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(Credit: Shari Jackson Link / Shari Link Designs) Shari Jackson Link of Fayetteville, N.C., painted positive messages in the girls' bathrooms at Fayetteville Academy to "inspire them to be nice." (FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) -- These aren’t your ordinary middle school girls’ bathrooms.

The colorful messages covering the walls at Fayetteville Academy in North Carolina are spreading positivity, inspiring the girls to “be kind always.”

Shari Jackson Link, a local artist and mom of two, said she painted the motivational bathroom murals because of the “drama that comes with middle school.”

“I thought to myself, if a little girl is coming into the bathroom, she needs to know to not be a bully, but also be OK if she is bullied. I wanted the murals to talk to both sets,” Link told ABC News. “It’s not only, ‘Hey, you’re beautiful on the inside,’ but I also wanted inspire them to be nice to others. It would be hard to leave those bathrooms and be mean to someone.”

Link’s children don’t attend this school, but she was contacted by a parent of a current student who does.

“She said, ‘I’d like to hire you to paint some motivational quotes,’” Link recalled. “She gave me the freedom to do whatever I want. I attached some pretty colorful visuals to the quotes which were inspiring.”

Photos of her creative final product have garnered nearly 65,000 shares on Link’s Facebook page.

The head of school, Ray Quesnel, said the paintings “strike a chord with everyone.”

“We’ve all been through middle school, and I don’t care where you are or who you are, it doesn’t matter, that’s just a hard time of life,” Quesnel told ABC News. “Everybody can remember back to good stuff, but everyone remembers tough things too.”

He was thrilled to have Link liven up the boring bathrooms by sending positive messages to his students.

“We thought it would be a nice, pick-me-up, quaint thing, and it just resonated with virtually everybody,” he said of the school’s positive messages. “It’s been really cool.”

Link is painting the middle school boys’ bathrooms and the elementary school bathrooms next week.

“I hope it inspires them to be comfortable in their own skin, realize that there is always a reason to smile, and most importantly, to see the power in simple acts of kindness towards others,” she said

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luchschen/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A United Nations report warns that there aren't enough new antibiotics under development to ward off the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The report, released by the World Health Organization, says most drugs currently in the pipeline are modifications of existing antibiotics, which only represent short-term solutions. As a result, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom called the current situation "a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine."

The WHO says drug-resistant tuberculosis kills about 250,000 people each year around the world.

The report identifies more than 50 new medications in clinical development to treat resistant pathogens. Only eight, however, are considered "innovative" by the WHO.

Suzanne Hill, Director of the Department of Essential Medicines at WHO says that "pharmaceutical companies and researchers must urgently focus on new antibiotics against certain types of extremely serious infections that can kill patients in a matter of days because we have no line of defense."

"If we are to end tuberculosis," Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Global Tuberculosis Program says, "more than $800 million per year is urgently needed to fund research for new...medicines."

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Good Morning America(NEW YORK) -- An 8-year-old cancer survivor met the stranger who donated her bone marrow to him for the very first time on Good Morning America on Wednesday.

“Thank you for saving my life,” A.J. told his donor, Alex Momany, during the emotional meeting.

“It was my pleasure,” Momany, 24, replied.

A.J. was connected with Momany through the Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry.

Until this point, A.J.’s family and Momany had only communicated on the phone, but now they’re “looking forward to sharing life with her,” A.J.’s mom, Alexa, said on Good Morning America.

“It’s overwhelming,” A.J.’s father, Jeff, said while fighting back tears. “We’ve thought a lot about meeting you and getting to know you more, and we’re so excited and so thankful.”

Such a touching moment as bone marrow recipient meets bone marrow donor.

What an inspiring morning. pic.twitter.com/HVKN9kbtRi

— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 20, 2017

A.J.’s battle against leukemia

A.J. was diagnosed with leukemia on his fourth birthday, Alexa told ABC News. The family asked to only be identified by their first names for privacy reasons.

Alexa said A.J. "was a really healthy boy," and "all of a sudden, in the middle of the night, he woke up with leg pain. The following day, the leg pain was so excruciating that we had to take him to the ER."

Alexa added that in 2013, when they found out it was leukemia, the family was living overseas because A.J.'s father, Jeff, was serving in the military. They came back to the U.S. for treatment following the diagnosis.

"A.J. was so sick. The treatment was so intense," Jeff told ABC News. "Alexa and I were shifting each other out at the hospital."

A.J. eventually went into remission, his mother said. But in the summer of 2015, he relapsed.

"It came back in two locations," Jeff said of his son's cancer, adding that it was a "clear indication" that the treatment wasn't working.

Alexa added that this was when they knew that "a transplant was really his only option."

"The first step was for all of us to be tested,” she added of her; her husband; and her two older children, Sophia and Nate. "None of us were a match."

The mother said she then turned to Be the Match, a national bone marrow donation organization that helps patients connect with lifesaving donors. To date, Be the Match has facilitated more than 80,000 marrow and core blood transplants.

Through the organization, A.J. was matched with Momany, then a 22-year-old college student from Ohio, who offered to donate her bone marrow to save his life. At the time, the family only knew her age and that she was a woman.

"It felt like a very long road leading up to his transplant day," Alexa said. "He went through a lot of heavy-duty chemotherapy."

Despite going through the grueling treatments, parents said A.J. was still a typical kid who enjoyed dancing and playing with his toys.

Alexa said she wrote an emotional Facebook post to her son’s anonymous donor on the day of her surgery: "I'm thinking of you as you head to the hospital today for your procedure, and I thank you from the very depths of my heart for what you've done for my little boy."

Several days after the surgery, unbeknownst to A.J.’s family, Momany had also written a letter explaining why she chose to donate.

“This boy may somebody be someone’s husband, someone’s father, grandfather, son-in-law,” she wrote of her donor recipient. “Maybe he will take the world by storm and find the cure for cancer. … Or maybe he won’t. The point is, he is important.”

The transplant ended up being successful, and after 270 days in the hospital, A.J. found out he was cancer-free.

"Saying 'thank you' never really feels like enough when someone saves your child's life," Alexa said.

Momany, who is getting married on Saturday, invited A.J. and his family to her wedding.

On Wednesday, Momany shared her message for anyone contemplating becoming a donor: “It’s the right thing to do.”

“Don’t be afraid to donate. Don’t be afraid to join,” she said. “You’re never going to regret saving someone. There’s nothing bad that can come out of donating. It’s all positives.”


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 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- First daughter Ivanka Trump has revealed that she struggled with postpartum depression after giving birth to each of her three children in a new interview.

"With each of my three children I had some level of postpartum ... depression," Trump said in an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz during a taping of The Dr. Oz Show. "It was a very challenging emotional time for me."

"I felt like I was not living up to my potential as a parent, or as an entrepreneur, or as an executive," Trump said. "I had had such easy pregnancies that in some ways the juxtaposition hit me even harder."

"When asked why she decided to speak out now, Trump said that she had not been planning to, but believes "it's incredibly important," and added that postpartum depression affects new parents indiscriminately.

"I consider myself a very hard-charging person, I'm ambitious, I'm passionate, I'm driven. But this is something that affects parents all over the country," she said.

Approximately one in nine women experiences postpartum depression, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Postpartum depression can start anytime after the baby's birth and can last up to a year, according to ABC News senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

"This can be a life-threatening medical emergency so anti-depression medication is key," Ashton said of postpartum depression on Good Morning America earlier this month. "Peer support, psychotherapy and behavioral therapy are all very important."

Dr. Sue Varma, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News earlier this year that women should de-stigmatize postpartum depression and not be afraid to seek treatment.

"Look, you would get help for any other medical problem, right?" Varma said. "And postpartum depression is a medical problem and should be treated like one.

"It's a very common disorder and we really don't give it the proper sort of detection and screening and appreciation that it deserves," Varma added, saying that part of the reason for this may be because people tend to focus all their energy on the new baby, "and women end up neglecting their own needs."

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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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