blogger lost her mother Yolanda Brown in 2013 after she had been diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. Alexander, 39, has been documenting her grieving process on social media and recently opened up on her blog about how she plans to get through Mother’s Day.

“Through my grieving process,” she wrote, “I realized that I had to re-imagine the love my mother and I had shared.”

It’s one of the many coping mechanisms Alexander said she will try this Sunday. Another is staying away from social media, she told ABC News.

“Sunday I will not be on the Internet,” she said. “I will take a hibernation from social media and just spend time with my family because it can kind of put you in a bad head space because other people can spend time with their mom and you’re not.”

Alexander added that blogging itself helps.

“I try to journal every day just to get my feelings out,” she said. “But I can also go back and look at the progress that I’ve made because when it first happened I was like, ‘Woe is me, I’ll never be right again.’ Looking back on it three years later, it’s amazing to see … the progress that I’ve made.”

On her blog, Alexander also shared that she plans to surround herself with family this holiday, more notably her aunt, who she says has become a second mother to her.

“My Aunt Katy has been instrumental in my grieving process, specifically getting past the hurt that I felt on Mother’s Day,” Alexander wrote. “Through my Aunt Katy, I was able to see the love that I still had here. Because of her love for me, she picked up all those broken pieces from the void of my mother.”

Sonya Frazier, a licensed mental health counselor, told ABC News that the coping strategies that Alexander will employ — such as staying connected to a support circle and writing down positive memories — can work for those who may find Mother’s Day difficult.

She also suggested: “Do something in honor of your late mother to celebrate her life. Don’t focus on the loss, but the celebration of life and the impact that she’s left on you and the greater community.”

Frazier said activities could include donating to a charity that she would support, planting her favorite flower, dining at her favorite place to eat, releasing a balloon in the air or anything “active or symbolic that will represent her.”

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Service Dog Stars in Middle School Yearbook Alongside Proud Owner

Courtesy Lori Ware(NEW YORK) — This is perhaps one of the most paw-dorable yearbook pictures ever.

Take a look at Presley, a 5-year-old service dog in West Monroe, Louisiana, who’s been going to school every day with her owner, Seph Ware, for the past two years.

Seph, 14, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive genetic muscle disorder that causes a loss of muscle function, so Presley tags along to help him with daily activities at school like picking things up off the floor, opening and closing doors and turning the lights on and off.

As a tribute to Presley’s loyalty, Good Hope Middle School decided to include her in the yearbook right alongside her proud owner.

“It was my son’s turn to take his photo and they said, ‘Hey how do you feel about us taking a photo of Presley?’ and he was like, ‘Sure,’” Seph’s mom, Lori Ware, told ABC News. “Presley, since the day we met her, will carry her leash in her mouth. We just say she likes to walk herself, so it’s no surprise she’s got it in the photo, too.”

Needless to say, Presley struck a perfect pose, which is now going viral after the photo was posted to Facebook.

“This whole thing has just been crazy,” Lori said of the attention the pup’s picture has gotten. “But Seph’s loving it. He is very social and he’s very animated and so he thinks it’s just great. It’s his 15 minutes of fame.”

And boy are they famous. Students at school are even asking for the dynamic duo’s autographs.

“All the kids are now asking him for Presley’s autograph,” said Lori. “So he signs his name in the yearbook and he draws a paw print for Presley. One little girl even brought an ink pad trying to get Presley’s actual paw print.”

Presley and Seph have been best buds from the moment they were paired up at the non-profit organization called Canine Assistants located in Alpharetta, Georgia.

“They are amazing. They give these dogs for free to people with disabilities,” Lori explained. “[Presley] came to us when she was 18 months old. You go for two weeks to learn how to work with the dogs. And the dogs choose their owners. It’s all about the bond.”

After days of careful observation, it seems the boy and his sweet dog were absolutely meant to be.

“Presley came over and laid her head in Seph’s lap and said, ‘This is my boy.’ It’s an amazing experience,” said Lori.

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Family Removed From Allegiant Air Flight Over Son’s Peanut Allergy

iStock/Thinkstock(PROVO, Utah) — A California man said he and his family recently felt “discriminated against” after they were asked to leave an Allegiant Air flight because of their son’s severe peanut allergy.

Kyson Dana, 28, told ABC News the incident happened on Monday when he, his wife Sara Dana and their 1-year-old son Theo boarded an Allegiant Air plane at Provo Municipal Airport in Utah that was headed to San Francisco.

As they were boarding, Sara, 28, told a flight attendant Theo had a severe peanut allergy and asked if “they could make any small accommodations such as not serving peanuts during the flight,” Kyson said. He added that he and his wife carried an EpiPen just in case of an emergency and reiterated that “the airline wasn’t accountable for anything that could happen.”

Allegiant says on its website that the airline “does not guarantee an allergen-free flight” but that it “will attempt to re-seat a passenger affected by an allergy in an effort to minimize the passenger’s exposure to the allergen.”

Though one flight attendant “was very rude” and urged the family not to fly, a second flight attendant was “nice and helpful” and actually asked people to avoid eating peanuts, according to Kyson.

But a third flight attendant said the pilot wanted them “removed from the plane,” Kyson said. He and his wife were “rushed out” and a request to speak to the pilot was refused, Kyson noted.

Though Allegiant offered to book another flight for the family, it was scheduled to leave five days later, Kyson said. However, an airport employee who “felt bad” for the family, “pulled some strings” and got them onto an American Airlines flight the same day free of charge, Kyson said.

Allegiant has since sent the family an apology email that Kyson forwarded to ABC News Friday.

“On behalf of the entire Allegiant team, please allow me to offer my sincere apology for the inconveniences this incident has caused for you and your family,” the email read. “We regret that you were denied boarding due to any misunderstanding regarding the severity of your child’s peanut allergy. I realize that medical issues can be highly challenging. We just wanted to make sure you arrived home safely.”

Allegiant also sent the following statement to ABC News: “Upon boarding flight 1005 on May 2, 2016, the Dana family indicated to our flight crew that their son had a severe peanut allergy. The flight crew then contacted a third party organization that advises Allegiant and other carriers when making decisions about the safety of passengers with potential medical issues onboard an aircraft. The third party organization, which includes on-call medical doctors available to provide guidance, advised that the family not fly on that specific flight. Allegiant provided the family with airline tickets on another carrier, and they arrived at their destination later that night.”

Kyson said he hopes his family’s story will help start a larger discussion about how airlines treat people with allergies.

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