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Daylight Saving Time 2015: Tips for Springing Forward

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's time to spring forward on Sunday, but the act of moving the clocks an hour ahead can deliver a blow to your sleeping schedule.

For most, daylight saving time is an exciting sign of spring that comes with a slightly sleepy Monday. But if you're not a morning person to begin with, your mood and productivity can take a dive. Daylight saving time has been blamed for car accidents, workplace injuries and stock market dips in the past.

That's because people are experiencing more than just jet lag this time of year. They're dealing with a new light-dark cycle.

"It's an interesting paradox, because traveling one time zone east or west is very easy for anyone to adapt to," said Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University's Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland, Oregon. "But in daylight saving time, the new light-dark cycle is perversely working against the body clock. We're getting less sunlight in morning and more in the evening."

The body clock is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain that generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours, but it's not precise.

"It needs a signal every day to reset it," said Lewy.

The signal is sunlight, which shines in through the eyes and "corrects the cycle from approximately 24 hours to precisely 24 hours," said Lewy. But when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles don't line up, people can feel out-of-sync, tired and downright grumpy.

With time, the body clock adjusts on its own. But here are a few ways to help it along:

Soak Up the Morning Light

Getting some early morning sun Saturday and Sunday can help the brain's sleep-wake cycle line up with the new light-dark cycle. But it means getting up and outside at dawn. Sleeping by a window won't cut it, Lewy said. The sunlight needs to be direct because glass filters out much of the frequencies involved in re-setting the sleep-wake cycle.

Avoid Evening Light

Resisting the urge to linger in the late sunlight Sunday and Monday also can help the body clock adjust, Lewy said.

Try a Low Dose of Melatonin

While light synchronizes the body clock in the morning, the hormone melatonin updates it at night.

The exact function of the hormone, produced by the pea-size pineal gland in the middle of the brain, is unclear. But it can activate melatonin receptors on the neurons of the body clock, acting as a "chemical signal for darkness," Lewy said.

Taking a low-dose (less than 0.3 milligrams) of melatonin late in the afternoon Friday through Monday can help sync the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles. But be careful: Though melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it can cause drowsiness and interfere with other drugs.

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Staying Fit Throughout Adulthood Takes Brains

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Instead of getting depressed when you turn 40, think of it as a new lease on life.

So rather than letting yourself go, make a conscious effort to stay fit. In that way, says Nicole Spartano, a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University School of Medicine, you’ll be able to brag about having a young brain when you turn 60.

Spartano examined the records of 1,270 people, average age 41, who underwent treadmill testing during the 1970s. Fast forward to 20 years later, she then looked at the results of the same people who underwent MRI brain scans and mental performance tests.

Overall, the participants who had a lower increase in heart rate and blood pressure did better on tests involving decision-making than their less healthy counterparts, meaning they retained more brain volume.

Spartano says this would suggest that fitness throughout adulthood has an impact on brain aging. Previously, other studies have shown that elderly people who undergo fitness programs can help prevent brain-aging, at least in the short-term.

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Goal Setters Often Delude Themselves

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When you’re trying to achieve a goal and think you’re doing a good job at it, don’t be too quick to give yourself a pat on the back.

Researchers from the University of Colorado and Texas A&M University say that too often, people tend to delude themselves into thinking that they’re doing much better than they really are.

Some of examples of this occurring, say Margaret C. Campbell and Caleb Warren, are when you diet or try to save money. Essentially, human nature involves giving more significance consistent with one’s beliefs.

After looking at seven studies in this regard, Campbell and Warren say the tendency of people is to overestimate how well they’re doing on the way to achieving weight loss or saving money and to downplay setbacks.

That might explain why, for instance, people abandon exercise programs when they don’t see much results. The frequent reason for that is people think just because they’re working out, they should be able to eat whatever they feel like.

This is called “progress bias” and it often prompts people to quit working towards a desired outcome before they should.

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One in Seven 2-Year-Olds in Boston Drink Coffee

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Do you remember having your first sip of coffee? It was probably when you were a kid and you also probably hated it.

However, a new study out of Boston Medical Center has some shocking news: an estimated one out of seven children aged 2 in Boston drink coffee.

The researchers, led by Anne Merewood, analyzed 315 moms and toddlers to arrive at that estimate. They also found that children of Hispanics were more likely to be coffee drinkers than non-Hispanics and that more girls than boys drank coffee.

Merewood believes that infants and toddlers in other parts of the country are also being given coffee, saying it “could be associated with cultural factors."

Although the report did not delve into the reasons or possible ramifications of allowing children to drink coffee at such a young age, other studies have said that it can lead to depression, diabetes, sleep problems, substance abuse and obesity.

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Beer Pong Is a Pretty Filthy Game

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEMSON, S.C.) -- Beer pong is a game of skill, a game of luck, a game that usually involves drinking too much.

Be that as it may, beer pong remains extremely popular on and off college campuses but Clemson University wanted to study an aspect of the game apart from the sociological phenomenon.

Basically, researcher Paul Dawson and his team concluded that beer pong is a pretty germy game that can involve the transmission of microbial pathogens, the stuff that causes disease.

Although the ping pong ball is touched by people’s hands and hits all kinds of surfaces, not including the table or cup, the Clemson researchers found out that fortunately, most of the microbes were not pathogenic. That’s the good news.

On the flip side, Dawson and his colleagues says the danger remains of transferring pathogens from fecal particles and all the diseases associated with them.

Meanwhile, in a separate experiment, they also inoculated ping pongs with a non-pathogenic form of E.coli and reported a 100 percent rate of it being transferred among players.

Obviously, this study probably won’t put a dent in the popularity of beer pong but it might get a few people thinking about other hygienic alternatives.

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That's Cold! Thinking About Money, That Is

iStock/Thinkstock(BASEL, Switzerland) -- Cold hard cash can actually make you feel cold, according to a couple of experiments conducted at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

In one, 40 participants either stuck their hand in a bowl filled with nearly 100 bank notes or another bowl filled with the same number of colored pieces of paper.

Each group was then asked various questions about the room they were in, including estimating the temperature inside. Interestingly, those in the “money” group guessed the room temperature as quite a bit lower than the colored paper group.

The second experiment involved the 60 participants either touching money or paper in bowls and then placing their hands in water set at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. After the water cooled down, they put their hands back in, and as the water gradually heated up, they were asked to predict when it reached the original temperature.

It turned out, those in the “money” group, who felt chillier than their counterparts, said the water reached the right heated temperature much sooner than the participants who touched the paper.

What does it all mean? The researchers say that just thinking about money, for some reason, causes “perceived physical coldness,” meaning feelings can be influenced by physical sensations without people realizing it.

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The World of Intersex Children and One Person's Journey Between Two Sexes

Jackie Pou/ABCREPORTER'S NOTEBOOK By ABC News' Jackie Pou

(SALINAS, Dominican Republic) -- Growing up in a small town near Barahona, Dominican Republic, southwest of the island home to pristine beaches not yet sullied by the outside world, I heard stories about children nicknamed "guevedoces."

The town is called Salinas, and if you ask anyone in the country about Salinas -- the one close to Barahona because there are four -- you will hear two tales: One is how some of the people there were born with a rare condition that made their feet look like lobster feet. And the other tale is of how a number of children were presumably born as girls and later turned into boys once they hit puberty. They were called guevedoces, or “penis at 12.”

To the best of the villagers’ knowledge they looked like girls at birth and were raised that way. But as they got older, their voices deepened and it was discovered they had testicles, eventually turning into adult men. Doctors from Cornell University in upstate New York traveled there to study some of the children with this medical anomaly, even bringing some of them back to the States for research.

I traveled the rural roads of Dominican Republic in search of the mystery town.

Upon my arrival, I saw a group of people sitting in the shade of a tree. And they were not surprised that a Dominican-American journalist was asking about the guevedoces.

One of them was a barefoot man and his foot looked like a lobster -- making at least one of the tales I had heard true.

Back in Salinas, I was hoping to interview one of the guevedoces. I was told that when doctors took some of them to the U.S. for research, most of them used it as an opportunity to stay -- never returning to Salinas.

The women in the group were more eager to talk than the men. Maria Felis remembers vividly when doctors from the United States came to the town, taking some of the guevedoces to New York.

“There aren’t so many now as there were before,” she explained. “I remember when the last two brothers left in 1989. They never told us why there were so many children born that way.”

“There was a baby born like the guevedoces last year,” Maria added, “but the mother would be too embarrassed to talk.”

I was very familiar with this response. I have come across numerous parents in the United States with intersex children and most of them felt the same way.

“It’s an important story and I want to help,” one mother told me, “but I am worried what people will think of my child.”

Another woman, Josefa Cuevos, recalled one of her childhood friends. “I remember when one was born…then she grew up changed her name and started to live as a man.”

In today’s terminology the guevedoces are intersex, and it’s a condition that affects American children as well.

About one in every 2,000 babies are born intersex each year in the United States alone, according to the National Institutes of Health, but they don’t always stay that way forever. Many undergo gender assignment surgery to assign them one gender over the other.

In our Nightline report, we follow the journey of Saifa Wall, who was born with ambiguous genitalia like the guevedoces. But instead of letting him grow into his sex, doctors assigned him female at birth and removed his testicles at the age of 13.

For the first time, Saifa, who is now 35 years old, came face-to-face with the pediatric surgeon, Dr. Terry Hensle, who performed his gender assignment surgery almost 20 years ago at Saifa’s parents’ request, deciding his sex with Saifa's mother's consent, which Saifa says was the wrong gender for him.

Gender assignment surgeries among intersex children in the United States are still a common practice, but they are increasingly controversial, with kids and parents coming forward to say the surgeons are sometimes making irreversible mistakes.

Dr. Hensle has been a leader in the field of gender assignment surgery for 30 years and is still a practicing pediatric urological surgeon. He also served as a professor of urology at Columbia University Medical Center.

Hensle said gender assignment decisions are now made by a “gender committee” made up of endocrinologists, ethicists, even clergy, but when Saifa underwent his surgery, which was performed at his parents’ request, only a small team of doctors made the call.

“It really wasn’t the right thing to do,” Hensle told Nightline.

Hensle was the surgeon who removed Saifa’s testicles when he was 13 years old. He said Saifa and his family knew what having gender assignment surgery meant, and medical releases were signed. During the procedure, Saifa’s male organs were removed, an irreversible procedure preventing him from ever having children and turning him biologically into a girl.

It wasn’t until college that Saifa started to ask serious questions, and got a hold of his medical records. He said he was shocked by what he learned.

“I saw that initially they had wrote that I had ‘ambiguous genitalia,’” Saifa said. “They checked it but then they scratched it out and put that I was ‘normal.’ So at first I was Baby Wall, then I became Baby Girl Wall, then I became Suzanne Wall so that’s when everything started to come together.”

“I felt betrayed,” Saifa continued. “Then I felt like, oh, there was this thing that happened and I didn’t -- I wasn’t aware of it....No one told me.”

Hensle categorically denies that he did anything Saifa’s parents didn’t ask him to do. But he is forthright in saying that the science on gender assignment surgery back then was not as advanced as it is now.

“There are some mistakes that would never happen today knowing what we know about gender, knowing what we know about nurture versus nature, knowing what we know about individual choices, so yes, we’ve learned a lot and I hope we make the right choices. I think we will,” Hensle said.

Saifa was sterilized by a surgery he now regrets having. As a result, every week, he has to inject himself with testosterone, a hormone he is dependent on for the rest of his life.

So, 20 years after undergoing this surgery, Saifa sat down with Hensle to find answers to questions that have stayed with him since he first found out about the surgery at age 25.

“What you’re saying is because I was assigned female, and I have internal testes, that those testes should be removed?” Saifa asked Hensle.

“You shouldn’t be assigned as a female gender,” Hensle said. “But the point is that what happened to you, it was done not out of malice, or not of lack of thinking about it, it was done because...[in 1992] that was state of the art. In the decade between '92 and 2002, we learned an extraordinary amount.”


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Energy Drink TV Ads Target Adolescents

Mauro Matacchione/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pediatricians warn against teen energy drink consumption, but the amount of TV advertising devoted to teens for these products fights that.

Researchers looked at a year’s worth of ads, and found that 13 manufacturers aired 83,071 commercials for energy drinks – that’s over 608 hours, on 139 different networks, according to a study published Friday in the Journal of the Nutritional Education and Behavior.

Ten channels accounted for nearly half of the airtime, and six of these included adolescents as young as 12 in their target demographic.

MTV2 had the most energy drink advertising and the greatest proportion of adolescents in its base audience.

The researchers could not definitively conclude that adolescents viewed the ads, but they say it is likely.

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Websites Pushing Genetic Cancer Tests Rife With Bogus Claims

Sirikornt/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet, especially if it has to do with commercial cancer tests.

Researchers analyzed 55 websites that marketed “personalized” cancer products, which included genetic testing, in a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers found that most sites were sponsored by a commercial entity for profit and offered nonstandard testing with no proven utility for patients.

Most would advertise supposed benefits, but very few included drawbacks or limitations.

The study adds to previous scrutiny of online products and advocates for regulation over Internet marketing of nonstandard medical technology, according to researchers.

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Wisconsin Mom and Daughter Diagnosed with Cancer 13 Days Apart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Last Ebola Patient in Liberia Leaves Treatment Ward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Recovering Addict Explains Why You Should Care Heroin Overdose Deaths Tripled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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YouTube Campaign Urges Women to Share Advice to Their Younger Selves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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