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Macy’s, Make-a-Wish Get Special Flute for Teen with Cystic Fibrosis

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At just 18 months old, Elizabeth Shea was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. It can make catching the common cold life-threatening.

Shea’s mother, Marissa Shea, says her now-17-year-old daughter counts every morning as a blessing.

The teen’s regimen includes taking 12 pills with every meal, plus using inhalers and getting regular respiratory treatments.

“I don’t remember never having to take medicine,” Shea said in an interview with Good Morning America.

When Shea was in the 6th grade she discovered a passion that has helped her in many ways.

She took up playing the flute, and, now a high school senior at Western High School in Davie, Florida, she plays in the marching band. “The doctors have told me that playing a wind instrument helps keep the lungs working,” she said.

Shea’s talent landed her a spot to play in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, but there’s one thing that she wanted: a top-of-the-line flute.

“It would be kind of hard for my parents to…get the flute for me,” she said.

Make-a-Wish and Macy's teamed up to fulfill Shea’s dream. She got her flute just in time for her trip to play in the parade.

This is the seventh year that Macy's and Make-A-Wish have teamed up for the Believe Campaign to spread holiday cheer to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

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How Many Calories You'll Eat this Thanksgiving

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There's nothing like a day of solid eating to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit. But as family members catch up, they often don't realize just how many calories they're devouring over the course of the day.

Experts say people often eat more than a full day's worth of calories in one gravy-laden feast, in part because overeating is as much a part of the holiday as the turkey.

"I think people would be frowned upon if they were, quote, 'dieting' on Thanksgiving," said registered dietitian Jamie Pope, who teaches nutrition at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee. "It’s kind of a socially acceptable day to indulge."

It's a commonly held belief that the average American consumes 3,000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal plus another 1,500 on snacks and drinks, numbers that come from the Calorie Control Council, which is the industry group for diet food companies. That's 4,500 calories in all, and about 45 percent of them come straight from fat, according to the council.

"The average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter," the Calorie Control Council said in a statement.

But many have contested the 4,500-calorie figure in recent years, including New York Times health reporter Tara Parker-Pope, who in 2012 tried to come up with the most calorie-laden Thanksgiving dinner she could muster, but only came up with 2,486 calories. She concluded the Calorie Control Council's number was a myth.

The Calorie Control Council did not respond to requests for comment.

Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the nonprofit American Council on Exercise, did his own calculations and said while 4,500 calories for the day may be "liberal," eating 3,000 calories during the meal is probably right on target.

"If you look at how people tend to have that feast mentality for the meal I think that is very likely," Bryant said, adding that if someone had their blood tested after eating Thanksgiving dinner, the fat in it would be elevated for a little while.

Pope said the Calorie Control Council's count seems "inflated," but that doesn't make this a diet meal by any stretch. Pope said the basics of the meal aren't terrible for you, but the embellishments and the second helpings are enough to put the meal over the edge.

A day of overeating won't hurt in the long run, unless it's the start of a six-week holiday binge, she said. Then, the 2 or 3 pounds people gain during the holidays might not come off once January comes around.

Pope recommends people enjoy the festivities but simply be aware of how much they're eating. She said she never recommends weight loss as a goal for the holiday season because between the treats and the lack of exercise because of cold weather and limited daylight, the best that can be expected is weight maintenance.

"You don't have to go hog wild but also realize this shouldn't be the impetus for the loss of constraint going forward," she said. "You don’t want to go paranoid into the holidays. People just have to be aware."

Bryant also recommended going on a run in the morning and taking a walk after the big dinner.

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Tiny Liver Transplant Patient to Taste First Thanksgiving

Courtesy Donya McCoy(PITTSBURGH) -- Born with a rare metabolic disease that rendered eating protein poisonous, 3-year-old Kennedy Stevenson was never able to appreciate a good bite of Thanksgiving turkey.

But all of that is about to change thanks to a liver transplant she received two weeks ago from her mother's Facebook friend.

"She just ate a chicken finger for the first time ever," her mother, Donya McCoy, told ABC News Tuesday from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where Kennedy underwent her transplant and will remain an inpatient through the holidays.

Kennedy wasn't so sure about the chicken, McCoy said, but she loved her first taste of chocolate milk.

"Her eyes got big and she just kept sucking the straw," McCoy said. "She didn't want to stop."

Kennedy was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency. It's so rare that only eight people have ever been diagnosed with it, six of whom are still alive today, McCoy said.

The enzyme deficiency prevents Kennedy from processing protein normally, leading to a buildup of other toxic substances in her system and causing degenerative neurological effects over time, said Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Although other doctors had changed Kennedy's diet to eliminate protein and make it "stricter than vegan," McCoy said they decided that a liver transplant was her best chance for survival because the deficiency was concentrated in her liver tissue.

In the two weeks since the transplant, McCoy said doctors told her the new liver was "kicking butt." Levels of the toxic byproduct that used to build up because Kennedy couldn't process protein are way down, even when she eats chicken and chocolate milk, McCoy said.

"She can now have turkey and stuffing," McCoy said. "It's just going to be really special that she can eat a Thanksgiving dinner."

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New Beauty Tool Sterilizes Makeup Brushes, Cuts Drying Time in Half

Brush Medic(NEW YORK) -- You wash your hair, body and clothes on a regular basis. But how often do you wash your makeup brushes?

Now, one product is vying to make the pesky task of cleaning your brushes an easier one.

It’s called Brush Medic, and it’s said to eliminate 99 percent of dirt and bacteria through a UV sterilizing system.

"It was really my wife’s idea who’s a makeup artist at a large cosmetic store," says Billy Turner, co-founder of Brush Medic. "One night she was saying how it took way too long for the brushes to clean and dry, so we created something that would kill bacteria and take less drying time.”

How it works is you start by cleaning your brushes with soap and water. Or, try the Brush Medic Quick Clean Wipes. "They are alcohol free, so they won't damage your brushes," Turner says. Finish by placing them in the Brush Medic machine for a deep cleaning.

In addition to a bacteria free cleaning, the system promises a drying time that’s up to 10 times faster.

In the future, the company hopes to expand its reach to professional makeup artists.

“We are developing a larger product that we think would be great for commercial brands," Turner says. "We'd like to spread the word throughout the makeup industry.”

One expert agrees that Brush Medic can be a useful tool for beauty buffs everywhere.

“Your makeup brushes should be cleaned every single day," says green beauty expert Sophie Uilano. "If you don’t clean your brushes, you’ll absolutely break out.”

“The problem with brush cleaners is that they are highly toxic, so this is a fantastic solution," Uilano says. "Brush drying time is also an issue, so it’s great that it cuts that too."

The Brush Medic Pro will be available exclusively at Customers can preorder the system for a price of $199. A mini version is sold for $99.

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New Procedure Dubbed 'Inside-Out' Face Lift Claims to Smooth Skin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There’s a new treatment for saggy, creased skin around the mouth that works from the inside out to tighten soft tissue and produce a smoothing effect on the surface.

Dr. Christine Lee, a dermatologist, helped pioneer a new treatment that’s known as the inside-out face lift.

The procedure uses a laser that delivers targeted heat from inside the mouth, Lee says.

Jacki Adams, a popular model during the 1980s, has posed on the covers of magazines including Vogue and Elle, but years of outdoor sports exposed her face to days of wind and sun.

With plans to return to acting, Adams hoped to smooth out some facial lines.

"I prefer to look good for my age, rather than look another age,” she said.

Adams visited Dr. Lee at her Walnut Creek, California practice, The East Bay Laser & Skin Care Center, Inc.

"When you go inside the mouth, what it does is causes immediate contracting, and that tightening makes this nasal labial folds by the side of the mouth seem like they're plumping up," Lee said as she performed the 30-minute procedure.

ABC's Good Morning America spoke to some doctors who were skeptical of the procedure. They said patients could get better results from lasers used directly on the skin, or from less expensive treatments such as fillers.

“The general consensus is that with laser therapies, that is best accomplished from the outside in not the inside out, but again, it’s a new procedure. I think people should proceed with caution until we know more,” ABC News’ Dr. Jennifer Ashton said.

Lee says her procedure “has some of the same effects a filler does but appears much more natural, and you're not having to inject a foreign substance in your face.”

Her patients undergo several treatments that cost about $1,500 per session. Results can last for months, she said.

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Vitamin D Supplements May Not Be for Everyone

areeya_ann/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study says that the vitamin D supplements many Americans take at a doctor's recommendation may not be quite as beneficial as they believe.

According to a study conducted by the United States Preventive Services Task Force and published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults not showing symptoms of a deficiency is more beneficial or harmful.

Vitamin D can be found in in certain foods, and can also be obtained by the conversion of ultraviolet rays from the skin that come in contact with bare skin. Previous studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D may be linked with increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Patients with kidney disease or bone disease, as well as elderly patients, should still take vitamin D supplements if instructed to do so by their doctor, the study said. However, researchers believe that many people may not stand to benefit from vitamin D supplements not recommended by a physician.

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Researchers Say Device Could Reduce Mammography Discomfort

monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say that a newer, less painful mammogram may be possible.

According to a study presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, researchers believe that the improved process can exert pressure throughout the breast tissue, avoiding direct force applied to the breast.

Researchers tested the proposed procedure on over 400 women. Of those participants, 27 percent said they experienced less severe pain, compared to the current standard protocol.

Researchers say the images produced by the mammography were not inferior to the old technique, and could be implemented in many hospitals or doctors' offices quickly using a simple device.

The proposed mammography method did have at least one drawback, however. Researchers found that the pressure-based test had three times the number of people forced to re-do the test when compared to the force-based test.

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FDA Finalizes New Rules Requiring Calorie Information for Restaurant Menus, Vending Machines

Igor Dimovski/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday finalized a pair of new rules related to labeling of products in vending machines, chain restaurants and other retail food establishments.

"Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.

The new rule will cover restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations that do business under the same name and offer largely the same food products, such as amusement parks, movie theaters and pizza parlors. Those establishments will be obligated to list calorie information for all standard menu items on both menus and menu boards, along with a short statement regarding suggested daily caloric intake. That statement will read: "2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary."

Additional health information about the food will have to be made available in writing upon request.

Foods sold at grocery stores and other retail locations that are intended for more than one person to eat, or which require additional preparations -- such as pounds of deli meats, cheese and large deli salads -- will not be covered by the new rule.

The rule regarding vending machines will apply to operators who own 20 or more such machines and will force those operators to disclose calorie information.

It has taken four years since the bill was signed into law for the FDA to finalize its recommendations into guidelines. Companies now have one year to comply.

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Golfers Love Birdies but Hate Ticks

Carole Gomez/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- People who enjoy hiking in the woods from spring through autumn in various part of the country are generally told to check themselves for ticks after their strolls.

Now, the same thing goes for anyone who enjoys a round of golf.

Although played in wide open spaces, New York Medical College researcher Gregory Owens says that golfers must also watch out for ticks that prey on small rodents because they feed at the boundaries between the woods and fairway.

Owens surveyed 29 golfers in Orange County, New Jersey, three-quarters of whom who revealed they have found at least one tick on them after golfing. Furthermore, seven people in this group were also diagnosed with Lyme disease. That’s a much higher rate than the general population in the area.

Still, most of the golfers were pretty cavalier about the ticks, saying they never spray themselves with insect repellent before teeing off. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a bug spray with between 20 and 30 percent DEET, the active ingredient in many insect repellent products.

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Why It's a Lot Easier to Spill Coffee than Beer

kzenon/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- And for our next trick, we’ll try to walk from the barista to our table without spilling this tray of coffee.

Good luck with that. As opposed to carbonated beverages like beer, coffee often spills out of the cup regardless of how careful we walk. But why?

It took some geniuses from Princeton and NYU to figure out the answer: it’s all about the bubbles in beer and the lack thereof in coffee.

Apparently, foam in a heavy stout like Guinness reduced much of the sloshing, making it a lot easier to go from counter to table with beer than coffee.

Researchers explained their interest in such a seemingly trivial study by noting that the findings are relevant to "numerous industrial applications," including the transfer of liquids in cargoes.

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Five Thanksgiving Health Hazards to Avoid

Tetra Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Along with turkey and stuffing, Thanksgiving serves up plenty of health hazards.

While the deadliest day of the year is Christmas, according to one University of California San Diego study, Thanksgiving has more than its share of pitfalls.

Read on for five big ones:

Car Accidents

This year, the National Safety Council predicted, there will be 418 traffic fatalities and another 44,700 injuries from car crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. That’s down from a high of nearly 500 crash-related deaths in 2008.

More than 40 percent of holiday car accidents involve alcohol, according to the National Highway Safety Association. But more than 150 lives will be saved by seatbelts, the NSC said.

Holiday Heart Syndrome

Over-indulging on turkey day wine, especially if you’re older and obese, can disrupt regular heart rhythms leading to “Holiday Heart Syndrome” an American Heart Journal study showed way back in 1978.

Further strain on the ticker comes from digesting a massive meal. As a recent University of California study found, cheering for a losing football team resulted in a 15 percent spike in heart attacks among men and a 27 percent spike among women.


More than 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving Day, U.S. Fire Administration statistics revealed.

One culprit: Deep-fried turkeys. Each year, they cause approximately five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes and more than $15 million in property damage, the National Fire Protection Association reported.

Food Safety

Americans will consume 51 million turkeys on Thursday, Food Safety News reported. And if the bird isn’t fresh or properly cooked, many of them also risk serving up a side of salmonella.

Cooking to an internal temperature of 165 degrees is the best way to avoid poisoning, FSN advised. As for leftovers, store them within two hours or toss them.


Because turkey bones splinter, they can may choke dogs or cats, the Veterinary Medical Association warned.

Dogs should also be kept away from any dish that contains onions, leeks or garlic because they are known to damage canine red blood cells. Likewise, raisins and grapes can induce kidney failure. And chocolate, especially vast amounts of the dark variety, can lead to serious gastrointestinal symptoms and even death in dogs.

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Bride Holds Early Wedding So Cancer-Stricken Mom Can Attend

iStock/Thinkstock(MIDLAND, Texas) -- The dress was perfect, the flowers were in place and the string quartet was all set up to ease the beautiful bride down the aisle.

But most important to newlywed Cathryn Copeland on her magical wedding day was the fact her mother was there.

“It’s a huge blessing,” Copeland, 26, of Midland, Texas, told ABC News.

Copeland’s mom, Janet, was battling a fight with breast cancer. Originally diagnosed 11 years ago, she had since gone into remission — but bad news came in October 2013, when the family learned it was not only back, but as of October 2014, it had spread, allowing her very little time.

The wedding was originally scheduled for November 1 in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, Copeland and her now husband, Conner Wood, didn’t want to take any chances.

“We said, ‘Mom, what do you want to do with this wedding?’” Copeland recalled of the emotional conversation. “She just broke down and said, ‘I want to see this wedding.’”

That’s all it took. Copeland made the decision to move up her wedding to October 22, a Wednesday, at her mother’s cancer treatment center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston.

“The hospital was very accommodating and it’s just a beautiful campus that they have,” she explained. “I’ve been going with my mom to some of her treatments and we would do fast walks around the campus. She was always very physically fit. So I already knew all the beautiful spots where we could hold the ceremony.”

The bride says she was able to pull off the magical wedding a week and a half early, despite changing states, dates and timing, all because of the “selfless, loving people” willing to help make it happen.

“I just had an incredible group of people surrounding me,” said Copeland. “My dress was custom made for me and we became friends with her so she rushed my dress and she made my mom’s dress, too. She looked so beautiful.”

The wedding ceremony took place at 12:30 p.m., which gave Copeland and her mom all morning to relish in their girl time — being pampered with their hair and makeup in Janet’s hospital room.

“She had an unshakable faith and that gave me so much strength,” the bride explained. “I got to see Mom have a lot of prayers answered before she went home and that was a pure joy.”

Janet Copeland died two weeks after seeing her daughter wed, but the memories they shared that day will last a lifetime.

“On the day I was just so happy, filled with happiness, the happiest day of my life,” said Copeland. “The wedding answered that wish of hers to be able to be there, and to do something small for her was great.”

And despite the unfortunate circumstances, “We had a blast and it was the perfect day," she added. “It was different than we planned, but it was infinitely more special. Now that she’s gone I have all the gorgeous photos sharing that day with her, and I have the video. To see her talking to me is just the biggest blessing.”

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Why Bagged Lunches Aren't as Healthy as Cafeteria Food

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Do you pack lunch for your children to bring to school? A new study says it may be healthier to have them buy food at the cafeteria.

A study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics on Monday found that 9 out of 10 lunches brought from home included chips, desserts, and sweetened drinks. While lunches made at home contained fewer calories on average, they also had more sodium and fewer servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and milk.

The author of the study, child nutrionist Karen Cullen, says parents need to be pickier about what they pack.

"I think that this is an opportunity for parents to get their children involved in discussing what makes good choices for a school meal and how you go about planning and going to the grocery store, getting the foods and packing those items," Cullen said. "A suggestion would be for parents to make sure that the healthier choices are also in those lunches that provide the kids with all the food groups they need."

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Why Couple Adopted 8 Boys - All From Same Family

iStock/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) -- Melissa Groves will never forget that over Christmas 2004, her then-6-year-old daughter Autumn asked Santa Claus for a little brother.

Boy, was she in for a surprise. The little brothers kept coming and coming.

Autumn got two adopted brothers the following year, followed by their six siblings over the next 10 years, Groves said. The family officially adopted their youngest, baby Zayn, two days ago.

"I just want them all to stay together," said Groves, of Omaha, Nebraska, adding that she often hears about adopted children who go searching for their lost siblings as adults. "I didn't want that for my boys."

Groves and her husband learned shortly after getting married that conceiving children naturally was "very unlikely" for them, so they decided to try foster parenting, Groves wrote in a blog post last week for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Although they were only expecting one child, they were asked to foster two of them: brothers Noah and Chase, who were then 3 and almost 2. The Groves were nervous, at first, to take home two boys, but soon decided to adopt them both.

Once the adoption was finalized, however, they got a surprising phone call: The boys' mother had given birth to another baby boy and he needed a home immediately.

"There was no question," Groves wrote on her blog. "How could I deny my sons and this new child the possibility of being together?"

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This happened five more times over the years, sometimes with the boys' birth mother reaching out to Groves over Facebook to say she was pregnant again. Though their birth mother always told Groves she hoped she would be ready to be a mother each time she became pregnant, it never worked out because she had a drug problem, Groves said, becoming emotional.

"She's not a bad person," Groves added, noting that she's in contact with the boys' biological mother every few months. "I can't even imagine the pain that she's gone through."

Though no two stories are exactly the same, Groves said she hoped to shed light on the plights of thousands of children across the country and the need for families like hers to take them in.

According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, more than 100,000 children are available for adoption in the United States.

The institute's executive director, Becky Weichhand, said the Groves' story is important because it helps the public realize that "everyday people are making an impact in the life of a child, and that they can do it, too." She said it's important to keep siblings together where possible because their bond is a source of emotional strength after the trauma of being separated from their parents.

"These children have been through something at no fault of their own," Weichhand said. "Their parent is not able to parent, for whatever reason."

In Nebraska, there are 322 children available for adoption and 4,122 children who are in state wards, said the state's deputy director of Children and Family Services, Vicki Maca. She said anyone who is curious about fostering children should call their state officials.

"Sometimes, the general public thinks you have to be perfect parents in order to be eligible for foster care," she said. "Our kids aren't expecting or needing perfect parents. They just want consistency. No family is perfect."

Though the Groves' Omaha, Nebraska, home is often hectic with eight boys, Groves said they call it "sweet chaos." And when things calm down, she's reminded exactly why she did adopted them all.

"When the little ones sit on bigger ones' laps to sit down and watch cartoons, it's like that's exactly it," she said. "I'm glad they're all here."

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'Bleachorexia': Dentist Warns About Dangers of Overbleaching Teeth

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc./Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mia St. John is obsessed with getting whiter, cleaner teeth.

The five-time World Boxing Council champion in the super welterweight division said her quest for pearly whites grew so extreme she was brushing and bleaching constantly until her dentist intervened.

“He said my teeth could basically turn to mush just because I was destroying the enamel,” she said.

The obsession for megawatt smiles and using over-the-counter whiteners is now leading to what many dentists are calling “bleachorexia.”

Laurence Rifkin, a cosmetic dentist in Los Angeles, said overbleaching is common and can lead to receding gums and oversensitivity. Too much bleaching can also have a reverse effect, leaving teeth with a darker appearance, he also said.

“Too much of a good thing is really bad,” he said.

In extreme cases, Rifkin said, he’s even heard of people rubbing Clorox bleach on their teeth.

“It's good for surfaces and cleaning, but not in the mouth or even on the skin. It's very caustic,” he said.

The American Dental Association recommends that people who choose to use a bleaching product do so only after consultation with a dentist.

Rifkin said overbleaching can cause irreversible damage. “Once the enamel has been chemically eroded away, then it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” he said.

St. John got the message.

“To say that I'm no longer obsessed with my teeth would be a lie, but I have it under control now,” she said.

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