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Wisconsin Mom and Daughter Diagnosed with Cancer 13 Days Apart

Courtesy Missy Shatley(PRAIRIE FARM, Wisc.) -- It’s a battle they never thought they’d face, let alone at the same time.

Missy and Brooke Shatley, a mother and daughter from Prairie Farm, Wisconsin, both have cancer. They were diagnosed only 13 days apart.

“It’s that unbelief,” Missy, 38, told ABC News of her reaction when they learned the devastating news. “You feel numb, like this can’t really be happening. This is happening to somebody else, it could never be you.”

Missy was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer on December 26, the day after Christmas.

“I went in for my annual physical and that was the result of it,” she explained.

Then on January 8, Brooke, Missy and her husband Jason’s oldest child, was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.

“Why us? Why?” Missy asked. “Is it something in our water? Is it genetic? Why both of us in such a short time frame? The doctor said it’s not the water, it’s not the environment, it’s just a freak act of nature.”

Before Missy’s diagnosis, Brooke, 14, had been experiencing severe abdominal pain that went undiagnosed for several weeks.

“The doctors told us she had a baseball-sized hemorrhagic disc and it would go away on its own and we should just wait,” Missy explained. “We waited for a few weeks and thought, ‘This this ridiculous,’ and we sought a second opinion.”

The Shatleys then took Brooke to see the same specialist that had just diagnosed her mom days earlier. The devastating news was that Brooke’s tumor was larger than they originally suspected and needed to be operated on immediately.

“It was a four-and-a-half-hour surgery,” Missy recalled. “It was a football-sized tumor. It had intertwined in her abdomen. You couldn’t tell by looking at her belly, but it was football-sized.”

The brave mother-daughter duo began undergoing intense treatments at the same time in Marshfield, Wisconsin, about two hours from their home -- understandably weighing heavily on husband and father Jason, a dairy farmer, who was traveling back and forth to take care of them while also tending to their other two children and maintaining their farm.

“It’s hard,” Missy said. “Just to even think, ‘That’s my wife and daughter,’ how does anybody deal with that? Plus we have two other kids at home so he’s trying to be a husband, father, keep up with the farm, he’s being pulled in so many directions, how do you even begin?”

This week has been better for the family, however. Both Missy and Brooke are back home, resting and enjoying their time, although possibly brief, out of the hospital.

Missy just completed her final round of radiation and chemotherapy on March 2. She now must wait eight to 12 weeks before they can tell how effective the treatment was on her cancer.

Brooke still has one more round of chemo to complete, tentatively scheduled to begin on March 9.

Although their simultaneous diagnosis has been difficult, Missy says, in a way, it’s been nice to have that newfound bond with her daughter.

“You don’t want to experience it with anybody, but if you have to, doing it as a mother-daughter is helpful,” she said. “You’re bonding over raw emotions. It’s definitely a connection that you form.”

On March 28 their community is holding a benefit for the resilient pair, which Missy says is just one of the generous things they’ve done to help throughout this process.

“Not in a million years could I imagine the outreach we’ve had,” she said. “The surrounding communities have been phenomenal. We have a dairy farm so we’ve had people volunteer to do chores, saw wood, make meals, provide transportation for the other kids when we need it -- anything and everything they’ve offered up.”

Most importantly, she added, “Prayers, lots of prayers.”


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Cancer-Stricken Girl's Make-A-Wish Playhouse Stalled by Homeowner Association

Jennifer Schultz(KANSAS CITY) -- A cancer-stricken girl's wish for a dream playhouse might be fulfilled after all, now that the local homeowner association, which initially blocked the request, said it is trying to find a compromise.

The story of Ella Schultz, 6, made headlines after her Make-A-Wish request -- a backyard playhouse -- was rejected by a local homeowner association, according to local news station KCTV 5 News in Kansas City.

Originally, the team at the Make-a-Wish Foundation managed to get construction company JE Dunn to donate time and materials, according to a spokeswoman for JE Dunn.

But the plan hit a snag when the Stone Homeowner's Association initially said the playhouse violated certain neighborhood rules, according to an emailed statement.

For the past few days, Ella has been treated for her cancer at the University of Kansas hospital.

A new statement from the Stone Homeowner's Association suggested the girl might be able to arrive home to find a new playhouse in the yard.

The homeowner's association told ABC News the initial request was not accepted because the board needed more information to grant an exception to the neighborhood rules. The association added in its statement to ABC News that it will try to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the JE Dunn construction company to figure out a way to give Ella her very own playhouse.

"Our hearts are with Ella Schultz and her family as they battle this terrible illness," read a portion of the statement. "In hopes of getting enough information, we are requesting an immediate meeting with Make-A-Wish and J.E. Dunn Construction to work out a solution in the most expeditious manner possible."

If the plans are approved, both the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the JE Dunn construction company said they'd be happy to get the playhouse built for Ella.

"Our desire, as it is with every child we serve, is to grant their one, true wish," read a statement from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "However, we have a responsibility to follow local regulations, ordinances and laws within the communities we serve. We hope to see a resolution to this issue soon and we remain committed to granting Ella’s heartfelt wish."

Ella’s parents were evaluating multiple requests for comment and have not yet responded to ABC News’ request, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Kansas Hospital.


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Superman Fan Saves Two Lives After Donating Kidneys the Day He Died

Jackie Kmetz(NEW YORK) -- A Superman-obsessed dad in Washington left behind two kids when he died Saturday, but saved two lives through kidneys he donated just hours after his death.

Chris Kmetz of Bothell was driving home from his job as a Boeing analyst Feb. 23 when his car flipped into a drainage pond, putting the Superman fan on life support, his wife Jackie Kmetz told ABC News on Thursday.

Because she was warned her husband likely wouldn't make it, she mentioned to hospital staff early on her and Chris' wishes of donating his organs, she said.

She also dressed Chris in his “Superdad” T-shirt and had their kids wear their Superman shirts before saying goodbye Saturday, Jackie added.

"My husband was huge on Superman and comic superheroes, and he wore Superman shirts at least twice a week," she said. "Superman was his idol and the epitome of what he wanted to be: a humble hero whose purpose was to better the world around him."

Chris kept over 10,000 comics in their bedroom, dressed as Superman every Halloween and would play superhero games with his kids, Jackie said, adding that you never would have known he was a former Marine because he was so goofy and happy-go-lucky.

"In true superhero fashion, Chris passed away, but he saved two lives after donating his kidneys," Jackie added.

Chris and Jackie competed in national autocross competitions through the Sports Car Club of America. Autocross racers drive through challenging courses designated by traffic cones at speeds no greater than legal highway driving, according to the SCCA.

"Organ donation was something Chris and I were really passionate about," Jackie said. "When we first met when I was his car-racing teacher we both saw that we were donors on our licenses, had a whole conversation about it and clicked from there."

The Kmetz family has received a ton of support from friends on Facebook, many of whom have changed their profile pictures to a white Superman logo with text saying, "Be a superhero. Be like Chris Kmetz. Become a donor."

The commemorative logo was also made into a sticker that the couple's circle of racing friends can put on their cars.

"I'll have the sticker on his blue race car, which I'm going to drive," Jackie said. "It's going to be hard, that first race without him there, but I know he'd want me to keep doing it."

Jackie said she hopes Chris' story will touch more lives and inspire more people to register to be organ donors because only relatively few organ donors can save lives because of rigid requirements such as the time that passes between a donor's death and the possible transplant.

Only an estimated 1 to 2 percent of organ donors die in a way that they can be an organ donor, United Network for Organ Sharing spokeswoman Anne Paschke told ABC News on Thursday.

You can register to become an organ donor online at Donate Life.

Jackie said she wants Chris to know he continues to be a true superhero, and she's going to miss her best friend and sweet dad to their children.


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Last Ebola Patient in Liberia Leaves Treatment Ward

Carielle Doe for ABC News(MONROVIA, Liberia) -- The final Ebola patient in Liberia is back home and Ebola-free.

Beatrice Yardolo, 58, spent 16 days in a Chinese Ebola treatment unit, but she returned home on Thursday, singing and dancing while her husband looked on and cried.

The Yardolo family caught the deadly virus from their son, who had been working in another Ebola treatment clinic. Three of their children died in January and February, Yardolo told ABC News. In the days after her foster daughter died, she started to have Ebola symptoms and decided she needed to go to the Ebola treatment unit.

She said the doctors at the Chinese Ebola treatment unit in Monrovia saved her life.

"My walking from here to go to the [Ebola treatment unit] center, it wasn't easy," Yardolo told ABC News. "[My] children crying behind me, 'Don't go! don't go.' I said, ‘If I don't go, it will be bad again.'"

Since the outbreak began in March, the World Health Organization has reported 23,934 Ebola cases and 9,792 Ebola deaths in the West African countries where the virus is prominent: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In Liberia, WHO reported 9,249 cumulative cases and 4,117 deaths.

According to WHO, 384 new Ebola cases have been reported in the past 21 days, six of which were in Liberia. And one of them was Yardolo. And if there are no new cases for 42 days, twice the length of the virus' incubation period, Liberia can be declared Ebola-free.

Liberia has 19 Ebola treatment units, and none of them has any confirmed Ebola patients now, said Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia's assistant minister of public health. The country has gone 13 days so far without any new confirmed cases, he said.

"This is significant progress, and this is why we are celebrating, but Ebola is not out yet," Nyenswah said. "We are not out of the woods yet. We must continue all of the measures, and I said it is now up to the Liberian people to maintain the vigilance. And we sustain ourselves to zero and look at our borders to protect our people from the Ebola crisis."

Yardolo, who has four living children, left the ward surrounded by doctors, nurses and her family that isn't under quarantine. Holding bright-red flowers as she stood before a crowd of onlookers, she thanked God and the Chinese treatment unit.

"So this is what I have to say: Xiexie to the Chinese [Ebola treatment unit]!" she said to a round of applause and smiles.

She'd just said "thank you" in Mandarin.

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Recovering Addict Explains Why You Should Care Heroin Overdose Deaths Tripled

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A high school soccer and softball player with passing grades, 17-year-old Kiyla would be the last person you’d expect to become addicted to heroin. Even Kiyla didn't want to believe it, and when she did, she wasn't sure she wanted to stop using the drug until she found herself in lockup for three months.

"I realized when I was waiting in shackles and handcuffs and saw my parents' faces," she said. "I said, 'I'm going to get clean.' I was clean for six months."

She relapsed in December, but relapsing is part of recovering, Kiyla's father, Phil, explained to ABC News, which is only identifying them by their first names to protect their privacy. But not everyone she's met on her journey to recovery has survived. A young girl Kiyla met during her last stint in detox died not long after leaving the center, she said.

Heroin overdose deaths have tripled since 2010, according to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Abuse centers, hospitals and support group are seeing the losses firsthand, they tell ABC News. Dr. Joseph Shrand, who runs the CASTLE substance abuse treatment program in Massachusetts, said seven of his former patients have died in the past month, when he normally sees four or five deaths a year among his 1,900 former patients over the past seven years.

A hospital in Ohio had 38 heroin overdoses in three days last month. And therapy group Learn to Cope has had an especially bad year as well.

"This past year has been the worst I've ever seen," said Learn to Cope founder and CEO Joanne Peterson, adding her organization has 16 chapters in Massachusetts. "We've seen more loss this past year than we've ever seen."

Adults between the ages of 25 to 44 had the highest rate of fatalities from heroin-related overdoses, according to the CDC report.

"It looks like there are more heroin addicts in their 20s, 30s, 40s," Shrand said. "They think people outgrow it. No. People die. That's why you don't have as many 50-year-old heroin users. Because they die."

Kiyla started experimenting with marijuana when she was 13 or 14, she said, adding that she was also battling depression and looking to "come out of [her] body." Her addiction started with prescription pills, but heroin was cheap and free and could get her high for a whole day, so she found herself using.

Her friends told her to stop, but she was convinced she wasn't addicted until she started experiencing withdrawal symptoms when she wasn't using heroin.

"It feels like you're hit by a truck," Kiyla said. "Your body just hurts everywhere. It's the worst pain you could ever describe. You're throwing up while you have diarrhea. Sometimes, you're dry-heaving. You can't sleep or eat."

Now at an inpatient rehabilitation center, Kiyla is ready to recover. She said she, too, has heard about addict friends overdosing and dying.

"It drives me to get clean because I don't want to die," she said. "It scares me for my friends that are still active in addiction."

Although Kiyla and her father are glad that heroin addiction is being studied, they say families need more resources to help their loved ones recover, and they need more education to prevent children from experimenting with drugs in the first place.

"This disease won’t happen to you if you don't pick up that first one," she said. "If I knew I was going to get sick, my life was going be s***, all this stuff about addiction that I know now, I think it would have stopped me."

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YouTube Campaign Urges Women to Share Advice to Their Younger Selves

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- To celebrate International Women’s Day, YouTube has launched a campaign urging women to share advice they would give to their younger selves.

The effort is meant to inspire and empower young girls everywhere who may be struggling with similar issues, and YouTube is soliciting participation in the form of GIFs to be shared under the hashtag #DearMe.

On its dedicated web page, the effort makes this appeal: “Teenagers everywhere know that growing up is tough. But what advice and wisdom would you share with your younger self? You can’t send this GIF back in time, but you can share it with your friends and the world. It all starts with two words. Dear me.”

A video describing the campaign features appearances by popular faces, including actresses Felicia Day and Issa Rae and YouTube stars Lily Singh, Bunny Meyer and Michelle Pham.

Their “Dear Me” messages to their younger selves cover a range of problems, including body insecurity, grades, bullying, relationships and feeling like an outcast.

Their advice: Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t worry so much about not being liked by certain people. Stop trying so hard to be someone you’re not. Embrace your unique qualities. You are good enough.

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Have a Drink, You'll Look Better

iStock/Thinkstock(BRISTOL, England) — Much has been said about how people seem more attractive after you’ve been drinking, i.e., the so-called “beer goggles effect.”

But a new study from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom wanted to know if people who drink alcohol actually look better than when they haven’t imbibed.

Senior researcher Marcus Munafo and his team had 40 heterosexual students look at a series of head shots of men and women taken before the men and women drank, and then pictures of them following a single drink, and then two drinks.

Ultimately, people judged as most attractive were those who'd had one drink. However, two drinks didn’t improve their attractiveness. In fact, participants preferred the sober head shots compared to those taken of people who'd had two cocktails.

What was it about having one drink that seemed to improve a person's looks? Although there’s no conclusive answer to that question, Munafo and his team came up with several theories, including increased pupil dilation, added rosiness to cheeks, and relaxed facial muscles.

Munafo cautioned that the study wasn't trying to encourage drinking as people seek an edge on the dating scene.

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Study Suggests Seniors' Cognitive Function Linked to Sex Life

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Just how important is a healthy sex life? Important enough to keep seniors mentally sharp, apparently.

Researchers in The Netherlands tested the cognitive functions of about 1,750 men and women whose average age was 71 while also asking them questions about the importance of sex, both personally and in general, for older people. They also quizzed the participants about their own sex lives and other topics concerning intimacy.

While 25 percent of the participants felt their personal sexuality was important, four in ten didn’t. Forty-two percent also believed sexuality at an older age was important, though about three in ten did not. Two-thirds agreed that intimacy and touching were necessary among the elderly.

As for how this all corresponded to cognitive functioning, the researchers determined people who believed sexuality was important and expressed satisfaction with their sex lives did better in tests than seniors who didn’t think sex was essential in old age.

Although no firm cause-and-effect link was established, the researchers suggested that cognitive decline can be slowed when one is either sexually active, or at least interested in intimacy.

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Happiness Is Eight Hours of Sleep

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Know why singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams is happy? It’s because he and his hat get plenty of sleep every night. But don’t quote us on that.

Seriously, though, getting the recommended amount of sleep does seem to improve the mood of Americans, according to a survey of 7,000 adults conducted by Gallup and Healthways, a well-being improvement company.

Researchers say people who managed to sleep eight hours scored a 65.7 out of 100 in the study’s well-being rating system compared to 64.2 and 59.4 among those who slept seven and six hours, respectively.

The metrics used to determine well-being included sense of purpose, social relationships, financial lives, community involvement and physical health.

The researchers add the caveat that since this was not a long-term study, they couldn’t definitively say whether eight hours of shuteye equates to real happiness.

However, this they do know for sure: just over four in ten American adults get fewer than seven hours of sleep and that can lead to serious health issues.

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Teen Who Woke Up Paralyzed Now Walking and Running Again

Ivanko_Brnjakovic/iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- A Nashville, Tennessee, teen is celebrating that she's regained the ability to walk after suffering sudden paralysis.

Just six weeks ago, Jessica Shainberg, 15, woke up with no feeling below her waist.

"She was very calm," her father, Jeff Shainberg, told ABC News. "I didn’t believe her at first, [I said] 'You gotta wake your legs up and we got to go to school.'"

Days earlier, Jessica had felt tingling in her legs, but after a trip to the emergency room, doctors found no signs of anything serious and sent her home, Jeff Shainberg said. But now the family was headed back to the hospital.

Doctors at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital diagnosed Jessica with transverse myelitis, or inflammation of the spinal cord. Doctors then told the teen and her family there was only a one-third chance she would be able to walk normally again, according to Jeff Shainberg.

"They don’t know where or when it occurs," Jeff Shainberg said of the inflammation's cause. "They didn’t have any way to trace it....They didn’t find any infections in the spinal fluid."

The teen's father said doctors told the family that if Jessica wasn't able to walk within about six weeks then she was unlikely ever to be able to walk again.

For a week, Jeff Shainberg said that his daughter showed no improvement. Then, he said, she was suddenly able to feel a tingling sensation in her toes again. While just a small improvement, the teen was sure that she could recover.

"I was like, 'There we go, there we go,'" Jessica Shainberg told ABC News affiliate WKRN-TV in Nashville. "That’s the building block to everything else I’ll be doing."

To help the teen rehabilitate her legs in the short time frame, the family traveled to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. During the weeks of rehabilitation, the teen surpassed all of her doctor's expectations, according to her father.

"Every day she’s getting better and stronger. It’s a miracle," said Jeff Shainberg. "She just always had a great attitude and was willing to do the work with the therapist. They loved her attitude and they wanted to work with her continuously."

Now the teen, an honor roll student and tennis player, is not only walking, she's been able to do some light running.

In Atlanta, doctors also realized that Jessica had signs of a rare inflammation of the brain, called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), in addition to her inflamed spinal column, according to Jeff Shainberg. The second diagnosis could explain why she was able to recover relatively quickly, because patients with ADEM tend to have better recovery rates.

"The doctors didn’t expect her to recover like that," said Shainberg. "They were so impressed with her rehab. They hadn’t seen a patient like this in a while."

For now, the high school freshman remains out of school while she gets her strength back. Her father said she has a walker and wheelchair -- but never uses either unless she's standing for a long period of time and needs to sit.

"I’m so blessed and lucky to be able to be walking again," Jessica Shainberg told WKRN-TV.

While the teen is likely to start school in a few weeks, her father said doctors are keeping a close eye on her as she recovers. If the rare symptoms reappear again, there's a chance it could be a sign of multiple sclerosis.


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Chloe Rutzerveld's 3-D Printed 'Snack of the Future' Is Natural and Delicious

Chloe Rutzerveld(NEW YORK) -- Most people don’t associate high-tech, 3-D printed food with health or taste. Dutch food designer Chloé Rutzerveld hopes to change that perception.

Rutzerveld said her new Edible Growth project, which imagines 3-D printing an elegant yet healthy and natural hors d'oeuvre, is truly “food for thought.”

“[It’s] an example of high-tech but fully natural, healthy, and sustainable food made possible by combining aspects of nature, science, technology and design,” she explained.

The basket shapes will be printed using a gelatin-like, vegan-friendly protein known as agar. As it comes out of the printer, the center will be stuffed with seeds, spores and yeast. After a few days the baskets will sprout a tasty crop of seedlings and mushrooms. It is the consumer’s choice at which stage they choose to eat them, Rutzerveld said.

As the appetizers roll out the printer, Rutzerveld said, it is easy to see the straight lines of technology.

"But as it develops, you can see organic shapes. You can see the stages of growth and the development of taste and flavor," she said.

Right now Edible Growth is just a concept. Rutzerveld said 3-D printing is not sophisticated enough yet to produce something quite so complex. She said it will be some time before printed food moves beyond using anything more complicated than sugar, dough or chocolate.

“It seems as if it's easy,” she told ABC News, “but it's not, actually.”

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Scopes that Spread UCLA 'Superbug' Were Awaiting FDA Clearance

File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(LOS ANGELES) -- The manufacturer of the scopes that spread a drug-resistant "superbug" to seven California patients had tweaked the scopes' design and was selling them without federal permission to do so, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Seven people have become infected with the drug-resistant "superbug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures, and CRE may have played a role in two of those patients' deaths, hospital officials said in February, adding that 179 people were exposed to the germ at UCLA.

The scopes -- called duodenoscopes, which are inserted by mouth to access patients' small intestine, the pancreas and the liver -- were new and had only been in use since June, health officials said last month. Officials added that the scopes were cleaned in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. The hospital said it traced the bacteria back to two endoscopes manufactured by Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, Olympus had tweaked the design of its duodenoscopes and sold them without seeking clearance from the FDA to do so. Manufacturers are supposed to notify the FDA of design changes 90 days before marketing an altered device, according to the FDA website.

It was not immediately clear what Olympus changed about the scopes' design or whether that change could have made the scopes more likely to harbor bacteria or more difficult to clean and sanitize -- and the FDA was not immediately able to clarify.

In March 2014, the FDA notified Olympus that it needed the additional clearance before selling the altered devices, but the manufacturer did not submit the request for clearance until October, the FDA told ABC News. The submission is still "pending" because the FDA asked for more data.

The FDA noted two other companies make duodenoscopes, and FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley told ABC News, "It's important to understand that we have received reports of infections associated with the duodenoscopes manufactured by all three device companies."

The Food and Drug Administration told ABC News last month that it has been aware of cleaning issues and bacterial transmissions associated with duodenoscopes for more than a year.

"The CDC first alerted the FDA to a potential association of multi-drug resistant bacteria and duodenoscopes in fall 2013," an agency spokesperson told ABC News. "The FDA has been actively working with federal partners, manufacturers and other stakeholders to better understand the issues that contribute to the infections and what can be done to mitigate them."

The FDA issued a safety communication about the duodenoscopes following the UCLA CRE cases, explaining that duodenoscopes are used in about 500,000 procedures a year, but meticulous cleaning and disinfecting "may not entirely eliminate" the risk of transmitting infection. From January 2012 through December 2014, the FDA received reports of 135 patients suspected of contracting germs from reprocessed duodenoscopes, the agency said.

According to the CDC, almost every state has had a confirmed case of CRE, but state health departments are not required to notify the CDC about CRE infections. Duodenoscope-related CRE outbreaks similar to the one at UCLA have occurred recently in Chicago, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Olympus did not respond to repeated requests for comments about the FDA's assertion that the scopes lacked FDA clearance, but the company said in a statement to ABC News last month that it was aware of reports involving its duodenoscopes, and was working with the FDA, medical organizations and customers to address concerns. It was also making supplemental educational materials available to customers.

"While all endoscopes, including duodenoscopes, require thorough reprocessing after patient use in order to be safe, the Olympus TJF-Q180V requires careful attention to cleaning and reprocessing steps, including meticulous manual cleaning, to ensure effective reprocessing," the company said.

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Family of Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman Now Fighting to Change State Law

iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A family that had to go to court to get a brain-dead woman taken off life support is now fighting to change Texas law so other families won’t have to go through the same ordeal.

The family of Marlise Munoz is working with Texas lawmakers to craft a new bill that could make it easier for families to have end-of-life decisions in regards to a pregnant woman, according to a new documentary in production currently titled, The Pregnancy Exclusion.

“I just don’t think the government can make this decision for anybody,” Munoz’s husband, Eric Munoz, says in a clip from the upcoming film.

Eric Munoz did not immediately respond to a request for further comment made through the film producers.

The case of Marlise Munoz made international headlines after the 33-year-old pregnant paramedic was declared brain dead. While Munoz’s family wanted her taken off life support, a Fort Worth, Texas, hospital refused after citing a little-known state law that prohibited removing “life-sustaining” treatment for a pregnant patient.

The family eventually won the case in January 2014 after a judge ruled the law did not apply to Munoz because she was already deceased.

The Pregnancy Exclusion, follows the family as they figure out how to navigate the state legislature system in the hopes they can change the law itself.

Eric Munoz talks in the film about what it was like to see his wife put on life support after being declared brain dead.

“You have a body there and you try to respect it and talk to it, but then at the same time you’re like she’s passed away, she’s dead,” he says in a clip that has been made available in advance. “So you talk in your head like she can listen to you in Heaven.”

Munoz said at some point he could tell his wife was deteriorating under life support.

“Her hands went from being pliable to being very rigid, very stiff," he said. "You’re seeing a body slowly deteriorate.”

Munoz, along with his parents-in-law, faced international scrutiny as both pro- and anti-abortion advocates took on the case.

“You hear people say, ‘You’re a monster to you’re going to hell,’” Eric Munoz says in a film clip. “'Why isn’t he thinking about the baby?’ ...[People] literally accused me of murder.”

The fight over how the law perceives the rights of incapacitated pregnant women is likely to continue for some time. Last month, a Republican state lawmaker introduced a bill that would make it illegal to stop life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant woman even if there is “irreversible cessation of all spontaneous brain function.”

Rebecca Haimowitz, director of The Pregnancy Exclusion, said the family is preparing to testify against that bill once it is brought up in a hearing.

“The family has gone on this journey from their own personal tragedy and to activism,” said Haimowitz. “They certainly didn’t ask for it.”

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Your Gluten-Free Diet May Be a Tax Write-Off

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cutting bread from your diet could potentially save you some bread on your taxes, financial experts say.

While diet gurus debate the health merits for the average person of avoiding the gluten protein found in wheat, rye and barley grains, no one disputes the extra cost. On average, the gluten-free versions of many foods were 242 percent pricier than the regular products in one National Institutes of Health study.

But Mark Luscombe, a principal federal tax analyst for the tax publisher CCH, said some of the additional expense of going gluten-free may be a legitimate tax write-off.

“If you have a recognized disease where gluten-free foods help manage the condition and you have a certification from your doctor, you may be able to take a deduction," Luscombe said.

This could be good news for the 1 percent of the population with celiac disease, a diagnosed intolerance to gluten that causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms and increases the risk of some cancers. They should be able to write off the extra cost of buying gluten-free items plus the cost of shipping if they buy them online. Foods that contain xanthan gum and sorghum flour can be fully deducted because they have no gluten-filled alternative.

As for the other 30 percent of Americans who, according to the consumer research group NDP, avoid gluten because they believe they have some sort of insensitivity to it? Luscombe said he doubted such a write-off would fly.

Even someone with celiac will have to work hard for the tax break, Luscombe said. They will need a note from their doctor and they will have to keep meticulous track of how much more they spend on gluten-free products than on other similar products, he added.

That means saving all receipts and making notes of price differences. In addition, to get any deduction, all medical expenses must exceed 10 percent of gross adjusted income or 7.5 percent for people older than 65, Luscombe said.

For those who can clear all those hurdles, using medically sanctioned dietary restrictions as a tax write off does have the support of the Internal Revenue Service, Luscombe said. IRS Information Letter 2011-0035 states: "The excess cost of specially prepared foods designed to treat a medical condition over the cost of ordinary foods which would have been consumed but for the condition is an expense for medical care."

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Flat Shoes Linked to Women's Foot Problems

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For many women, sensible, comfortable flats are a wardrobe staple.

Despite the shoes’ popularity, however, some experts have a warning. They say some types of flats can lead to a host of potential health problems, including toe infection, that could even require surgery.

The damage is caused when tight, pointy-toed flats put pressure on toenails, causing them to bend and become ingrown. In some cases, if the situation is left untreated it could lead to bone infection.

It happened to 17-year-old Hannah Butler. The Illinois teen had to resort to surgery to remove an ingrown toenail caused by repeated use of the wrong flats.

“I brought my shoes in to my doctor…he figured that that was causing the multiple ingrown toenails,” she said.

Experts say the problem happens because most women are unaware of what some flats are really doing to their feet.

“It's funny because so many women think they're better off wearing flats than heels but in reality…flats can be worse than heels 100 times over,” Dr. Marlene Reid, a podiatrist and spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, said.

But you don’t have to get rid of flats altogether from your wardrobe. Experts say you should wear flats with rounded or squared-shapes toes. It gives toes wiggle room and alleviates pressure on the big toe.

Reid said there are many different styles of flat shoes available.

“Flats come in all different styles, all different types, all different construction,” Reid said. “There are flats that are more flimsy than what we consider regular flats.”

“You have to look at the shoe itself to determine if it's the right shoe for you,” she said.

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