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ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A California woman responded to an attempted mugging on a train by "faking a medical problem to attract attention from her fellow riders," according to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department.

Julie Dragland told local ABC News affiliate KGO-TV of the San Francisco Bay Area that someone dropped a note in her lap while she was on the train on Saturday, which demanded that she hand over her wallet and phone.

"Somebody dropped a note into my lap, I didn't see them, or like a hand or anything," Dragland told KGO-TV. "The note said that there were two guns pointed at my head, which logistically, doesn't really make sense, cause they dropped the note."

Dragland said she initially tried to make eye contact with someone standing in front of her, and mouthed "help," but the stranger ended up getting off at the next stop.

"I wasn't sure that they ... actually had guns," Dragland added of the suspect, but said she still worried for her safety. "So, I was like, 'If I fake a seizure, or fake that I'm passing out ... they could just think that I'm scared and reacting.'"

"So I slumped over to the left and started shaking, and people started to notice, and they were like, 'Are you OK?" Dragland said, adding that a few people came over to her, and that her actions "caused a commotion, and then the person got off at the next stop."

BART police said in a statement today that surveillance video taken on her train corroborates her report. "There is no indication from the video the suspect was armed with any weapons," the police added. Authorities released still images of the suspect, who is believed to be a white female.

Dragland said she got off the train and she reported the incident to police but said she did not want to press charges. "At the time, I wasn't robbed, so I feel like there wasn't damages," she said.

When asked where she got the idea to fake having a seizure, Dragland said, "It might have been 'Law and Order,' I don't know why I did it."

She adds that she was surprised by the fact that even as she made a scene, "the majority of the people on the train had no reaction."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- While some women credit using at-home fertility testing kits with helping them start their families, one expert says the popular kits should not be viewed as replacements for seeing a doctor when struggling to conceive.

"I was 23 when I started to try having a baby," Melissa Holmes, 30, a blogger and stay-at-home mom from Utah told ABC News. "We were young and in my fertile years, and so I assumed ... it was going to happen right away."

"We began actively trying, and we got pregnant the first month we tried, and had a miscarriage," Holmes said. "So we assumed we could get pregnant, but after almost a year of trying again ... we weren't able to get pregnant."

The nonprofit group Resolve: The National Infertility Association estimates that one in eight couples in America struggle to get pregnant.

Some of the most common options available at most drugstores include ovulation trackers, fertility monitors and ovarian reserve tests for women. There are also some fertility tests available for men.

After struggling to conceive, Holmes said she decided to use ovulation test sticks, one of the most commonly used at-home fertility tests. The sticks detect hormones that show when women are ovulating, thus indicating the days of the month when they are most fertile.

"It was pretty easy to do, and I did it every day to track my cycle and learned how my cycle worked and what days were best," Holmes said. "After five months of using the sticks ... we found out we were pregnant, and that pregnancy went to term, and she is now six years old."

Jennifer Brenna, 42, an IT specialist, blogger and mother of three from Virginia, says she also used ovulation test sticks at home to help her become pregnant for the first time at age 35.

"It took a few months, but they worked," Brenna said. "For me, it was worth it. It just helped knowing that I was ovulating and even able to get pregnant."

Using at-home fertility testing methods can be significantly more affordable than going into a clinic for testing. According to some estimates, the average cost of an at-home fertility test is about $40 per month, while at the doctor, a round of testing costs $150 on average.

"These at-home tests saved us, I would say, thousands of dollars," Holmes told ABC News. "It saved us thousands of dollars, when we were newly married, we were pinching every penny."

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' Senior Medical Contributor and an OB-GYN, said that at-home fertility kits should not be viewed as an alternative to going to the doctor, but should be used just as a starting-off point, as they are often not able to test for many other factors that may contribute to infertility.

Ashton added that it is important to note that sperm is responsible for approximately 30 percent of infertility cases, which kits marketed towards women do not address. Age is also not the only determining factor for infertility, as is often a misconception, according to Ashton.

Finally, Ashton said her concerns about at-home fertility tests and apps are that many women might not fully understand the implications, or the results, of tests they self-administer, which is what makes an experienced and credentialed professional vitally important.

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ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Laura Stegenga arrived at her Minneapolis home last week after undergoing a chemotherapy treatment to a sight she described as “glorious.”

Stegenga, a 47-year-old mother of two who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in July, saw 101 red heart balloons planted in her front yard.

The balloons were placed there by Stegenga’s neighbors in a surprise orchestrated by the neighborhood’s mail carrier, Michele Slack, who lives in the neighborhood and is also battling cancer.

“I bawled. I just stood there and cried,” Stegenga said of her reaction. “I feel so connected and so loved and so cared for. People really do care, they really do.”

In addition to the 101 balloons, Stegenga also received dozens of cards containing donations totaling $2,000 from her neighbors. Stegenga plans to use the money to help pay for treatment expenses and everyday tasks like feeding her husband and two young daughters when she is too tired to cook.

Slack, who was not available for comment, has been the mail carrier for Stegenga’s neighborhood for the majority of the nearly 14 years Stegenga and her family have lived there. She is always one to stop and ask about the residents’ families and how they’re doing, according to Stegenga.

“She is my hero. She represents who I want to be,” she said of Slack. “She wants me to have hope. She wants me to know so deeply how much people care and how available they are to me when I need help, any time.”

Stegenga's husband, John Fisher, said the balloons are still "very colorful" in the yard and a reminder of the love that surrounds their family as they face Stegenga's health struggle.

"The generosity and care is just really overwhelming," Fisher said. "It’s hard to fathom that people have been so generous and supportive."

Stegenga was diagnosed with breast cancer just eight weeks after she underwent a mammogram and got a clean bill of health from her doctors.

She said she is making it her mission now to inform women that they need to know their rights and demand further testing, including the ultrasound exam that ultimately led to Stegenga’s diagnosis.

“I have terminal cancer when I did everything I was told to,” she said. “Women need to know what their rights are. It’s not acceptable that we’re not being told about and offered different options.”

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ABC News(ANZA, Calif.) --Stacey Kozel recently hiked the Pacific Crest trail.

 It's an amazing feat for Kozel, who has lupus, and is paralyzed from the waist down, Though she walks with the help of braces, she completed the entire trail alone.

From March to September, Kozel, 41, of Medina, Ohio, traveled 2,650 miles from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, through California, Oregon and Washington. Kozel said she traveled solo so she could go at her own pace and take breaks as she felt necessary.

"It's hard to believe I'm actually standing here at the U.S.A.-Canadian border," Kozel said in a video she taped on the trail. "Feels good!"

She told ABC News today that when the trek got particularly difficult, she reminded herself of those days in the hospital when she felt trapped and needed people to help her lift her head or sit up.

Kozel had battled lupus since her teens, but said she wasn’t diagnosed until she was 19 years old. According to the Mayo Clinic, lupus is "a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs." The organs that may be affected by lupus include the kidneys, heart and lungs.

In March 2014, she was hospitalized during a flare-up that attacked her spinal cord. Within three days, she said, she'd lost mobility. At the time, she said, she could only move her left arm.
Kozel, who was active in sports and loved being outside, said she didn't know where her life was heading.

"I just [dreamed] about getting back outdoors," she said.

After physical and occupational therapies, she eventually regained some arm and core strength but her legs remained paralyzed. She was able to leave the hospital, but now uses a wheelchair or braces to walk. In 2016, Kozel completed the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail.

"The toughest day on the trail is still better than the best day in the hospital," she told ABC News. "I [tried] to keep remembering that on the tough days."

Kozel said she doesn’t want lupus to control her anymore than it already does.

"[lupus] does send me on little excursions and adventures to the hospital and doctors, but for the most part, I don't want lupus to change who I am," she said. "I just want to keep going, getting outdoors, and I thought, in the meantime, you know, bring awareness to lupus and show people what it's like."

Kozel said she’s still getting stronger with balancing herself and learning how her body works.

"Even though my legs don't work, I've had to use my upper body to adjust, to figure out how to keep standing," she said. "And sometimes, you know, I fall but I know how to keep myself safe when I do fall... I just always believe that it just matters that you keep getting back up."

As she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, people reached out to her, both on the trail and on social media, to encourage her, and to share their stories and struggles.

"This hike has become bigger than me and when I'm out there, I really want to do it for all of them," she said. "They really keep me motivated."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When one New York bride became engaged, she immediately thought how she'd "figure out" how to make sure her father, who's been paralyzed for 10 years, was included.

Chavuanne Cousins' father, Dorian Wills, became paralyzed after a ski accident in 2007. The father of four daughters loved skiing, often hitting the slopes twice a week during the winter months.

"It was the last day of ski season," Wills, 52, recalled to ABC News. "And I took a bad fall, went unconscious and woke up getting ready for an emergency flight to the hospital."

When Cousins got engaged, Wills too thought of how he'd walk his eldest daughter down the aisle.

"I even thought about buying a wheelchair that actually stands you up vertically, but the investment was just too costly," he explained. "I couldn't pull it off before the wedding."

Still, Cousins, 32, knew it would work itself out. When planning the wedding she thought to herself, "OK, let's figure out how to do it. It wasn't a question of him not being in it."

The two decided to have Cousins' younger sister Brooke push Wills down the aisle "while he held my hand," Cousins recalled.

During the rehearsal, Cousins said her sister "ran over my train a little bit. And I'm not going to lie, I got a little nervous, but she course corrected."

The wedding day, which featured 120 guests, went off without a hitch. The two even enjoyed a father-daughter dance inside their reception, held at Asbury Hall in Buffalo, New York. Cousins wanted the two to dance to Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life."

"Since she was a little girl, I've remembered every facet, every corner, every turn, every milestone in great detail. During all these experiences, she's always been the sunshine of my life. She's made me so proud. I was thrilled to be there," Willis said of the moment.

Cousins agreed. "I'm his oldest daughter so I'm the first one to get married and I could just see the look in his eyes. It was so special," she said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(HERNDON, Va) -- A Virginia woman documented her in vitro fertilization journey on social media in a painfully -- literally -- honest way.

From the needles to the shots and the bruises, Tiffany Rex of Herndon, Virginia, shared it all.

"We had been very open about our fertility struggles throughout the two-year process," Rex told ABC News. "It was never really a conscious decision we made, but our friends and family are just so amazing that we wanted to talk about what we were going through because their love and support helped us cope with the ups and downs."

Rex and her husband, Mark Wojtowicz, are now expecting their first child, a girl named Avery, in just a few short weeks.

“I didn't like the perceived stigma that something is wrong with couples struggling with fertility and that it should be kept quiet," Rex said. "It is already a lonely process, and the thought of feeling like I needed to keep it a secret would make that feeling so much worse.

“Therefore, in the beginning, we shared our struggle for ourselves and to seek love and comfort.

However, once we announced our pregnancy on Facebook and disclosed to the world that IVF led to our little miracle, I was astounded by the amount of friends who privately contacted me to tell me their struggles with fertility."

In vitro fertilization is the process in which eggs and sperm are combined outside the body in a laboratory. Once an embryo is formed, it is then transferred to a woman's uterus.

The mom-to-be said the reaction to her photos has been completely positive. "In a world of criticism and negative social media attention, I am so touched that our story has brought out the best in people," she said.

The couple is thrilled to be welcoming baby Avery and are deep in preparation for parenthood. "We are hanging her final pictures in her nursery tonight, and I have begun packing my hospital bag,” she said.

“I'm nervous about the birth, but I think I'm actually going to be over the moon once it starts. I'm just so excited to see my little girl and hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her."

It's a poignant moment because this is also the anniversary of the start of their IVF process.

And while Rex said the focus of IVF is almost exclusively on the mom, her husband played a pivotal role.

"He held my hand every step of the way, and dreamed of this baby just as much as I did. He was there, no questions asked, any time I needed him,” she said. “He is truly the most amazing man, and myself and Avery are just so lucky to have him."

Rex is thrilled her photos have touched so many people. She hopes they'll bring comfort to another couple on a similar path.

"I remembered what it was like being in those beginning phases,” she said, “and being so scared that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mothers and fathers know that the morning rush of getting their kids off to school can be one of the most stressful parts of the day.

Genevieve Shaw Brown, ABC News Travel & Lifestyle Editor and author of The Happiest Mommy You Know: Why Putting Your Kids First is the Last Thing You Should Do, shared with Good Morning America three tips for making those school mornings stress-free.

It's common:


First, know you are not alone, she said. Her top tip is to get up before your kids.

"Give yourself time to have a cup of coffee, pack lunch and take a shower in peace. If you’re ready to go when the kids rise, you’ll be less stressed about helping them out the door," she said.

Prepare everything possible the night before:

"I know parents who go as far to have their kids sleep in their clothes so they can get them out of the house faster each day," Brown told GMA. "Short of that, outfits chosen, breakfast plated and ready to heat, shoes by the door, matching socks set aside and all forms signed and back in the backpack can cut down tremendously on morning stress."

Keep it Calm:

"Try this trick: every time you feel like yelling in the morning, tell your kid you love them instead," she said. "You’d be surprised how fast it can diffuse a stressful situation and how cooperative your kids will become once they feel your positive energy."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Infant bouncer seats will now have hazard warnings placed on the front of the bouncer seat near the baby's head and shoulders.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved the new mandatory standard to "prevent deaths and injuries" to infants using the bouncer seats. These products are intended for infants up to 6 months old who have not developed the ability to sit up unassisted, according to the CPSC.

Between Jan. 1, 2006, and July 6, 2016, there were 347 incidents involving bouncer seats reported to CPSC, including 12 fatalities and 54 injuries.

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Clearwater Police Department (CLEARWATER, Fla.) -- A 94-year-old grandmother got a surprise visit from police before losing power from Hurricane Irma.

Betty Helmuth of Clearwater, Florida, answered her door on Sept. 7 for Officer James Frederick and his colleagues who greeted her with supplies.

The touching moment was captured on video by Clearwater Police and shared on the department’s Facebook page one week later.

"Oh my gosh,” Helmuth said to the officers. "Oh gosh, you're good-looking!"

Frederick told ABC News that he and his team brought groceries, water and flashlights to Helmuth after her granddaughter, Rachel Copeland of Texas, sent a Facebook message to police asking them to check on her grandmother.

“[Helmuth] was tremendously grateful, thankful and her personality and smile made it well worth it for us,” Frederick said. “She [Copeland] went through Hurricane Harvey and had a desire to be sure her grandmother was OK [in Irma] because of what she went through.”

Copeland said 75 percent of the Texas town she lives in was under water as a result of Hurricane Harvey. When she heard her grandma would be in the path of Irma, she contacted Clearwater police for help.

“I sent them a message and was just pleading with them, ‘Please anything you can do, please help my grandma,’” Copeland told ABC News. “They responded right away. I really can’t say how amazing they were.”

Copeland said her grandmother was thrilled by the visit.

“She still talking about how good-looking they are,” Copeland added, with a laugh. “They’re seriously all of our heroes.”

Frederick has since returned to Helmuth’s home to check on her again. Her power was restored Tuesday, he said.

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Tibrina Hobson/WireImage via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Actress Joanna Kerns recently revealed in an interview that she underwent a double mastectomy last December to reduce the recurrence of cancer.

The "Growing Pains" star told People magazine she was recently "given an all clear -- the best of the results I could have had."

ABC News reached out to a rep for Kerns, but didn't immediately hear back.

Kerns, 64, was diagnosed last November with ductal carcinoma in situ, a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells are found in the lining of breast milk ducts. The actress underwent a double mastectomy a month later, following two lumpectomies, "instead of risking radiation and the chance of it coming back," she said.

"Had I not caught my cancer this early on," Kern added, "I would have had to have a year of chemotherapy, and because of the recurrence and aggressiveness of this particular type of cancer, which was non-invasive HER2, I chose to do the mastectomy."

Kerns said the diagnosis was "quite shocking" because "breast cancer does not run in my family."

"I had been vigilant about screenings and exams, except this time I had missed a couple of years in there due to work and family issues, and suddenly I turn around, and it’s two years later, and I hadn’t done it and I have cancer," she told the magazine.

It was even more challenging because Kerns, who played the late Alan Thicke's onscreen wife in "Growing Pains," discovered her diagnosis just one week before he passed away. The two worked together on the hit ABC series from 1985 to 1992.

"It was so devastating," she recalled. "It was just a very, very hard time. I did go to the memorial four weeks out, and I was very happy to see my whole cast and my producers and dear friends."

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iStock/Thinkstock(TARPON SPRINGS, Fla.) -- Edward Potter, shaken to the core after his harrowing hourslong experience on a lifeboat during Hurricane Irma, returned to dry land and to the embrace of his loved ones Wednesday, but still mourning the loss of his first mate.

Potter is a third-generation shrimper, which his family credits for helping the Tarpon Springs, Florida, man survive the deadly storm as it raged over the Gulf of Mexico.

"He's been on the water since he was with his dad since he was a baby," Jayne Potter, his wife, told ABC Tampa affiliate WFTS-TV.

Edward Potter and his first mate, Carl Sheperd, were in their 75-foot fishing boat named Captain Eddie when they hit troubled waters.

They were about a week into their multiday shrimping trip to the Florida Keys when the storm that they thought they could outrun caught up to them and slammed the boat, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

"They were getting water in the engine room, and Edward was working on the engine room," their friend Rick Shalansky recalled to WFTS. "And we talked to Carl on the phone, and then we couldn't get in touch with them anymore."

Potter made it safely into his lifeboat but his first mate did not.

"Carl Sheperd was the best man ever," Potter told WFTS. "Best man, best friend, and I can't say anything more than that right now but I loved that man. And the city of Tarpon Springs is going to miss that man."

Potter drifted alone in the life boat for hours until a Carnival Cruise Line ship spotted him Sunday and rescued him.

Potter is thankful for the rescue, he told WFTS, but he still mourns the death of Sheperd.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Medical experts are warning parents that if you hear your young son or daughter snoring, it could potentially be a sign that the child is suffering from sleep apnea.

"It should raise a flag," Dr. Sydney Butts, an ear, nose and throat doctor in New York City told ABC News. "You should think about watching some other signs and symptoms that may kind of sound the alarm."

"It's not a problem restricted to adults," Butts added of sleep apnea. "It's actually one of the most common reasons why children need their tonsils or adenoids removed."

If untreated, sleep apnea can lead to chronic heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, obesity and other health problems, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA).

Kevin and Amanda Cook told ABC News that three months after they brought home their infant son, Caden, he started to have episodes during which he would stop breathing. They later learned that he had sleep apnea.

Amanda Cook said she watched as her child became "just completely limp, non-responsive."

Cook said she'd have to "hold him and say, 'Caden, Caden, Caden.' "

"Finally, you know, he'd start breathing," she said. "And it just got worse and worse."

When Caden was 6 months old, the Cooks took him to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, California, to undergo a sleep study. Doctors there diagnosed Caden with both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when something is blocking your airway, such as your tonsils. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, according to ASAA.

Sleep apnea is not uncommon in newborns, but even after Caden was past the infant stage, he was still not getting better. His tonsils were not enlarged, so doctors did not recommend surgery, his parents said.

Symptoms of sleep apnea in children include snoring, hyperactivity, trouble focusing in school, depression or anger, and even bed wetting. Some of these symptoms can often be confused with those of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to Butts.

"Many kids" may get labeled as being hyperactive, Butts said. "And I think it's important to look at a variety of different causes that could be contributing to that. It may not be that sleep is the only cause, but if there's a worry about the child's sleep, it should definitely be investigated."

ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton said the fact that sleep apnea can be misdiagnosed as ADHD in children speaks to the importance of sleep for your overall health. She added that sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine, which forces air into your mouth and keeps your airways open as you sleep.



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sudok1/iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- Private cleaning crews and public health workers are mobilized on the streets of San Diego, working to stop a Hepatitis A outbreak that has claimed at least 16 lives so far.

San Diego city and county officials said they are collaborating on solutions to the aggressive outbreak –- which has at least 421 known cases in San Diego county, including 292 hospitalizations, since last November. They have stepped up containment plans, which now include everything from street cleaning and vaccination to distributing flyers and planning possible temporary housing for the California city’s homeless, who have been hard-hit by the virus.

"We must continue to work collaboratively to stop this crisis and save lives," San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said in a statement Wednesday.

On Monday, the city of San Diego increased its sanitation measures. The city hired a private contractor to spray the streets with a bleach and a water solution to kill bacteria, began installing outdoor hand washing stations and earmarked 14 bathrooms to stay open 24 hours per day to aid the sizable homeless population, who officials say make up the majority of the outbreak's victims.

San Diego County declared a public health emergency on Sept. 1 and has an active campaign to contain the virus including vaccinations, increased sanitation and distributing educational materials.

The virus has been steadily declining across the U.S. over the past decades. The last reported figures of Hepatitis A from the CDC, in 2014, showed a total of 1,239 cases nationwide.

The Hepatitis A virus is easily spread from person-to-person, usually through fecal matter, so hand washing after using the bathroom is paramount in controlling it's spread, health officials say.

Symptoms of infection include nausea, anorexia, fever, malaise, or abdominal pain and patients may show outward signs like jaundice and pale stools.

Immunization is effective against the virus and San Diego County has deployed health workers to vaccinate people in communities and run vaccination events. The county said they have vaccinated approximately 19,000 people so far.

Hepatitis A has an incubation time of 15 to 50 days and can go undetected for some time, which officials caution may stretch containment efforts over several months.

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(Courtesy: Yong Dawson) Hailey Dawson, a 7-year-old from Nevada, has thrown the first pitch with her 3-D printed hand for two major league baseball teams and hopes to reach her goal of 28 more. (NEW YORK) -- A girl with a 3-D printed prosthetic hand, whose dream of throwing the first pitch at every major league ballpark has been widely shared, is now scheduled to throw the first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series, the MLB confirmed to ABC News today.

"I cried when they told me," 7-year-old Hailey Dawson's mom, Yong Dawson, told ABC News. "She knows that it’s a huge event for her."

Major League Baseball was inspired by her story, after many teams responded that they would love to have her throw out a first pitch, and offered her a chance to pitch during their biggest event: The World Series.

"Hailey’s inspirational story captured our attention and our teams have overwhelmingly embraced her goal to throw a first pitch at every MLB ballpark," Tony Petitti, MLB Chief Operating Officer, told ABC News. "We are very happy that Hailey will begin her quest by throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series. We’re all looking forward to meeting her and the Dawson Family at the Fall Classic."

Hailey Dawson has Poland Syndrome, a rare birth defect that caused her to be born missing three fingers on her right hand. The 7-year-old uses a special 3-D printed hand that was developed by engineers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"She's a little firecracker," Dawson of Henderson, Nevada, said. "She's very spunky. She's got no fear pretty much, with the hand, without the hand, she'll try anything. Socially, she's got all the confidence in the world."

Hailey, a big baseball fan, threw the first pitch for a local minor league team in Las Vegas in 2015. That year, she also threw the first pitch at Camden Yards for her favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles and, in June 2017, she threw the pitch for the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

She also asks the ball players to sign her hand, Dawson said.

"She was so excited and kept asking, 'When am I going next? What team am I pitching for? Where can I go?'" Dawson added.

The proud mom said her son Zach, 12, suggested the goal to pitch at all 30 MLB stadiums to Hailey, who hopes to someday break the world record for the most first pitches thrown at separate, major league ballparks. Hailey has not been afraid to ask.

"This is a really crazy question to ask, to throw a pitch for a major league ball team," Dawson said, "But she did do it [twice]."

On Sept. 7, sports news website Bleacher Report shared a video of Hailey and reported her goal to throw out the first pitch at every MLB stadium.

7-year-old Hailey Dawson wants to throw out the first pitch at every MLB ballpark with her 3-D printed hand pic.twitter.com/onStqhEzyB

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 7, 2017


Soon, offers came rolling in from up to 26 different MLB teams inviting Hailey to their ballparks, Dawson said. A few of the teams tweeted their invitations to Hailey.

The Atlanta Braves confirmed that they have scheduled Hailey to pitch at their stadium, after they earlier tweeted that they would love for her to come.

“We have been in touch with Hailey’s mom and are coordinating a date during the 2018 season to host her,” an Atlanta Braves spokeswoman wrote to ABC News. “We can’t wait to show her SunTrust Park and the southern hospitality of Braves Country!”

The Boston Red Sox also tweeted an invitation.

"Looks like we need to get you to Fenway, Hailey!" the Boston Red Sox wrote. "Just DM us with your info and we're in!"

Dawson said Hailey can continue working toward her goal next summer once school is out. Another of Hailey's dreams is to pitch to Chicago Cubs' third baseman Kris Bryant, her mom said.

"The joy, the way she acts on the field, is so great to see as a mom," Dawson said.



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Trudy Lampson(NEW YORK) -- Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have shown the tremendous risks to the health and livelihoods of millions at the hands of dangerous storms. For the elderly who live in hurricane zones, severe storms pose even more of a threat since many have disabilities and medical conditions for which they need special care.

Because many seniors also have trouble getting around, they can often find themselves more vulnerable in disaster conditions. Protecting elderly loved ones when a hurricane strikes and in its aftermath requires special attention and planning.

Even independent seniors can suffer disproportionately from natural disasters like hurricanes, especially when basic necessities like food and water are hard to find.

“The frailest of the adults are unlikely to manage the money stressors and the aftereffects of a hurricane,” said Dr. Anne Fabiny, a UCSF School of Medicine professor working at the San Francisco VA center. “Be it using a cane, a walker or being consigned to a bed, the elderly cannot respond to adversities like this without help.”

Here are few of the major challenges faced by the elderly –- and how best to overcome them:

Access to the necessities: Food, water and medications

Access to safe food and water is a challenge during natural disasters. The elderly tend to run an increased risk of dehydration because they may not feel thirsty, a lack of sensation that becomes more problematic as people grow older.

Those caring for elderly loved ones should make sure they have access to potable water and make sure they are actually drinking it. Also, because the elderly tend to take more medications, it is vitally important to ensure that they have access to all essential medications, whether at home or in a shelter.

Getting to a safe place, even when moving around is a challenge


Many elderly require a wheelchair, a walker or some other kind of assistive device to get around. They may also need hearing and visual aids. So provisions should be in place for transportation of the elderly along with their assistive devices during a storm. For the elderly living in assisted living and nursing homes, the facilities should have an emergency plan to transport the elderly, if necessary, to a safe shelter with all their medications and assistive devices.

Power outages can cause an even more dire situation for some seniors. Many pieces of specialized medical equipment used disproportionately by the elderly rely on electricity. One example: a 2005 study showed that about half of Americans needing dialysis were aged 65 years or older. A blackout is far more than just an inconvenience for these patients –- it could create a life-threatening situation.

Psychological effects: Dealing with the devastation

While many of the dangers posed to seniors by natural disasters are limited by the duration of the event, the psychological effects can often last long after the physical threat has passed for seniors.

“There is a high risk of delirium and confusion in the elderly,” Fabiny said. “This could be brought on by a number of factors, including missed medications and dehydration.”

The signs of delirium, which call for immediate medical attention, are easily confused with dementia. Caregivers, family members and medical professionals at the shelters should watch for abrupt changes in their mental status and seek medical care immediately if present.

The loss of a home can have a special impact on seniors, as well, as it come with a fear of institutionalization. Seniors may need reassurance that serious damage to their homes does not mean they will be sent to facilities.

“The best way to combat the fear is to be clear regarding the resources available and the next steps in place to help them cope better,” Fabiny said, adding that community support is also important in helping the elderly through the grieving process while recovering from the storm and getting back to normal life.

Local resources and agencies that can help

For seniors with special needs, some additional resources exist, including evacuation assistance programs and special needs shelters for the elderly, some which provide transportation.

After a disaster, seniors can reach out to local aging service providers for assistance with food stamps, FEMA services and housing. In Florida, the Department of Elder Affairs works in conjunction with local area agencies on aging to ensure all their clients are safe and all their needs are met. Many retirement communities also have arrangements for special food and water distribution centers that help these people avoid long lines, as well as emergency workers who deliver supplies to homebound elders.

For family members attempting to get in touch with elderly relatives in Florida, the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) can help track them down and confirm that they are safe.

Lastly, many older adults are reluctant to ask for help for the fear of exposing their disabilities and vulnerabilities. It never hurts to reach out and offer assistance to seniors, even if they don't indicate need.

This article was written by Monisha Shah, M.D., a pediatric medicine resident at UT Houston.

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