Review Category : Health

Man Grants Terminally Ill Wife’s Dying Wish by Impersonating Elvis Presley

Courtesy Mark Shelton(NEW YORK) — It was only days after Mark Shelton and his wife Lisa got married that she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

The two met in high school but went their separate ways. Mark, 54, enlisted in the Army while Lisa, 57, enrolled in college. They each went on to start their own families, with Mark having a son, now 23, and Lisa having a daughter, now 19.

Ten years ago, however, their friendship reignited before they fell in love.

“I believe that it was always the plan for Mark and [I] to be together,” Lisa told ABC News. “We went different directions…but God gets his way and I thank him that he brought us back together and right at the time when I needed Mark the most.”

In fact, Lisa’s terminal diagnosis came three days after they wed in 2014.

During Lisa’s battle with cancer, the couple often does what they call “check-ins.” It was during one of those conversations last year that Mark asked his wife, “If I could give you anything, what do you want to do? Do you want to go to Italy? Do you want to go to Hawaii? What’s on your bucket list?”

He was surprised when she replied: “Well, I’m content but if I could have anything, I’d just regret not seeing you perform the music of Elvis Presley the way you did in high school — with the jumpsuit and all that.”

Mark said he was on board immediately but there was on thing standing in his way: He was 400 pounds.

“I said, ‘OK, I won’t do it heavy,'” Mark recalled. “I can’t do that to you…and I can’t do that to honor the King of Rock and Roll.”

So he gave himself a year to shed the pounds. Less than a year later he was 200 pounds thinner.

Mark took that year to plan the performance of a lifetime, hiring a band and renting out Haskell Free Library and Opera House in Derby Line, Vermont. After rehearsing with the band for four months, Mark sold tickets to his performance with the proceeds going to Lisa’s cancer treatments. On Saturday, Mark embodied Presley, who died in 1977, at two sold-out shows.

He even surprised his wife by pulling her up onstage to sing “Surrender” to her.

Lisa enjoyed every minute of it.

“It was totally amazing. It was a dream come true,” she told ABC News. “I couldn’t take the smile off of my face last night. Just watching it, it was such a thrill.”

“I have never been loved like this before,” Lisa continued. “I just thank God every day — you’re going to make me cry — that this man has married me and he loves me. I feel totally secure in his love and no matter what happens he’ll always be there with me. And that gives me peace.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Bride Waits for Dad to Recover from Burns So He Could Walk Her Down Aisle

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One bride waited two years for her father to be well enough to walk her down the aisle.

Jewel MacLennan’s dad, Vance Easter, was badly burned in a welding accident on Sept. 24, 2011, that left him immobile and in the hospital for 51 weeks.

“Dad was working alone on a piece of farm equipment when a piece of slag fell onto his torch hose and caused the hose to throw off fire like a flame thrower,” MacLennan, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, told ABC News. “I was home that afternoon, just finished my pharmacy technician course that week, when I suddenly heard screaming from outside. I ran to the windows looking to see what was going on. Myself and two long-time family friends who just happened to be driving by saw Dad exit the shop in a ball of flames and were the first people on scene.”

They quickly called 911 and extinguished the fire by hosing Easter down with cold water from a nearby garden hose. Easter suffered third-degree burns on 70 to 85 percent of his body.

“His injuries were very critical, extensive, and was a roller coaster ride for our family,” she explained.

While Easter, 59, remained in the hospital for nearly a year, he underwent “skin grafting surgeries for months, was on dialysis for his kidney failure, had two heart attacks and two strokes [and] was on total parenteral nutrition for almost a year,” MacLennan, 26, recalled.

His rehabilitation was extensive due to the depth of his burns and muscle loss from infections. Even basic movements, such as moving his fingers and lifting his arms and legs, was difficult.

“Eventually it progressed to sitting up in bed, sitting up on the side of the bed and then to baring weight on his feet to standing,” she said. “Eventually he was willing to try to take some steps, to walking with crutches, to walking without crutches, and now jogging and dancing.”

When MacLennan got engaged in December 2014, she knew she’d wait for her dad to heal before tying the knot.

“I remember telling him when he was in a coma fighting for his life, crying to him, ‘Please live, please don’t give up. I want you here to walk me down the aisle and have our father-daughter dance,’” she said.

The father-daughter duo finally got to have their moment at her wedding on Sept. 3.

“Dad had always worked so hard in life,” said MacLennan. “So no, it is not surprising to me that he worked so hard to see me as a bride.”

She added: “Having him live, having him not give up, having him fight every setback that he had, and having him here on our wedding day. Words cannot describe the love and emotion I had when he gave me away. It was and probably will be one of the most special days in my life.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Five Expert Tips for Raising Strong Leaders

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s one of the most common problems of modern parenting: How to raise self-sufficient kids while also letting them know you’re always there for them?

Dana W. White, the author of Leader Designed: Become the Leader You Were Made to Be, said we need to look no further than our own homes for the answer.

In her book, White explains how family can play the most important role in developing a future leader. She’s shared with ABC News her top five tips for raising a strong leader:

1. Lead by Example. Children are human video recorders, White said. They are listening and watching everything you do. As a parent or a sibling, learn to “embody and adapt the characteristics that you most want to see in your child,” she said.

2. Invest Faith. “The greatest investment a parent can make in a child is daily deposits of faith. Tell a child who they can be every day,” White advised. “Believe in them to live beyond any circumstance. Paint a bright picture of their future. If you tell them where they can go and how to get there, they’ll chart the course.”

3. Serve. Great leaders serve others, White told ABC News. “They think ‘we’ not ‘me,”‘ she said. And they are humbled to put the welfare of others ahead of their own. “Being a parent is the most selfless job out there. And it is why our parents play a critical role in determining what kind of leader we become,” she said. “Strong leaders take pride in meeting others’ needs. When parents consider their role a privilege and not a burden, they teach their children pride in helping and supporting others. And a person who selflessly helps and encourages others will be followed anywhere.”

4. Empower. While it can be difficult for parents to let go of their children, it’s the role of every parent to raise a child who can survive and thrive on their own, she said.

“A parent must practice empowering their child throughout his or her life in order to realize their own potential and aspirations. Empower and enable can often be confused,” White said. “Empower means to prepare for a task. Enable means to assure a likely result. It’s not the same. Empowering is about the child. Enabling is about the parent. Parents create strong leaders by trusting their children to use the tools and the knowledge to achieve their goals.”

5. Mind your words. “Studies show that what we tend to remember the things we hear longer than the things we see,” White said. “This doesn’t mean you lie or tell your kid everything is great, but it does mean you tell them that you believe in them and that you expect them to do their best.”

White’s suggestion: Tell your children that they can do anything that they set their mind to do. “I wanted to be an astronomer,” she recalled. “My father said, ‘That’s great, but you know there’s a lot of math in astronomy. But if you want to, I know you will.’ “I didn’t like math and I didn’t want it enough, but my dad let me know that he believed I could and that made all the difference in the world.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Small Talk with Strangers Sparks Happiness, Study Finds

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It turns out there may be real benefits to striking up a conversation with your cab driver or barista.

Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and co-author of the study “Mistakenly Seeking Solitude?’ examined whether connecting with a stranger can improve one’s overall well-being.

Previous findings suggest that people avoid small talk with strangers because they believe it could lead to a negative experience.

But according to Epley, engaging in small talk can lift your day and make you feel more positive and happier.

Through several experiments, Epley and study co-author Juliana Schroeder instructed commuters to either connect with a nearby stranger, remain disconnected or commute as normal. The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Those who reported a more positive experience in solitude were found to have underestimated a stranger’s interest in connecting, “which in turn keeps people from learning the actual consequence of social interaction,” Epley and Schroeder noted.

Results indicated that participants reported a more positive experience when connecting with a stranger.

The pleasure of connecting with others appears to be contagious. In a laboratory waiting room, strangers who were talked to had the same enjoyable experience as the person being instructed to talk, the study found.

“Human beings are social animals,” the study concluded. “Those who misunderstand the consequences of social interactions may not, in at least some contexts, be social enough for their own well-being.”

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Your Body: Making Healthy School Lunches for Your Kids

iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Schools are back in session and that means parents are in the kitchen preparing daily lunches for their kids. So how can you prepare the healthiest lunches for your children in just minutes?

As a doctor who happens to have a degree in nutrition, here’s my prescription:

  • Involve your kids in the process.
  • Explain to them that they should like what they eat but not always eat what they like. We all have to make choices and even little ones can start to learn that.
  • Lead by example. Your kids are more likely to eat well if you do, too.
  • Make it fun and recognize their efforts.
  • Healthy eating can be delicious eating. Look online for easy, inexpensive recipes and make them together.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How to Cut Your Risk

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — October is breast cancer awareness month, and this year more women will be diagnosed with the potentially deadly disease. But, according to the World Health Organization, getting a mammogram is the most effective way to detect cancer early in patients.

Dr. Kristi Funk, Angelina Jolie’s breast surgeon and the co-founder of the Pink Lotus Breast Cancer Center says women should start getting mammograms every year after 40 years of age.

“You begin annual mammography for normal risk women at age 40. Every year and you don’t stop until your life expectancy is less than five years to go.”

Dr. Funk also suggests a few things women can do to cut their risk of breast cancer:

“Three cups of green tea a day cuts breast cancer in half,” she said. “Folate for my drinkers out there — 600 micrograms a day drops the alcohol risk — and turmeric.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Japanese Scientist Claims Nobel Prize for Medicine

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM) — A Japanese scientist was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Committee secretary Thomas Perlmann announced Monday in Stockholm.

Yoshinori Ohsumi became 2016’s only Nobel Laureate for his discovery of “mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components,” according to a press release from the Nobel committee. That means that Ohsumi’s research has resulted in a new understanding of how a cell can recycle its own content.

In an interview following Monday’s Nobel announcement, Ohsumi gave his reaction to receiving the Nobel Prize: surprise.

“I heard that, single only, me! It was also a surprise for me,” he said, referring to the rarity of a single Nobel Laureate.

Ohsumi plans to travel to Stockholm to receive his award in December.

Announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 3, 2016

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Former Horse Jumper with Parkinson’s Disease Gets Her Wish to Ride One More Time

Ed Vermeulen/Beeldwerk TV(AMSTERDAM) — An 87-year-old former horse jumper with Parkinson’s disease got her wish to ride again.

Nelly Jacobs, of the Netherlands, was diagnosed with the debilitating disease more than three decades ago, forcing her to give up riding. Now she spends most her days in a wheelchair in her nursing home.

But, thanks to Hidden Desires, a project of two charities called The Care Group and the Green Cross, Jacobs was granted her wish to ride a horse again at a nearby riding school.

“Horses have always been important to her; ever since she was a child, until her Parkinson’s got the best of her,” Jacobs’ son Jan said in a now viral Facebook video.

He added, “Her uncle Fons put her on a horse when she was 9. Later on, she rode several horses and she even made a decent jumper.”

Jan accompanied his mother to the riding school where she was able to meet several horses in a stable and even smell the hay, an aroma she called “delicious,” before riding.

“This is a very emotional day for her,” her son said. “So she won’t be able to speak, but I can tell she loves every second of seeing the horses, smelling the stables,” her son said. “These things matter to her because she must have missed it at the nursing home.”

After her meet-and-greet, Jacobs was brought to an enclosed arena. She was then gently lifted onto the backs of two horses, who rode side-by-side.

Jacobs called the experience “wonderful” as a broad smile appeared on her face.

“Lots of memories are coming back to her,” her son said in the video. “Her whole life revolved around horses, so through this experience, she’s able to feel the joy again and reminisce about things from her past.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New Drug Shows Promising Treatment for Chronic Eczema, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Atopic dermatitis, also known as Eczema, makes the skin become extremely itchy – and those who scratch the itch can end up with redness, swelling, cracking, crusting and scaling.

Sufferers may also experience “flares”, in which the condition temporarily worsens. By some estimates, 1.6 million Americans experience moderate to severe/chronic forms of the condition, and there are few effective treatments.

A pair of phase 3 placebo-controlled trials publisned in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that a drug known as dupilumab may help a substantial portion of these sufferers. Dupilumab is made by the French drug maker Sanofi.

For those with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis given the drug for 16 weeks, about 37% saw their conditions improve or clear, compared to only 8% to 10% of those taking a placebo, according to the NEJM study.

Researchers say longer duration trials are in progress. While not yet approved for atopic dermatitis, the drug is on a fast-track for FDA approval and may be up for consideration next spring.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Robin Williams’ Widow Pens Emotional Essay About Mental Health and the Comedian’s Final Days

iStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) — Robin Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider Williams, has penned an emotional essay about the celebrated actor and comedian’s final days.

Williams committed suicide on Aug. 11, 2014. He was 63.

In her essay, published in the medical journal Neurology and titled “The Terrorist Inside My Husband’s Brain,” Schneider Williams wrote that she hopes her words will “help make a difference in the lives of others.”

“Not only did I lose my husband to LBD, I lost my best friend,” she wrote. “Robin and I had in each other a safe harbor of unconditional love that we had both always longed for.”

Schneider Williams continued, “For 7 years together, we got to tell each other our greatest hopes and fears without any judgment, just safety. As we said often to one another, we were each other’s anchor and mojo: that magical elixir of feeling grounded and inspired at the same time by each other’s presence.”

Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson disease in May 2014, but a coroner’s report after his death revealed that he also had Lewy body dementia, a common but hard-to-diagnose condition that may have contributed to his decision to commit suicide, medical experts have said.

Williams’ widow detailed how the disease affected his life.

“He had been struggling with symptoms that seemed unrelated: constipation, urinary difficulty, heartburn, sleeplessness and insomnia, and a poor sense of smell and lots of stress,” she wrote. “He also had a slight tremor in his left hand that would come and go.”

Along with “fear and anxiety,” Schneider Williams said that “some symptoms were more prevalent than others, but these increased in frequency and severity over the next 10 months.”

His widow even recalled an incident when Williams was filming “Night at the Museum 3” in April 2014. Williams had a panic attack on the Vancouver set.

“During the filming of the movie, Robin was having trouble remembering even one line for his scenes, while just 3 years prior he had played in a full 5-month season of the Broadway production ‘Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,’ often doing two shows a day with hundreds of lines — and not one mistake. This loss of memory and inability to control his anxiety was devastating to him,” she wrote.

“He kept saying, ‘I just want to reboot my brain,'” she wrote.

Schneider Williams concluded her essay by addressing researchers and doctors studying Lewy body dementia.

“You and your work have ignited a spark within the region of my brain where curiosity and interest lie and within my heart where hope lives,” she said. “I want to follow you. Not like a crazed fan, but like someone who knows you just might be the one who discovers the cure for LBD and other brain diseases.”

“Thank you for what you have done, and for what you are about to do,” she closed.

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