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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Growing up, Lindsay Avner saw firsthand the devastating toll breast and ovarian cancer could take on a family. Her grandmother and great-grandmother passed away from cancer before she was born and her mother was treated for breast and ovarian cancer when she was just 12 years old.

She underwent testing at the age of 22 to find out if she had a mutation on the BRCA gene that is associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. She ultimately tested positive for the BRCA1 gene, meaning she had a 55 to 70 percent chance of developing breast cancer and approximately a 40 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer, according to medical literature.

For comparison, the risk of developing breast cancer is approximately 12 percent and the risk of developing ovarian cancer is just 1 percent in the general population.

After her diagnosis, Avner was proactive about her health. She told ABC News earlier about her decision to undergo a double mastectomy at age 23 to reduce her risk of breast cancer. She also started a non-profit called "Bright Pink" that focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.

At age 30 she had eggs frozen in case she wanted to go through a second preventative surgery to remove her ovaries before she had children.

But last year she had to debate a new kind of preventative measure: undergoing IVF to stop the BRCA1 gene from affecting her future children.

Fertility doctors are now able to test embryos to detect any BRCA mutation in a process called "preimplantation genetic diagnosis." After a woman undergoes an IVF cycle, the resulting embryos can be tested for the BRCA gene mutation and the patient can then decide whether or not to implant that embryo.

Avner said her husband was the one who pushed her to take the test.

"He said, 'Are you out of your mind, you've seen cancer up close and personal,'" Avner told ABC News. "He was the one who was like 'We have this opportunity, you preached being proactive.'"

Avner's husband Gregg Kaplan and his three teenage children know the BRCA gene well. Kaplan's first wife was told she carried the BRCA mutation after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She later died from the disease and Avner said her three teenage stepchildren will likely be tested for the BRCA gene mutation in the future.

As they discussed fertility options, Avner recalled her husband saying, "Here is the greatest gift we can give our future child."

 According to fertility doctors, the growing popularity of BRCA testing has led many young women to talk about their fertility options. It can be a fraught and complicated topic, since some women are not ready to have children and are still grappling with the BRCA diagnosis.

"We've known about the BRCA gene for about 20 years," said Dr. Elisa Port, chief of breast surgery at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. "This is the first generation of BRCA carriers who are of childbearing age for whom this technology and this intervention is feasible."

In addition to the financial expense and the emotional experience of having to wait to see if an implanted embryo successfully develops into a pregnancy, women with the BRCA gene may face additional fertility issues. Some studies have appeared to show that women with the genetic mutation have a decreased ovarian reserve and earlier menopause, but the data is mixed, according to Dr. Matthew Lederman, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility of Mount Sinai Hospital.

"They're coming in younger knowing that they have BRCA mutation and they want to talk about freezing eggs and embryos," Lederman said.

After deciding to pursue IVF, Avner went through two cycles of egg retrieval.

"My egg reserve had dropped so dramatically from age 30 to 33," Avner said. "At that time my doctor was like, 'I don't understand I want to do another test.'"

Avner said her doctor advised Avner to start IVF immediately in order to boost her chance of having a child. The couple ended up with just four viable embryos without the BRCA mutation.

"We were so blessed that the first embryo worked," Avner said. "Lucy was born on Sept. 30. She is insanely perfect, it is remarkable to look at her for many's such a dream come true."

Avner, 34, said she hopes to have another child within the next 18 months and then will immediately have surgery to remove her ovaries. It's a preventative measure that she is thankful her daughter will not have to grapple with in her life.

"When we look at Lucy it's so hopeful," she said. "Eleven women in my family have died from breast or ovarian cancer...the buck stops here and it's so remarkable."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A 54-year-old man with multiple sclerosis recently awed 200 guests at his daughter's wedding, where they saw him walk for the first time in over 20 years.

The moment was "timed perfectly," said 28-year-old bride Elise Holland.

She explained that her father, Scott Holland, had been sitting and hiding behind a partition in the Manayunk, Philadelphia, venue before the ceremony started. But once she arrived, Scott Holland suddenly rose and emerged from behind the partition.

Then, donning an exoskeleton attached to his back, Scott Holland walked his daughter down the aisle. She was smiling and teary-eyed the whole way.

"The whole room was just taken aback and everyone was in tears," Elise Holland told ABC News. "It completely caught everyone off-guard since no one except my family and I had known he was going to walk the aisle."

The bride said the incredible feat was the culmination of over four months of rigorous physical therapy.

 "Once he had the idea that he could with an exoskeleton in his head, he just went and ran with it," Elise Holland said with a laugh. "'Tenacious' is definitely one word to describe him, and so is stubborn ... definitely stubborn."

Elise Holland was only 2 years old when her father was diagnosed with MS over 26 years ago, she said.

 "But rather than sitting there thinking, 'Woe is me,' he just really made the most of everything he had," the bride said. "He taught us the power of adaptability."

Elise Holland said that before MS, her father used to be a "very serious runner." After it, he turned his love of running into a love of cycling for quite a few years.

"He's never let MS stop him from doing what he wants," she said. "Although he has MS, he isn't MS. He doesn't let his condition define him. At the end of the day, he's still just Scott -- a truly and genuinely amazing person.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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backpack555/iStock/Thinkstock(MONTPELIER, Vt.) -- The governor of Vermont announced Wednesday a proposal to limit the number of painkillers prescribed in an effort to combat the crippling opioid epidemic that has devastated the state in recent years.

“Vermont, and the rest of America, will not get a handle on the opiate and heroin addiction crisis until we confront head-on the source of the problem: FDA-approved opiates that are handed out like candy,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement.

“Vermont doctors and providers have been on the leading edge of curbing the irrational exuberance with which opiates are handed out. These proposed limits will solidify that progress and help Vermont continue to lead the nation when it comes to combating this crisis,” Shumlin added.

Earlier this year, the governor went after the FDA and pharmaceutical industry in his State of the State address, saying Oxycontin "lit the match that ignited America's opiate and heroin addiction crisis."

"Just a few months ago, the FDA approved Oxycontin for kids. You can’t make this stuff up. The $11 billion a year opiate industry in America knows no shame," Shumlin said, adding that "opiate addiction is the one thing that could destroy Vermont as we know it."

The proposal, which could be official by December, sets legal limits on the number of opioids that may be prescribed. It also requires prescription providers to discuss risks, provide an education sheet to the patient and receive an informed consent for all first-time opioid prescriptions.

"We must flip the presumption that a patient needs opioids to manage pain. The rule allows doctors to make decisions with their patients, while requiring them to consider other treatments before opioids are prescribed, rather than as a last resort. And when opioids are prescribed, they can be prescribed for as much as a patient needs -- but not more than they need," the state's health commissioner, Dr. Harry Chen, said in a statement.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Reach Out(NEW YORK) -- When two students asked their peers to write positive letters to their future selves, the responses -- captured in a video titled, "Dear Future Me" -- were eye-opening and heartwarming.

One student wrote, "Dear future me, here's a couple of things I wanted to let you know. I hope you're smiling more. ... I hope that you're consistently happier."

Another said, "Every now and then you're going to need to put yourself first and do your own thing and that's OK." A third student wrote, "Don't lose who you are and always be who you want to be."

The students, Meghan and Alice, were working on behalf of ReachOut, a nonprofit based in Ireland that helps youths improve their mental health. "Dear Future Me" is part of its "Note to Self" campaign.

"It’s a campaign that we’ve been doing on college campuses around the country in Ireland," Naoise Kavanagh, ReachOut's communication manager, told ABC News. "Where we go and have postcards and ... ask [students] to write positive, inspiring messages to their future selves. And then we mail them back to them at an unknown date."

Kavanagh said the aim of the campaign, which launched a few years ago and has expanded to California, is to "help young people."

"'Note to Self' shows people that sometimes we have the answers for ourselves," she added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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

While some people claim they function perfectly on less than six hours of sleep, researchers have found that this may not actually be the case.

A new study in Brain and Behavior looked at patterns in the brain of chronically sleep-deprived people and found they may not be aware of how impaired they are once the sun is up. Researchers found that when compared to conventional sleepers who got more than seven hours of shuteye, the short sleepers exhibited diminished wakefulness.

So here’s how you can aim for more than seven hours. Make your sleep a priority. Set a regular bedtime and wake time, give or take an hour, and stick to it. And lastly, make sure your bedroom environment is cold, dark, and quiet. It really does help.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(LUGO, Spain) — A woman in Spain says she feels "phenomenal" after she delivered her third child at the age of 62.

The Telegraph reports that Lina Alvarez, of the Galician city of Lugo, left Lucas Augusti Hospital on Tuesday with her week-old daughter, telling reporters, "I couldn't be better. I'm very, very grateful to life for such a precious little thing.”

Lina, who shares her mother’s name, was born two weeks early after Alvarez had a cesarean section. The baby weighed more than five pounds.

As she left the hospital, Alvarez said, "I'm looking forward to resting for at least a couple of days now so I can enjoy time with my daughter and recover.”

Alvarez had in vitro fertilization to conceive her daughter. Ten years ago, she had the IVF procedure and delivered a son at the age of 52. She has caused a great deal of debate about age and IVF in her native country.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Myron Leggett(NEW YORK) --  Arek Trenholm was born with a condition called spina bifida, which impairs the development of the spinal cord.

The 16-year-old has been wheelchair-bound for 10 years now. But at the site of the red, white and blue, he hoisted himself up to pay homage.

 The teen and his family were outside his uncle Myron Leggett’s photography studio in Leesburg, Florida to watch a high school homecoming parade. It was when the junior ROTC marched by with the American flag that he used his arms to rise up out of his wheelchair.

Leggett, a professional photographer, was the one to capture the moment.

"My sister just called out, 'He’s standing!' And instantly, I knew what he was doing," Leggett told ABC News.

Arek is known in his family as the young patriot. His mother, Deree Trenholm, said that despite his disability, he’s been standing for national anthems, pledges and flags since he was very young.

She said he always chooses leg braces with the American flag on them. He now has 10 pairs.

Leggett posted the photo to his Facebook and received many comments applauding Arek for his show of respect.

"He didn’t have to do that. He has an excuse to stay seated," said Leggett. "Nobody told him, nobody encouraged him and he did it on his own. I admire him for that and I’m very proud of him."

Arek’s mother hopes his picture will spread awareness about the spinal disorder for National Spina Bifida Awareness month, which is this month.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) --  One Miami city official has an unusual proposal to combat the spread of the Zika virus. City Commissioner Kristin Rosen Gonzalez has proposed using bats, which eat mosquitoes, including the species known to spread the virus.

"Some people are laughing and they are not taking it seriously. But bats, depending on the species, eat up to 3,000 mosquitoes in one day, and they avoid humans," Gonzalez told ABC News. She has sponsored a resolution that proposes placing bat houses in the city to curb the mosquito population.

The first outbreak of locally transmitted Zika virus was reported in Miami in July. In the months since, city officials have continued to battle the ongoing outbreak, which has infected dozens in the Miami-area. Larvacide, insecticide and door-to-door inspections have all been used to try and reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.

The resolution seeks to authorize the city manager to "research a potential pilot program for the placement of bat houses and habitats in the city to control the city's mosquito population due to the continued presence of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus." The measure was discussed at the commissioners meeting Wednesday.

"It was a goodwill gesture to the environmentalists, who were really upset about us spraying all the neurotoxins," Gonzalez said of her resolution, but added that she isn't sure if it will be adopted because "it makes people nervous."

The Miami City Commission reviewed the resolution Wednesday and passed it to Miami-Dade County, which holds the authority to either adopt or reject the resolution.

The measure of floated as an alternative to spraying chemicals, Gonzalez said, adding: "This was really the one environmental solution."

The American Mosquito Control Association notes on its website that bats have historically not been an effective method of curbing mosquito populations, and that mosquitoes comprise less than 1 percent of gut contents of wild-caught bats, saying that bats feed on "whatever food source presents itself."

"There is no question that bats eat mosquitoes, but to utilize them as the sole measure of control would be folly indeed," the AMCA states, "particularly considering the capacity of both mosquitoes and bats to transmit diseases."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Lori Duron (NEW YORK) -- C.J. Duron was afraid to tell his peers that he was dressing up as a drag queen this year for Halloween, but it wasn't because he feared being teased.

Instead, he told his mom that he didn't want anyone stealing his "awesome idea."

"Halloween is his favorite holiday because he can be his authentic self and he looks forward to it all year long," mom Lori Duron of Orange County, California, told ABC News. "He starts planning for it in August. I feel like he spends so much of the year editing himself based on what everybody thinks. When this day comes there's no editing and I think it's great.

She added: “He’s the most authentic, creative person I’ve ever met. Seeing him be strong enough to be who he feels he is because a lot of kids feel shame or not accepted in their household and they’re not able to blossom, but I’m seeing him blossom unhindered, knowing he has our love and support no matter what.”

Duron said C.J. is gender non-conforming and considers himself part of the LGBTQ community.

Since he was old enough to choose his own Halloween costumes, C.J. has preferred to shop in the "girls' section" at the Halloween store, his mother said.

“[H]e’s a boy who only likes girls’ stuff and wants to be treated like a girl,” Duron said. “So it’s really hard to find heroes for him and for him to see people he identifies with publicly in the media, and in pop culture."

This Halloween, C.J. is dressing as his "hero," Bob the Drag Queen -- the season 8 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

C.J.'s uncle Michael introduced him to the show and helped him put together the full look with makeup and a wig.

They even created a replica of Bob’s handmade purse.

On Oct. 16, Duron wrote about C.J.'s costume choice on her blog, Raising My Rainbow. The post is titled "Trick-or-Treating Purse First" -- named after the phrase "purse first," coined by Bob the Drag Queen, she said.

"Halloween is a night for boys to dress up as their heroes: firefighters, police officers, military personnel, baseball players and superheroes," Duron wrote on her blog. "My 9-year-old son C.J. is no different from most boys. He’ll dress up as his hero for Halloween. His hero is Bob The Drag Queen."

"Bob The Drag Queen is the winner of the most recent season of 'RuPaul’s Drag Race.' Bob, RuPaul and all the queens are brave, strong heroes for my rainbow son. They’ve taught him to celebrate his uniqueness, cultivate his own style and let criticisms roll off his back. They’ve taught him the importance and power of loving himself."

Duron said she uses her blog as a platform to give others a glimpse into her family's unique life.

"We are just parents doing the best we can with the child we were given, not necessarily the child we expected," she said. "He's so fun and unexpected and for me. When I found out I was having another boy, I figured it'd be life on repeat [but] he's definitely taught us that everybody's so different. Both of are sons are equally amazing to us."

"For us it's really normal and there's no shame," Duron added. "This is our life. It's different, but it's really fun."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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

Children and teens are now far less likely to die of cancer than they were in the past, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers studied the cancer rate for children and teens from 1999 to 2014 and found a decline of about 20 percent. The rate fell for both white and black children, as well as for male and female kids -- although the cancer rate is still 30 percent higher for boys versus girls.

Brain cancer has now replaced leukemia as the leading cause of death among children, a shift thought to be due to significant advances to leukemia treatment.

The findings from this study continue a previous decline. Cancer death rates among children have been falling since the mid-1970s.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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luchschen/iStock/Thinkstock(TRENTON, N.J.) -- The New Jersey Attorney General is seeking to temporary suspend the license of a doctor who allegedly prescribed the highly addictive painkiller fentanyl off-label to three patients, according to a court filing.

One of the three patients, according to the court filing, is a 32-year-old woman who died from an "adverse effect of drugs" with "significant levels of fetanyl metabolites in her blood at the time of death."

Dr. Vivienne Matalon, an internal medicine doctor from Cherry Hill, has been accused of "allegedly indiscriminately prescribing a powerful spray form of the painkiller fentanyl" by Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The complaint was filed with the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners.

"Given that opioid overdoses are killing more people in New Jersey than car crashes, it is appalling that a doctor would willfully disregard the federal restrictions placed on this extremely potent drug," Porrino said in a statement.

Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid, with very few approved uses. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, it is "approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine."

Fentanyl spray, called Subsys, is a powerful, fast-acting formulation of the drug that is absorbed under the tongue and into the bloodstream almost immediately.

"The only federally approved use for ... Subsys, is for the management of breakthrough pain in adult cancer patients who are already receiving, and who are tolerant to, around-the-clock opiod therapy for their underlying persistent cancer pain," according to a press release from the New Jersey Attorney General's office.

The complaint filed with the New Jersey Medical Board last week alleges that Matalon prescribed the spray form of fentanyl to three patients who did not have cancer or "breakthrough cancer pain." The documents filed with the state medical board argue that Matalon was treating the patient who eventually died for chronic pain, diabetes, fibromyalgiaand urinary tract infection.

"Dr. Matalon's actions demonstrate a level of professional misconduct that requires immediate intervention to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public," the statement continued.

Doctors may prescribe a spray opioid since it is more potent than a pill opioid, Joel Saper, founder and director of both the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Head Pain Treatment Unit at St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea in Chelsea, Michigan, told ABC News.

When the drug is absorbed through a spray it enters the blood stream directly and reaches the brain faster than a pill which is absorbed through the stomach and metabolized through the liver before entering the blood stream, he explained. As a result patients using spray opioids can be more at risk for overdose.

"It's a higher risk because you're getting a quicker higher blood level [of the drug]," Saper explained. "It's not metabolized, so it hasn't been neutralized by the liver."

The complaint argues that New Jersey "is suffering from a grave public health crisis: an epidemic of opiate abuse and addiction."

The complaint goes onto argue that "for many, the path to opiate addiction begins with legally prescribed pain medications" and said that fentanyl has "played an exacerbating role in the epidemic."

Matalon has been ordered to appear before the state Board of Medical Examiners on October 26.

Neither Matalon, nor her attorney responded to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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auimeesri/iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Mosquito control officials in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida are continuing to fight the Zika virus with an unusual method: turbines on trucks. As new cases -- and new areas of local transmission -- continue to be identified, health departments are varying the approaches to reduce risk.

The vehicle-mounted turbines can spread larvacide in areas at risk for Zika transmission more efficiently than the previously-used handheld sprayers that had to be walked around neighborhoods. In addition to aerial spraying tactics, the turbines can cover a larger amount of ground in a short time.

The turbines are being used in a new area of Miami, where officials have identified Zika as being actively transmitted via mosquitoes. This area is the third zone that has been reported to have active Zika transmission in the city. After the area was identified last week, mosquito control officials and health officials have taken actions to reduce the mosquito population and search for signs of other Zika infections in the area.

"As of yesterday we conducted 1,431 door to door inspections in that area," a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Program told ABC News.

The program is using larvacide as the primary treatment to ward off mosquitoes. "They [have] got people going by and looking for any obvious breeding, they treat and turn over any standing water and treat any fixed water."

The turbines are being used in Miami-Dade county and now in neighboring Broward County, as well.

Two previous zones with active transmission of the Zika virus were identified in northern Miami and Miami beach. The zone in northern Miami was declared free of ongoing Zika transmission last month.

However, yesterday the Florida Health Department reported there had been four new cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus -- two of which are in the newly-identified zone. At least seven people, in total, are believed to have been infected with Zika in the new area.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New studies that took a deeper look at the role of exercise in treating people with Type 2 diabetes determined that both the timing and quantity of exercise can have an impact on people with the disease.

Nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population has Type 2 diabetes and more than one in three people are pre-diabetic, putting them at high risk for developing the metabolic disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

A small study conducted by researchers in New Zealand found that walking 10 minutes after meals, and dinner in particular, proved to be more effective in controlling blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics than doing 30 minutes of exercise all at once during the day. The study, published Monday in Diabetologia, found that walking post-dinner brought post-meal blood sugar levels down by 22 percent.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes sugar to collect in the blood, according to the National Institutes of Health. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise and medication, including insulin. Type 1 diabetes, which more commonly occurs in childhood and young adulthood, is a result of a damaged pancreas that produces little to no insulin. People with Type 1 diabetes must self-administer insulin for the rest of their lives.

In a separate study, researchers from the U.K. combined results from 28 smaller studies and found that the more exercise people did, the lower their risk of Type 2 diabetes. The studies found that exercise helps insulin work better on cells and helps muscles use sugar more effectively.

The research, also published in Diabetologia, found that people who doubled their amount of exercise to about 300 minutes per week, instead of the recommended 150 minutes per week, reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by 36 percent.

Only 49 percent of Americans regularly exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week, at a moderate level, according to 2015 CDC data.

ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said that each diabetic responds differently to exercise so people should work with their doctors to make sure they are getting the benefits of exercise but not dropping their blood sugar levels too much.

"Every bit helps," Besser said of exercise. "You shouldn't be put off by the fact that, 'I don't have time.'"

Aside from exercise, the chief recommendation for helping lower people's risk for developing diabetes is weight loss.

According to Besser, even a 5 percent drop in weight for an overweight person can considerably reduce risk for diabetes. Doctors commonly recommend a regimen of both diet and exercise for Type 2 diabetics because losing weight helps lower the risk of diabetes and exercise itself seems to help with diabetes treatment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Harley Pasternak(NEW YORK) -- Harley Pasternak has trained countless celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Halle Berry and Katy Perry. Now, the celebrity trainer and nutritionist is bringing his workout to ABC's Good Morning America viewers on "Workout Wednesday."

Pasternak, a Fitbit Ambassador, will lead a one-hour workout Wednesday that will be live-streamed on The workout, which Pasternak has named "The Scary 7" in honor of Halloween, incorporates all elements of Pasternak's signature training philosophy for a full-body workout.

Tune into Good Morning America and on Wednesday starting at 8 a.m. ET to join the workout. In the meantime, here are Pasternak's tips to maximize your workout burn:

  • Walk at least 10,000 steps a day to maintain overall health and wellness.
  • Get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
  • Eat three meals and two snacks with protein and fiber.
  • Do at least 5 minutes of resistance training a day.
  • Unplug for at least an hour a day.

Some additional tips from Pasternak include:

  • Don’t be afraid to get a little less efficient with your day. Park farther away from the entrance to the grocery store. Take your dog around the block rather than just letting her out in the backyard. Take your groceries inside in three trips instead of one. This will help you achieve 10,000 steps.
  • Don’t count calories. Instead, focus on having protein and fiber at every meal. I’m talking leafy greens, apples, healthy fats. Enjoy eating five times a day -- three meals and two snacks.
  • Don’t cut back on sleep. Skimping on sleep causes numerous problems. In the short term it impacts your alertness and energy levels, and can even result in weight gain. Longer term, it weakens your immune system, increases anxiety, and increases risk of high blood pressure. To make sure you’re sleeping longer and better, limit caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and computer screen time four hours before bedtime.
  • Do five minutes of resistance training daily. Research shows short, intense workouts can be more effective than longer workouts, and variation is as essential as intensity for the most efficient workout. Pick one exercise per day -- a different body part each day of the week -- and get fit gym-free.
  • Give yourself two guilt-free meals each week where you can splurge a little. Feeling deprived has sabotaged many a diet, and there’s nothing worse than forbidding yourself to eat that slice of birthday cake, and then feeling guilty when you eventually cave in and have a portion!

Fitbit is the sponsor of "Workout Wednesday" on Good Morning America.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Mark Essig(NEW YORK) — Meet Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, a.k.a. Daniel the Duck.

He's an "emotional support" animal for 37-year-old Carla Fitzgerald, who has been battling post-traumatic stress disorder ever since a bad accident in 2013.

Daniel rose to fame this past weekend when he accompanied Fitzgerald on two airplane flights -- one from her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Charlotte, North Carolina, and then another from Charlotte to Asheville, North Carolina.

"Everyone just took notice of him and fell in love," she said. "I mean, he's an adorable, funny and sweet lil' guy. He was very well-behaved at the airport and during the flight.

"I think his little red shoes and Captain America diaper were also really well-received," Fitzgerald added with a laugh.

It had been Fitzgerald's first time flying since the 2013 accident that left her with PTSD, she said.

The 37-year-old said she was "incredibly nervous" -- given that "just leaving the house can be terrifying" -- but Daniel's "hugs and kisses" gave her the "comfort and confidence" she needed to make it through.

Fitzgerald added that Daniel has been of help to her "in so many other ways." For example, she said he can tell when she's about to have a panic attack and even puts his feet on her chest as a cue to lay down.

The 37-year-old said her doctor has written her an official a letter noting that Daniel is an integral part of her PTSD treatment. Fitzgerald added that she used the letter to get clearance for Daniel to join her onboard their recent flight.

"Some people have therapy dogs, others have cats. I have a duck," Fitzgerald told ABC News. "I hope more people can accept that a duck can make a very good, loving and loyal companion and support animal."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.








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