Barclay Oudersluys, 23, is attempting a cross-country run across the US from California to Maine in less than 100 days. Courtesy Barclay Oudersluys(NEW YORK) — A 23-year-old is trying to make life imitate art — attempting to run about 3,200 miles across the United States in less than 100 days just like Tom Hanks’ character in Forrest Gump.

Barclay Oudersluys had logged about 2,000 miles of his run by Friday, which was day 63 of the trip.

“I’ve been through thunderstorms, snow a couple times, really windy days out in Kansas, heat waves; it’s a real mix,” he said.

According to his Crowdrise site, called Project Gump, Oudersluys is trying to raise $10,000 on his trip for the Hall Steps Foundation — a group that fights poverty by improving health.

The foundation was started by a couple, Sara and Ryan Hall, who are both professional runners.

“Ryan and I started the Hall Steps Foundation to engage the running community in taking their step towards ending extreme poverty worldwide,” Sara Hall told ABC News via email. “It’s awesome to see people like Barclay who have shared our vision, and taken a very big step! His efforts are incredibly inspiring and we have been following his progress. Through his efforts he is raising funds and awareness to bring clean water to communities in Mozambique.”

Oudersluys usually begins his runs around 6 a.m. and ends between noon and 2 p.m. and runs about 31 to 32 miles a day in around five to seven hours — rain or shine.

Just like his favorite movie, Oudersluys started his cross-country marathon at the Santa Monica Pier in California in May, and he plans to finish at the famed lighthouse in Rockland, Maine.

He said he’s done a lot of preparation for the epic run.

“I went on Google Maps and put in the two points asked for the turn-by-turn walking directions,” he told ABC News. “I printed 100 individual maps for each day, and I look at them before I run and memorize what I have to do.”

Sleeping, eating and showering are bit complicated when you’re attempting a cross country run, but Oudersluys makes it work, he said.

“I have a van that my friends have been driving that has all kinds of food, water, shoes and clothes,” Oudersluys said. “Some of them run with me sometimes, and some others will drive ahead, and I’ll meet them later on when I finish my run. I can sleep in the back of my van or drive to a nearby home or hotel, where I can sleep, use the bathroom and shower.”

But on days Oudersluys can’t find a hotel, he’s gotten creative in the hygiene department.

“If I can’t find a place to shower, then I use baby wipes,” he said. “I’ve become a real pro at taking baby wipes showers.”

Though strangers haven’t joined Oudersluys on his run, he said that he’s seen some pretty bizarre sights.

“I saw zebras in Colorado, and then there was this tree out in the desert either in California or Arizona, and it was standing on its own with shoes hanging from it,” he said. “I also met someone who was also running across the country but was going the opposite direction. It was really cool.”

The 23-year-old has made it through California, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois so far. If you want to catch him, you can see the rest of his route here.

“I don’t really have any celebration plans, but if anyone wants to meet me at the finish line, that’d be cool,” Oudersluys said.

After Oudersluys is done, he only has a week before he starts his next adventure — law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Roeland Park police officer Mark Engravalle bought diapers, shoes and other items for a mom who was trying to shoplift them from a Kansas Walmart for her children. Roeland Park Police Department(ROELAND PARK, Kan.) — A Kansas mom thought she was going to jail when she was caught stealing at Walmart. But what happened next left her in tears.

Sarah Robinson said she was running out of diapers for her 2-year-old twin daughters when she walked into Walmart in Roeland Park, Kansas, on July 6.

“I was just going to potty-train them, but I didn’t have a place for them to bathe,” Robinson, of Kansas City, Kansas, told ABC News. “I had lost my house and all of our belongings, and I don’t have a job.”

Robinson has been struggling to make ends meet since the death of her husband in 2012. She and her daughters, 15-year-old Emily, 13-year-old Sophia, 12-year-old Angelina, 4-year-old Miley and twins Becky and Bella, spent most of their time in their car, from which all of their possessions had recently been stolen, Robinson said.

“So I went to Walmart, grabbed clothes, shoes, diapers, wipes, and I just walked out, but they caught me,” said Robinson.

When Roeland Park police officer Mark Engravalle arrived, he noticed that some of the children with Robinson were barefoot and had dirty feet.

“He noticed [what she stole] were necessities like diapers, shoes for the kids, some clothing,” Roeland Park public information officer John Demoss told ABC News. “He asked her what the situation was, and she broke down crying.”

“My heart just dropped. I didn’t know what to say or do. It was horrible. I thought I was going to jail,” said Robinson.

After releasing Robinson with a citation for misdemeanor theft, Engravalle went back inside the store with her children and bought diapers, baby wipes and clothes for the children. He even let the girls pick out their own shoes.

“The officer had two children of his own, and he thought of his two kids,” Demoss said. “He thought it was the right thing to do.”

“He couldn’t have been nicer to my girls,” Robinson said. “And then I got a call the next day saying they wanted to help us further and help us get a place to live.”

Since the incident, there has been an outpouring of support from the community for Robinson and her daughters.

Demoss said the police department has been inundated with calls and people visiting the station asking how they can help. Until the police department can get an account set up at a local bank, they are accepting donations on Robinson’s behalf, and on Sunday they will hold an event where people can drop by the station and bring donations for the family.

“I’m so appreciative. I’m embarrassed that I was stealing, but it couldn’t go to more deserving girls,” Robinson said.

Robinson said she and her daughters have a place to stay until Sunday and will need to find a new home after that. She’s also looking for a job in office work.

“I’m bilingual. I speak English and Spanish, and I’m good with computers,” she said. “I just want to have a place for my girls.”

Demoss said the community has also offered to support officer Engravalle, but Engravalle instead asked that people donate to Robinson or to a good cause.

“There isn’t enough words in the world to thank him enough,” Robinson said. “Me and my girls are indebted to him forever.”

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(LONDON) — Twitter pulled two advertisements Friday after an epilepsy charity called the marketing “dangerous.”

On Friday, Twitter posted two short advertisements on Vine with rapid flashing and flickering of colors. Epilepsy Action, a charity in the U.K. responded quickly after they were posted.

“Your #DiscoverMusic Vines are massively dangerous to people with photosensitive epilepsy,” Epilepsy Action tweeted. “Please take them offline now.”

According to the Epilepsy Society, people with photosensitive epilepsy have their seizures triggered by “flashing lights or contrasting light and dark patterns.”

Twitter International Communications Director Rachel Bremer responded less than an hour later saying the advertisements had been pulled. The videos were online for 18 hours before removal.

“For a huge corporation like Twitter to take that risk was irresponsible,” Simon Wigglesworth, Epilepsy Action’s deputy chief executive, told BBC.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — A Minnesota teen has reportedly died due to a rare amoebic infection days after he went swimming in a freshwater lake.

Hunter Boutain, 14, died after developing symptoms consistent with an amoebic infection, according to a statement sent to ABC News affiliate KSTP-TV by the boy’s uncle, Bryan Boutain.

“Hunter’s condition deteriorated throughout the night and he was declared brain dead this morning (Thursday). Hunter was surrounded by his family. It is a deeply emotional time for all of us,” Bryan Boutain said in statement. “We ask for privacy and prayers as we remember our beloved Hunter.”

The Minnesota Department of Health is still investigating the incident, though officials released a statement saying they believe the teen likely was infected with a rare amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is naturally occurring in fresh water and can cause a fatal infection if it travels up the nose of a swimmer where it can enter the brain. Amoebic infections are extremely rare, infecting up to eight people every year in the entire country, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In comparison, nearly 10 people are killed every day from drowning, CDC data shows.

Last August, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced that the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert, said concerned swimmers in freshwater can take precautions, such as using nose clips. Swimmers should also avoid disturbing sediment where the amoeba might be in greater numbers, he said.

“The amoeba are in small numbers everywhere,” explained Schaffner, who pointed out it was impractical to avoid all freshwater. “They go hibernate in the winter time. They’re part of natural environment.”

The disease, while rare, is almost always fatal. Just four people are known to have survived the disease in North America.

Its symptoms include:

  • Severe frontal headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Altered mental status
  • Hallucinations

Treatment can include intravenous antibiotics or other medications. In at least one successful case, therapeutic hypothermia was used to manage the patient’s brain swelling, according to the CDC.

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

Have you spent some quality time with your breasts lately? If not, it’s about time you should.

Every 13 minutes, one woman in the United States will lose her life to breast cancer. And when it comes to breast cancer, early detection saves lives.

Breast self-exams are a great way to start. You should do them in three positions: lying down, standing up and bending over. And in three depths of pressure: light, medium and deeper.

The more you know about your body, the better. One moment with your breasts can make all the difference.

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Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In all but a handful of states, the minimum age to buy tobacco products is 18. But that could change.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows three out of four American adults — including seven in 10 smokers — favor increasing the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 in all states.

The latest poll follows a trend the CDC has long noticed: support for cigarette smoking continues to decline. Back in April, the CDC said the number of youth smoking cigarettes decreased from 15.7 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2014.

Still, studies show that 80 percent of adult smokers inhaled their first puff before they turned 18. Meanwhile, four in five smoking adults became regular smokers at the age of 21.

The idea behind raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products is simple: to decrease the number of kids and young adults who take up the habit.

Currently in the U.S., only Hawaii requires people be 21 years old to purchase tobacco or vapor products.

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AlinaMD/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — We’re good at telling our kids to do it, but when it comes to eating the recommended levels of fruits and vegetables, American adults fall woefully short.

CDC researchers, using a large, nationally representative survey known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, looked at how many servings of fruits and vegetables adults reported eating per day.

They found that overall, only 13.1 percent of respondents reported eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.

When they broke the data down state-by-state, they found that Californians did the best, with 18 percent of the population getting the recommended servings of fruit and 13 percent of the population getting the recommended servings of vegetables.

Meanwhile, only 8 percent of Tennesseans met the bar for fruit, and only 6 percent of Mississippians got the recommended servings for vegetables.

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bugphai/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study has shed light on the complex interaction between anti-depressants and pregnancy by looking at thousands of women who took them before giving birth.

The study published in The BMJ, previously known as the British Medical Journal, found that some popular antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)were in rare cases associated with an increased risk in birth defects. However, they found that one drug, commonly sold under the brand name Zoloft, was not associated with any increased risk.

The researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Boston University and the University of British Columbia studied more than 27,000 women who had children between 1997 to 2009. In spite of the findings the experts strongly cautioned against pregnant women forgoing medication treatment without consulting a doctor due to the risks associated with depression during pregnancy.

Dr. Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical College, told ABC News women should always consult with their doctors before going off their medication, even if pregnant.

“Pregnancy itself predisposes women to become depressed,” said Gyamfi-Bannerman. “For most women it turns out the risk of taking the medication is much lower than the benefits to both them and the developing baby.”

A major finding in the study was that the most commonly reported type of SSRI, sertraline, sold most often under the brand name Zoloft was not associated with any of the five birth defects identified in earlier studies. Approximately 40 percent of the women who used SSRI drugs reported using sertraline.

Dr. Bill Cooper, Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said these large studies are key to help pregnant women make the best decisions about their health care.

“When you look at sertraline, it’s one of the most commonly used antidepressants,” said Cooper. He said the findings that the Zoloft was not associated with any birth defects should be “reassuring” for expectant women.

“Women are very reluctant to take medications at all during pregnancy. Sometimes that makes their condition worse,” said Cooper. “It creates more risk for the? developing fetus. You want the best possible information to guide a mother and her physician.”

Other antidepressants studied in the research include paroxetine commonly sold under the brand name Paxil and fluoxetine commonly sold under the brand name Prozac. In this study these drugs were found to be significantly associated with various birth defects, but the overall risk remained extremely low.

The more common birth defects associated with anti-depressants include heart defects, issues with the abdominal wall, anus and malformation of the skull and brain.

Eli Lilly, which distributes Prozac, told ABC News its drugs face rigorous safety evaluations before being released and that the company “completed a significant body of research on Prozac, which is considered as having a positive benefit-risk profile for patients by regulatory authorities and physicians around the world.”

GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Paxil, said the medication warns doctors to counsel patients about the risks before taking medication.

“It’s very important that physicians advise any women considering use of Paxil (paroxetine) or other SSRIs during pregnancy of the potential risks, which are clearly detailed within the product label and patient information, recognizing that for some the benefits of therapy may continue to outweigh the potential risk,” a GlaxoSmithKline spokesman said in a statement. ” As with any medicine it is very important that patients do not stop taking their medication without first speaking to their physician.”

Researchers and experts caution that the total increased risk of birth defect remained extremely small and pointed out those taking paroxetine had only a slight risk of having a fetus develop anencephaly, which is malformation of the skull and brain. In paroxetine’s case the potential risk went up from two per 10,000 births to seven per 10,000 births. For heart defects the potential risk went from 10 to 24 per 10,000 births.

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ABC News(INDIANAPOLIS) — A rescued black Labrador mix allergic to people can finally play with his human “parent” in his new home without having to worry about itchy, red skin and patches of fur falling out, according to Lucky Dog Rescue Retreat in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The lab mix, named Adam, was rescued by the rescue retreat from a local pound where he faced possible euthanization in July of last year, said the rescue retreat’s president, Robin Herman.

“When we first saw him, he looked just absolutely miserable,” Herman told ABC News. “His skin was just seeping. He felt like Vaseline. Reddish-pinkish fluid would just ooze out of his skin.” The rescue center, which was working with Indianapolis’ Animal Medical Center, originally believed that Adam, who was one-a-half at the time, had flea dermatitis.

Months went by and his condition didn’t get better.

“He was probably on a cone for six months, and at one point, we thought we might have to put him down and out of his misery,” Herman said.

The veterinarian from the medical center who was working with Adam, Dr. Rachel Anderson, discovered months later, in late October, that Adam was actually allergic to humans — specifically, human dander — after she had a series of blood tests done, Herman explained.

“It was a really interesting phone call,” Herman said. “She was like, ‘You’re not going to believe what he’s allergic to! It’s really remarkable, he’s allergic to humans the same way some people are allergic to dogs and cats.”

Adam was also discovered to be allergic to cat dander, certain pollinating plants, walnuts and some insects like houseflies and cockroaches, according to the rescue retreat.

After news broke out about Adam’s unique condition, people from all over the world including Australia and the U.K. contacted the center either with adoption inquiries or donations, Herman said.

Adam’s lucky permanent “guardian” is with Beth Weber, the center’s employee who has spent the past year caring for Adam and tending to his special needs such as keeping track of all his medications and giving him baths every three days with a different kind of soap every other time, Herman said.

Herman added that Adam also regularly sees veterinary dermatologist Dr. Lori Thompson at the Animal Dermatology Clinic also in Indianapolis.

Thompson was referred to the clinic after his unique allergies were discovered, Herman said.

Thompson told ABC News she diagnosed Adam with an autoimmune disorder, pemphigus foliaceus, in which the “body develops a ‘self-allergy’ to the ‘glue’ that holds his skin cells together.” She added that Adam’s allergies to human dander are actually common in pets and that the human dander allergy wasn’t what caused his “skin lesions.”

“He’s come such a long way since Dr. Thompson started treating him,” Herman said. “All his fur is back except for a little spot on his butt and tail. Though he’s going to be on medications for the rest of his life to help with the autoimmune disorder and allergies, he’s now on the road to full recovery and health.”

Herman added that now the the “little stinker” is feeling much better, he’s been on a “mischievous streak” at the rescue retreat, which he still frequents since his new owner is an employee there.

“He loves to climb in a laundry basket and get comfortable in the warm, fresh laundry, and you can see him smile and be coy,” Herman said. “He’s got a great sense of humor about him. He’s absolutely adorable.”

ABC US News | World News

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Madllen/iStock/ThinkStock(BRENHAM, Texas) — The 108-year-old ice cream company Blue Bell Ice Cream announced they are prepping to return to store shelves later this month after shutting down production due to a listeria outbreak.

The outbreak was connected to 10 illnesses, including three deaths according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The company completely stopped production in April in order to retrain all employees and enhance preventative measures.

“We have been working diligently to prepare our facilities to resume test production, and our focus throughout this process has been to ensure the public that when our products return to market, they are safe,” said Greg Bridges, vice president of operations for Blue Bell in a statement.

Blue Bell officials said production would resume on a “limited basis” at one plant to confirm “that new procedures, facility enhancements and employee training have been effective.”

There is no date, however, for when ice cream might hit grocery shelves again.

Food Safety Expert Sandra Eskin, of the Pew Charitable Trusts, said for best practices the company should break down the ice cream-making process and look for any spots where contamination can occur.

“Listeria lives in places like drains…you really got to look everywhere,” said Eskin. “They have to design a monitoring system that’s designed to catch it. You can sample and not catch it, that’s easy.”
On social media, the news had fans cheering.

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