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iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — A trio of runners were caught on camera coming to the aid of a fatigued runner whose legs appeared to buckle within sight of the finish line of a half-marathon in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Video shows the unnamed female runner struggling to hold herself up as she nears the end of the Philadelphia Love Run Half-Marathon.

A fellow runner in a long-sleeved green shirt running on the woman’s right stops and grabs her arm while another male runner on the woman’s left stops and grabs her left arm.

The two men and the woman, who all appear to be strangers, then jog together towards the finish line at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

With dozens of runners passing them by, the two men continue to help the female runner as she becomes more and more unstable and nearly unable to run.

Just steps from the finish line, the woman almost collapses. At that point, a third runner, wearing the same long-sleeved green shirt as one of the first two runners who stopped, halts his finish line sprint and circles back to the female runner.

The third runner then picks the woman up and carries her to the finish line, putting her down just inches from the line so she can finish the race on her own two feet.

The clock above the finish line shows the four runners all finished the race in just over two hours.

Ten-thousand runners completed the race on Sunday, Philadelphia Love Run Half-Marathon race director Michele Redrow told ABC News. Race officials have identified the female runner but have not yet released her name.

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Phil McCarten/CBS(HOUSTON) -- Ebony Banks, the Houston teen battling a rare form of cancer, has died -- just days after her wish to speak to her idol Beyonce was fulfilled.

A spokesman for Alief Independent School District, where Banks was a student, confirmed that she passed away early Sunday morning.

"I understand she had a smile on her face till the very end," spokesman Craig Eichhorn told ABC News.

Hours later, the students at Alief Hastings High School, from which Banks had recently graduated and where she was a member of the color guard for four years, organized a candlelight vigil in the band practice lot.

Members of the color guard held their candles up in the air and swayed along to the song "Halo" by Beyonce.

They were the same folks who had organized a social media campaign more than a week ago to get Beyonce to meet Banks, using the teen's nickname Ebob and the hashtag #EbobMeetsBeyonce.

After Beyonce made the FaceTime call to Banks last Wednesday, friends and fans took to Twitter to celebrate and post pictures of the big moment.

In the clip, Banks tells Beyonce that she loves her, and the singer replies, "I love you."

Beyoncé facetiming with Ebony, a fan with a rare cancer disease whose last wish was to see Beyoncé. ❤️️💙 pic.twitter.com/pCkGzF4feZ

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) March 22, 2017

Banks was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last summer and started chemotherapy in September, according to her band director, Paul Brodt.

But Brodt told ABC News last week that Banks still made every effort to attend school as well as color guard practice and competitions. In fact, she showed up at a competition earlier this month before her health took a turn for the worse.

Afterward, Banks remained in the hospital and received her high school diploma at a special ceremony held at MD Anderson and attended by 100 people -- including her 23 color guard teammates, school faculty members, school administrators and hospital staffers.

It was at her special graduation that the campaign to meet Beyonce was launched.

"Our kids love her ... and would do anything for her," Brodt said last week. "She's inspired everybody -- me along with all of our kids."

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The Lambert Family(RICHMOND, Va.) -- A Virginia fire department is coming together in support of a fellow fireman's toddler, who is fighting cancer.

The Richmond Fire Department has raised close to $50,000 after 3-year-old Caleb Lambert was diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma in February, dad Courtland Lambert told ABC News.

"Me and my wife are extremely humbled," said Lambert, a resident of Mechanicsville, Virginia. "You don't ever think that your child is going to have to go through something like that. We've quickly realized how much a text or phone call can mean ... you feel so grateful from the outpouring of support from everybody."

Lambert, a 15-year firefighter and dad of three, informed his colleagues that his son had cancer immediately after he was diagnosed.

"You live with these people for 24 hours a day; on average, we work about 10 days a month," Lambert said. "The fire department as a whole is probably around 400 to 415 people ... they've been working shifts for me so I don't even have to use my time. The fire [department] is a brotherhood and a sisterhood. ... I'm glad that it's been there for me when I needed it."

Caleb has been receiving chemotherapy treatments at VCU Medical Center in Richmond.

The station immediately began fundraising for Caleb's medical expenses, Lambert's fellow firefighter Betty Migliaccchio told ABC News.

"We went back to the station that night and started talking about how this is going to be big," Migliaccchio said. "We started to figure out how we were going to get [Lambert's] shifts covered. We work so well together that when something happens in a family, it touches us personally."

Since Caleb loves fire trucks and visiting "Daddy's fire station," Migliaccchio asked fellow firefighters to send videos of them giving tours of their own firehouses to the Facebook page Team Caleb -- something Caleb's dad would do over FaceTime each night before bedtime.

Soon, the videos came pouring in from all over the world, Migliaccchio said.

Over the next month, the firefighters of Station 1 in Richmond launched a GoFundMe and sold T-shirts. On Saturday, they raffled off a truck and shaved their heads in honor of Caleb, partnering with the St. Baldrick's Foundation for a fundraiser.

"Fundraising events, like the one on March 25, and volunteers, like the firefighters of Richmond, are why the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is now the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants," said Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s chief executive officer. "The foundation’s success in funding lifesaving research for kids like Caleb Lambert wouldn’t be possible without them.”

Migliaccchio hopes the weekend helped meet the fundraising goal of $100,000 for Caleb and his family, she said.

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ABC NewsBy PAIGE MORE

"Good Morning America" booker and segment producer Paige More shares her personal experience of under going a double mastectomy in her early 20s after she tested positive for a BRCA1 genetic mutation, which greatly increases your risk of developing breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Foundation.

I have always been fearless. I grew up snowboarding, surfing, and cliff diving in southern California. New adventures excite me and nothing stresses me out. I have always believed that no matter what happens in my life, I can handle it.

That all changed when I was 22 years old and tested positive for the BRCA1 genetic mutation. I had just started working as a booker for Good Morning America, when my mom urged me to take the test. I didn't think much of it as I was busy trying to prove myself at my new dream job. I figured if it would make my mom happy, then I would take the test. I found out a few weeks later that I had tested positive when my doctor called me with my mom on the line. They both told me they were sorry. I still didn't really understand.

It wasn't until a few months later when my mom came to visit me in the city that the gravity of the mutation set in. It is so important to make sure you are ready for the results before you get tested. We didn't understand how much this was going to impact my life. It is so important to be prepared for the results. I was told that I essentially had two options. I could begin intensive surveillance programs, which meant endless visits to the doctor's office for mammograms, MRIs and blood work. That felt like waiting around to get cancer. My other option was to have a preventative double mastectomy. I left my oncologist's office feeling overwhelmed and scared of my future for the first time in my life.

I spent the next few months talking with my close friends and family. Everyone was incredibly supportive. But no one told me what to do. I really wanted some guidance either way. Should I have the surgery or should I wait until I was older? What if cancer struck while I was waiting? What was I waiting for?

I was never a worrier or an anxious person and I worried about getting cancer every single day. Every time I tried on a new top, took a shower, or looked in the mirror I thought, "I am going to get breast cancer." It was so overwhelming I realized I couldn't live in constant fear anymore.

Fortunately, I was in a great place in my life and I felt like I was ready to have a preventative double mastectomy. My friends, family, and boyfriend were incredibly supportive. I had a stable and steady job. I was healthy and fit. I knew I didn't want to worry and I knew that I would most likely have to do this someday anyway. I was ready now. I wanted to do everything in my power to be a "Previvor," not a survivor.

A previvor is someone who is a survivor of a predisposition to cancer but who hasn't had the disease. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor.

In October, we set my surgery date for January 3. I had 90 days to really prepare. I asked my doctors if I should do anything to better prep myself for surgery. They said no. I didn't listen. I joined the gym across from my office and started working out regularly. I ate as healthfully as I could. I made sure I was in the best shape of my life for January 3.

Walking into surgery was one of the strangest experiences in my life. I wanted to turn and run away, but I knew I had to face this head on, like I do with everything else in my life. After a few hours my doctors came out to tell my parents that the surgery had gone incredibly well, in part because my muscles were so strong and I was so healthy. I am so thankful I chose to be proactive and make sure my body was as strong as possible before my surgery. It gave me something other than the surgery to focus on and gave me a sense of power that I had control back over my body. Having a strong core and legs helped me so much during my recovery.

I never intended to share my story. Before my surgery, I looked up double mastectomies online and only saw horror stories and worst-case scenarios. I read how women no longer felt feminine or struggled with their body image after having their breasts removed. I was terrified of feeling the same way. I felt like I had no one to talk to. I felt completely alone. After my surgery I flew home to California to recover and to be close by my family.

While I was home, my little sister who is 13 and loves Instagram, wanted to take some photos of me. I didn't really want to because I expected to be disappointed by what I looked like. But my little sister hasn't been tested for the genetic mutation yet and I wanted her to see that I was still the same big sister and that my surgery hadn't changed me. I also didn't want her to be scared about getting tested for the genetic mutation in the future.

When she showed me the photos she took I couldn't believe how much I loved them and how I looked. I couldn't believe how beautiful I felt. I actually felt sexier than I have ever felt in my life because I knew I took control of my body and potentially saved my own life. That made me feel so empowered and strong. My scars reminded me of this decision and made me feel beautiful. So we continued taking photos and I began posting them to my personal social media accounts.

The response was incredible. People were so supportive. Women from all over the world were reaching out to me, thanking me for sharing and being so open. I felt like I couldn't stop. I wanted people to know that you can have a double mastectomy and it doesn't have to ruin your life. Not only was I happy, I was no longer worrying about the risk of getting breast cancer.

As I continued to post, I started connecting with more and more women. I quickly realized I needed a separate space to post about my experience. I created an Instagram, @paige_previvor, so women going through similar situations would be able to reach me.

Through sharing my story on Instagram I quickly realized that there are a ton of other women who feel similarly to me. I felt compelled to do everything in my power to prevent other young women like me from feeling alone. Through Instagram I have formed a community of young women who have been affected by breast cancer in some capacity.

Rather than having to sit in a stuffy support group meeting, I have started setting up events around the city where we can get together in a comfortable and fun environment -- I call them my breast friends! I hope to give them a platform to share their stories and find a way to help women all over the world connect with each other through Our Move Movement.

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Brissey Photography(MEDIAPOLIS, Iowa) -- There must be something in the water at one Iowa fire station.

Six volunteer fire fighters at the Mediapolis Fire Department welcomed six children in the last seven months.

"We didn't have a plan to do this," Captain Troy Garrison, who welcomed a daughter named Emma four months ago, with his wife Dina, told ABC News. "But I think the stars just kind of aligned and the timing for us individually as families just worked out."

Along with Garrison, 36, firefighters Cody Tisor, Seth Eberhardt, Skyler Schwerin, Adam Welp, and Captain Tom Brockett also welcomed children.

Brockett, who's been volunteering at the fire station since 2001, and his wife Megan were the last to tell the group they were expecting. Three weeks ago, the two welcomed Neva.

And although Brockett said he and his wife of nearly four years were "really happy" for the other couples, it was hard as they were privately going through in vitro fertilization.

"We were just really praying that we'd get to be part of that," he said. "And then finally we got to come out [and say] 'We're pregnant.' We were the last ones so ... it was fun. We were happy."

Adam Welp, who's been volunteering for three years, told ABC News he was just happy to welcome all of the new fathers to the fold.

He and his wife of four years, Katie, welcomed their second child, Kalvin, six weeks ago. Welp, 29, is also a father to a 2-year-old daughter named Kolby.

"For me, it's kind of fun because a couple of the guys -- like Tom and Troy -- they're a little older than me but this was their first child," Welp said. "It was fun to be younger, but showing them the ropes."

The first time the six firefighters got their new children together was at a photo shoot with local photographer, Debbie Brissey.

"It was a blast," Welp recalled, adding that his wife created the babies' skirts and trousers on her maternity leave thanks to "some old retired gear."

The firefighters, who are among 25 volunteers at the station, said their dedication to their community won't change, and they already have a plan just in case they're all called to fight a fire and they can't find a babysitter.

"The plan is just for everyone to go to the fire station and hopefully one of the wives will be there to hand our kids off to," Brockett said.

Still, putting on their gear will be harder for some.

"I remember the first time I went [to fight a fire] after having my daughter," Garrison recalled. "But you get on the truck and recheck your priorities.

"We still have a job to do," he added. "The public depends on us to do our job the best we can."

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- In an effort to improve survival rates of patients, the cancer research charity Cancer Research UK has launched a major study to find efficient and effective treatment for individual tumors according to a BBC News report.

The study is called the PRECISION-Panc project.

Researchers at Glasgow University in Scotland will receive over $12 million in funding, BBC reports.

The project is presented amid a rise in pancreatic cancer rates in Scotland. The rate of diagnosis has increased 12% over the past 10 years according to BBC News, a rise of approximately 170 people.

The research will take place over three stages, with potentially more trials to come in the future.

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Brad Barket/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's been 16 years since Audra McDonald had a baby.

Now at age 46, the "Beauty and the Beast" star has a second baby and a first with her husband and fellow Broadway star Will Swenson.

The couple welcomed daughter Sally James last October.

McDonald said she has changed as a mother since the first time around.

"I’m calmer this time around, 16 years later," she told People magazine. "Or maybe it’s that I’m just tired because I’m older, but I don’t sweat the small stuff as much."

#BeautyAndTheBeast's Audra McDonald opens up about becoming a mom again at 46 https://t.co/AEiHA9PpC3 pic.twitter.com/vNJoJyvxU6

— People Magazine (@people) March 25, 2017

And although Sally James is only 5 months old, she already has a larger-than-life personality, her mother said.

"In some ways, I don’t worry about her — this is a very strong personality, I’m seeing it already!" she said. "This is someone who’s not gonna let anybody walk over her at all. In fact, she’ll be the one doing the walking."

When the six-time Tony Award winner announced her pregnancy, she said it was unexpected.

"Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause could lead 2 pregnancy? @thewillswenson & I are completely surprised but elated 2 b expecting," she wrote on Twitter last May.

Who knew that tap dancing during perimenopause could lead 2 pregnancy? @thewillswenson & I are completely surprised but elated 2 b expecting

— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) May 10, 2016

McDonald, who formerly starred on the ABC series "Private Practice," also has a daughter, Zoe, from a previous marriage, and Swenson has two sons with his former wife.

"Zoe is such a fantastic big sister to Sally James," McDonald said of her older daughter. "That’s just who she wants to hang out with. Every time Zoe walks into the room, Sally lights up. And that’s so important to me."

"Zoe is a rock star as far as Sally James is concerned," she added. "If you wanna make me melt, just put my two daughters together, and I’m a puddle."

McDonald and Swenson, 43, married in 2012 at their home in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What if your health coverage was more like a gym membership?

Shellee Enfinger and her husband support their family of five by paying $250 per month for health coverage. She said with direct primary care or "membership medicine" she can text her doctors, who are available 24-7.

Enfinger said she was paying as much as her mortgage payment for health insurance.
Now by paying a monthly fee for direct primary care, she avoids spending money on high premiums and deductibles.

"We pay a membership, just like a gym membership or anything you pay monthly," Enfinger said.
But health experts warn it doesn't provide the same coverage as health insurance, unless you pay extra for catastrophic insurance.

"I think it's not good for people who don't have a lot of discretionary income, who are fooled into thinking it's insurance-- when it isn't-- who do not understand that they may be just a block away from a catastrophic health event," Prof. Carolyn Engelhard, of University of Virginia's School of Medicine, told ABC News.


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UCLA Health(LOS ANGELES) -- For years, Justin Cho's family thought they simply had a happy kid who liked to laugh, even when nothing funny happened.

"Ever since he was an infant he would giggle and it would be very short lived, anywhere between 2 to 5 seconds," Justin's father, Robert Cho, said on the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital website.

However, these chuckles didn't mean Justin was laughing. His giggle fits were actually seizures and a sign he had a rare form of epilepsy called gelastic epilepsy. The family realized something was wrong when Justin's condition progressed and he had a full-fledged traditional epileptic seizure.

At UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, doctors saw on an MRI scan that Justin, 9, had a benign mass, or lesion, in his brain. This lesion, called a hypothalamic hamartoma, can cause developmental delay, cognitive deterioration and psychiatric symptoms such as rage behaviors, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

Dr. Aria Fallah, a pediatric neurosurgeon at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital who treated Justin, told ABC News that the area where the lesion occurred is deep within the brain and vital to keeping the body functioning normally.

"The challenges of treating it is that medications don't usually work, and left untreated it can cause cognitive impairment," Fallah said.

Hypothalamic hamartoma is usually present since birth, but most parents don't realize anything is wrong until years later, Fallah explained.

"It usually takes a long time," said Fallah. "Not many parents think giggling is problem, they think 'Oh my child is happy.'"

In order to help Justin recover without doing open surgery on his brain, doctors instead were able to fix the lesion by using laproscopic tools, which is much less invasive than traditional surgery. The hypothalmus is deep in the brain and near the pituitary gland. Any injury to this area can mean a dangerous brain bleed or ongoing issues later with growth, hormones and other issues.

Once inside the brain, surgeons were able to destroy the lesion with an optic laser, minimizing damage to other vital tissue. A long thin rod was inserted into the brain, and through virtual reality maping, surgeons were able to get the tool to the mass and minimize the harm to other areas of the brain.

"It heats up the tissue to the point till it's destroyed," Fallah explained.

After the lesion is destroyed, no new seizures are expected unless another lesion forms. Since the surgery is much less invasive, it also means less recovery time for the patient.

"There's essentially no recovery time," Fallah explained to ABC News. "By the time he wakes up, he almost ready to leave."

Now, six months after the surgery, Justin has had no new seizures, according to Fallah.

"Prior to this you'd see bursts of himself," Fallah said. "Now he's more of himself."

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ABC/Eric McCandless(NEW YORK) — Julianne Hough hopes being vocal about her struggle with endometriosis will help more women feel comfortable talking about their own experiences. In an interview with People, she talked about her diagnosis.

"When I was 15, I had symptoms of endometriosis, but I had never heard of it, didn't know what it was," she said. "I thought that this was just the kind of pain you have when you're on your period. For years, I was just thinking that it was normal and never really talked about it."

After being rushed to the hospital in 2008, she found out about her condition and soon had surgery.

"The first initial thought was a little bit of fear because I didn't know what it was, especially because it's not talked about as much as it is today," Hough said. "And then also relief because I was able to put a name to the pain, and know there were treatments and I could talk to my doctor and create a plan to help manage the pain."

She's now working with a campaign to raise awareness of endometriosis. She said it's about starting an open conversation about symptoms.

"I don't care about being private about this anymore because I really want the women that are going through debilitating pain to benefit from my story or this campaign," the Dancing With the Stars judge said.

She's made some adjustments since her diagnosis — she slows down when she needs to, and takes days off when necessary, but said she still leads an active, healthy lifestyle. Her fiancé, Brooks Laich, has been a source of support, Hough said.

"He's amazing," she said. "The first time he found out about it was because I was having an episode, and I couldn't even speak. As soon as it passed, I was able to tell him what it was. Now he knows when I'm having a little episode, and just rubs my back and is there for me and supports me. There's comfort in knowing that the people around me get it and understand, so I don't feel like I have to push through the pain because I don't want to look weak."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Taking birth control pills has previously been associated with several non-contraceptive benefits. But now, a new study shows the pill can help protect women from certain cancers for decades after a woman stops taking it.

"This latest study reinforces what we have known for decades," ABC's Chief Women's Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on Good Morning America Friday. "But this study represented the longest follow up."

"[Researchers] looked at 46,000 women, followed them up to 44 years and found that the risks of certain types of cancers were dramatically reduced. We're talking lower risk of ovarian cancer, lower risk of endometrial cancer -- which is a type of uterine cancer -- and lower risk of colorectal cancer," she added.

On the flip side, Ashton noted that taking the pill does slightly increase the risk of developing a blood clot.

"Some studies, though not this one, have shown a slight increase in the risk of cervical cancer and breast cancer but the breast cancer risk returns back to baseline after a woman stops taking the pill," she added.

If you choose not to take birth control pills, there are other ways of reducing cancer risks. Ashton said pregnancy lowers the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer; avoiding obesity lowers the risks of ovarian, endometrial and colorectal cancer; and taking an aspirin can lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

New data also shows that removing the fallopian tubes can cut the risk of ovarian cancer, she said.

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School District of La Crosse(LA CROSSE, Wis.) — A high school freshman from Wisconsin has been hailed as a hero by his community after he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a fellow student who was choking on his lunch in their school's cafeteria.

Ian Brown from La Crosse, Wisconsin, quickly jumped into action when his schoolmate, Will Olson, began choking and motioning for help.

"We couldn't tell if Will was choking or if he was just laughing and coughing at the same time," Brown told ABC News. "Eventually what started to give it away was the redness in his face and then the hand motions to his neck."

Brown got up from his seat and performed the Heimlich maneuver four times on Olson until the food dislodged from Olson's throat.

"I feel thankful that I had Ian, a friend, there that had the training to do what he did," said Olson.

The incident was captured on surveillance video at Central High School. The video has garnered more than 80,000 views on Facebook after it was posted this week on the School District of La Crosse's Facebook page.

The La Crosse Police Department issued a statement applauding the "lifesaving actions" of Brown, who is a member of their police explorer program. The police department said that Brown learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver as part of his training as a police explorer.

"I felt I was just doing what I was trained to do," Brown said. "I've wanted to be a police officer and that's what they trained me to do and that's what they told me to do."

Michael Belott, a firefighter with the Cedar Knolls Fire Department in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, told GMA that he believes Brown's quick actions helped save Olson's life.

"This student jumps right in and starts a quick intervention with those abdominal thrusts and the Heimlich maneuver procedure and definitely saves this kid's life," Belott said. "We can all say he did an excellent job taking that initiative."

Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional, accidental death, according to the National Safety Council. The Heimlich maneuver has been credited with saving more than 100,000 lives since the technique was created in 1974.

Belott shared a few simple steps that he says anyone can use to step in and help with the life-saving maneuver: Remain calm, keep composure, call 911, ensure that someone is choking, check if something is stuck in a person's airway that could be removed, and initiate five abdominal thrusts.

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Photos.com/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The white working class in the U.S. has bucked a global trend of improved mortality rates in recent years as a host of factors including suicide, opioid addiction and alcohol-related liver disease have increasingly claimed lives.

A new report published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity focuses on looking at this trend of rising mortality and possible factors that have led to it.

"Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high school educated, working class after its heyday in the early 1970s, and the pathologies that accompany that decline," the authors Anne Case and Angus Deaton, of Princeton University wrote in the report.

Case and Deaton both drew attention after publishing a 2015 paper that found the white working class has had growing mortality rates, while other groups including white people with college degrees continued to have declining rates of mortality. They now are expanding on the research to better understand that trend and to see if they can could come up with a preliminary hypothesis for the rise in mortality in this group.

According to the report, white non-Hispanic people of all ages show an increased mortality rate from 1999 to 2015 with some age groups seeing nearly a 50 percent rise in mortality rates. People aged 25-29 went from a mortality rate of 145.7 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 266.2 per 100,000 in 2015 and people aged 40-44 went from 332.2 deaths per 100,000 to 471.4 deaths per 100,000.

Case and Deaton found that while gains were made as fewer people died of heart disease and cancer, these gains have mostly stagnated and did not cancel out the rising number of "deaths of despair" or related to alcohol, drugs or suicide.

In 1990, France, Germany and Sweden outpaced the U.S. in these deaths which totaled approximately 40 per 100,000 from those countries. After 2000 white non-Hispanic people in the U.S. were far more likely to die of these causes then their foreign counterparts with the related mortality rate reaching 80 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the report. Opioids alone kill an estimated 91 people in the U.S everyday according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Case and Deaton theorize multiple factors have helped cause this worrying rising mortality rate, but are careful to acknowledge these are preliminary theories. They point out that while stagnating wages can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair, they say there is not clear enough evidence that it was a sole factor. Instead they theorize that a steady deterioration in job opportunities for people with only a high school education as well as weakening social structures may have contributed to increasing numbers of "deaths by despair."

The researchers say that automation and globalization diminished the opportunities for people with a high school diploma or less, while diminishing wages may have affected marriage rates and led to a rise of less stable partnerships. They also point to past studies that have found more people are moving away from the churches of their parents and grandparents to churches focused "seeking an identity" or no church at all.

"These changes left people with less structure when they came to choose their careers, their religion, and the nature of their family lives. When such choices succeed, they are liberating; when they fail, the individual can only hold him or herself responsible," they wrote.

With longstanding forces possibly contributing to this rise in mortality rates, the authors have some suggestions but acknowledge little will be "quickly reversed by policy."

"Controlling opioids is an obvious priority, as is trying to counter the negative effects of a poor labor market on marriage, perhaps through better safety nets for mothers with children," they wrote.

Dr. Peter Muenning, the Director for the Global Research Analytics for Population Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said public health experts have still been stymied by the rise in mortality rates for this group and for the drop in life expectancy in the U.S. overall.

Last December life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the first time since 1993. He said the other times they've seen a dip in life expectancy include major traumatic events like the 1918 influenza outbreak, the break up of the Soviet Union and the rise of HIV in Africa.

"When we see a slowing and a decline that's a huge warning sign for me," Muenning said. "It's not a one point blip and going down, it's the long term trend of the slowing."

Muenning said overall there is not a clear reason for the mortality increase or the drop in American life expectancy.

"It's probably a multi-factorial problem but it seems like the inequality story is one of the bigger contributors." Muenning explained that inequality and less opportunity is associated with an increase in mortality but it is difficult to pinpoint a reason why. Additionally he said it's not clear that unequal opportunities for this group compared to others would explain such a large increase.

"We don't really in public health have a strong explanation for why inequality kills people but it is correlated with mortality and higher crime ... those correlations are not strong enough to explain something like this," he said.

Additionally he points out that when life-expectancy decreased it was in part due to other factors that did not match up with the "deaths by despair" explanation.

"There's lots of things like kidney failure and random things that have really increased over the last few years" to cause deaths, said Muenning. "That sort of in my mind deepens the mystery."

While obesity has also been looked at as a factor, Muenning points out that other countries have experienced huge increases in obesity with mortality rates still decreasing.

"We should definitely be better than we're doing," he said.

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shironosov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More women who were diagnosed with cancer as teens or young adults are surviving -- and many are having children of their own.

But their path isn't always easy. A new study published on Thursday in JAMA Oncology finds women who survived cancer between 15 and 39 years old may have an increased risk of complications with
pregnancies and births, even years later.

Studies of girls who survived cancer up to age 14 have suggested that preterm birth and low birth weight babies are a risk, the authors of this study noted.

But this analysis is the first expansive study showing how women treated for cancer in childbearing age have fared with having babies, according to Dr. Ellie Ragsdale, an obstetrician and
gynecologist at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

She said that many women don't realize that past cancer treatment could affect their future pregnancies.

"It's generally a surprise to them," Ragsdale said. "I think the biggest thing for us is making the patients aware that they can have the reproductive future that they want."

Researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill examined data from 2,598 women in the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry who had cancer as adolescents or young adults and went on
to give birth, as well as women who were diagnosed with cancer while pregnant.

They found that, overall, premature deliveries and newborns with low birth weight were more likely for this group compared to women who had not been treated for cancer in the past. There was also a
small, but statistically significant increase in the number of these women, who gave birth via cesarean section.

The mean time between cancer diagnosis and pregnancy was about 3.1 years and the mean age of women at cancer diagnosis was 28 years.

Certain kinds of cancer and treatments women received appeared to be associated with complications. Women who had chemotherapy without radiation were more likely to have prematurely born infants.
Cesarean deliveries were also increased among this group, compared to women without cancer. Women who survived gynecologic cancers by having surgery only, were more likely to give birth to preterm
infants. Additionally, women who had chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer were the most likely to give birth prematurely or have an infant with low birth weight.

Ragsdale said when women who have had cancer treatment come in to her office, high-risk specialists will work with them to understand how the cancer and treatment may affect their pregnancies.

"There is a lot of fear of 'Can I have a healthy pregnancy?,'" said Ragsdale. She said some women are already given extra monitoring, but that further study may help oncologists figure out how to
best treat cancer, while minimizing harm to the reproductive organs.

Not surprisingly, women who were diagnosed with cancer while being pregnant had the highest rates of complications, but increased risk was also seen when there were months or years between cancer
treatment and pregnancy. The study authors theorize that chemotherapy treatments could impair cardiovascular or pulmonary function for some time.

They said more study would be necessary to assess risk for a wider variety of women, who may have been treated for various cancers and with many different treatments.

The authors suggest that counseling women who had cancer would help, both before they are pregnant and during pregnancy. Additionally, they recommend more long-term monitoring for these survivors.

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- A teen born with a birth defect that prevented him from walking is now getting used to moving around on his own thanks to state-of-the-art prosthetic devices.

Christian Calamuci, 17, was born in South Africa with legs that bowed out dramatically, making it impossible to walk for long periods of time, according to New York ABC station WABC-TV.

"I couldn't stand for more than two minutes, I couldn't run," Christian told WABC. "My legs, they didn't bend."

Laura Calamuci, of Staten Island, New York, adopted the boy from a South African orphanage as a child, according to WABC.

"His legs made perfect circles," Calamuci told the station. She's been trying to help her son get moving ever since.

After meeting with doctors in the U.S., Christian was told his best bet was to amputate his legs from above the knee and try using prosthetic legs instead.

"[The doctor] said, 'Buddy, I don't think your legs are cut out for this life, would you consider for having both of your legs amputated above the knee and getting prosthetics?'" Christian recalled.

The teen is now past surgery and using prosthetics that have computer processors in them that adapt to his stride. But the cost is substantial -- $200,000 -- and while insurance has covered some of it, the Calamuci family has been fundraising to cover the rest of it, according to WABC.

They are now working with the Emergency Children's Help Organization on Staten Island, which is going to match up to $30,000 in donations to the family's online fundraising page, WABC reported.

"This is whole new life for him and he deserves it," Calamuci said, according to WABC.

The Calamucis did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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