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jetcityimage/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Dalton Johnson knew that his phone would be ringing off the hook.

Every time Alabama lawmakers or courts move on a bill that chisels away at abortion rights, patients call in with questions for the Alabama Women's Center, one of the three clinics that provide abortions in the state, which is owned by Johnson.

That happened in 2013, when lawmakers required that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals, and again in 2016 when they banned a second trimester method known as dilation and evacuation, and barred abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of public elementary and middle schools. All of those laws -- which are known as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws -- were later blocked in court.

"It happens every time one of these TRAP laws happens," Johnson told ABC News. "There's always a flood of calls: 'Are you guys still open?' 'Can I get my procedure done?'"

Since the state Senate passed a bill last week that would criminalize providing abortions, without exceptions for cases of rape or incest, the "phone's been ringing nonstop," Johnson said, especially since Gov. Kay Ivey went on to sign it.

The signing of that Alabama bill came a week after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a so-called "heartbeat" ban. This week, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he'd sign a "heartbeat" ban in Louisiana should it pass the state legislature.

None of these bills have gone into effect, and the Georgia and Alabama bills are both facing legal challenges. Abortion remains legal in all 50 states, and no state has a functioning six-week abortion ban.

The sometimes convoluted procedures for how laws are approved and then challenged in court, coupled with the charged language used by politicians and advocates on both sides of the issue, has at times left patients misinformed.

Employees at abortion clinics in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana told ABC News they are receiving non-stop calls from patients, mostly with the same concerns: has abortion been outlawed, has the clinic closed its doors, should appointments made for the future be pushed sooner? One Alabama clinic got a call from someone asking “will they get locked up, will they be charged of a crime" if they got an abortion.

The sometimes convoluted procedures for how laws are approved and then challenged in court, coupled with the charged language used by politicians on both sides of the issue, has at times left patients misinformed. It is not the case, for example, that any state has passed an outright abortion ban, or that abortion has been outlawed once a "heartbeat" is detected, around six weeks of a pregnancy. IF NO THAT, WHAT HAS HAPPENED???

Amanda Kifferly, vice president for abortion access at The Women's Centers, told ABC News she's concerned about how these laws are potentially raising the stigma around abortion, and making patients feel like "it's actually a criminal experience."

"We don't want people to feel like they have to break a law in order to get safe care," she said.

Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said that after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a so-called "heartbeat" ban, "there was a lot of media headlines speculating about the impact of the bill and speculating about criminalization of women, and what we started hearing was a lot of fear."

It got to the point where Planned Parenthood Southeast set up an automated message on their call line just to say abortion is still legal and their doors are open.

"We want to make sure everyone in this country knows what's going on," said Fox. "But at the same time, I don't want a single person to be feeling scared and alone and abandoned, and thinking about doing something, when they can come in and get something safe and legal."

Some health care providers are putting information on their websites and on social media, and they're also relying on advocacy groups and funds, like the Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama and the Southeast division of Access Reproductive Care (ARC), to help educate the public with accurate information.

While employees at clinics and other health care providers say they are happy to answer questions, they worry about the patients who are not calling. Providers worry about what patients will do to attempt to self-manage if they think they can't come in for an abortion, which is a safe medical procedure with a very low rate of complications when performed under proper conditions.

"I'm not sure what we can do beyond educate when we have them on the phone," said Kathaleen Pittman, who runs the independent clinic Hope Medical Group for Women in Louisiana.

Advocates also worry that the bad press generated by the restrictive laws could impact recruitment of qualified doctors to states like Georgia and Alabama, which have among the highest rates of maternal mortality in the country. Dr. Lisa Haddad, who is affiliated with the Emory University School of Medicine in Georgia, told ABC News she knows of one doctor who held off on making a decision to take a position in the state because of restrictive laws.

"We know that it's going to influence attracting individuals from coming to the state -- a state that has huge gaps in maternal care," Haddad said. For her part, Haddad has noticed she's been "more self-aware" recently, especially since anti-abortion protesters at George's capital were carrying guns.

Johnson, in Alabama, said the bill there is "just one more thing to discourage physicians coming to the state, especially physicians in women's health," on top of an overall health care system that is generally lacking. Alabama is ranked 46th out of the 50 states in health care, according to U.S. News.

Add to that, Johnson said, "When you're [discussing] placing jail time on physicians making health care decisions that are best for their patients, that's scary."

Chad Jackson of the West Alabama Women's Center told ABC News that he sometimes wonders if he will still have a job in six month. But he said he is even more concerned about "what the women will do once the doors close," should the Alabama ban actually go into effect.

Still, Jackson said the clinic has no plans to close.

"We are still open, we are still providing safe and secure terminations," Jackson said.

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Courtesy Andrew Newberg(NEW YORK) -- Cash, a 10-year-old boy who lives in Los Angeles, is obsessed with the game Fortnite, his mother Rusti says.

Fortnite represents the current pinnacle of game theory and player engagement. It's filled with bloodless violence, intensity and it's peppered with random surprises.

It's constantly being updated with pop-culture add-ons and it's filled with silly victory dances that delight the player. Because it can be played on a console, a tablet or a phone, it can travel with a player anywhere they get cellular data or Wi-Fi.

It is one of the first totally social, play-everywhere video games, with 250 million players. Its creator, Epic Games, is reportedly valued at $15 billion.

Makings of a habit

"He asks me to wake him up 20 minutes early on school days so he can play," Rusti says of her son, Cash. "He doesn't want playdates at other kids' houses anymore … he just wants to be in the house so he can play."
Cash plays with friends from school, his cousins in Costa Rica and random strangers, and is allocated an hour of playing each school night. Rusti doesn't limit him on the weekends, and estimates he plays four to five hours each Saturday and Sunday.

Watching Cash play Fortnite on his iPad can be dizzying as he manipulates the weapons in his arsenal. He has colorful adornments on his various avatars and when asked how he earned those skins, he says his allowance is now paid to him weekly in V-Bucks, the currency used to buy items in Fortnite.

Rusti confirms that Cash has spent close to $2,000 in the game.

"I can get him to do any chore I want if I pay him in Fortnite money," she says.

Is there is anything he'd rather be doing than playing Fortnite?

"That's a good question … but ... no!" he says.

His mom says he often screams with joy at events in the game and Cash admits he "rages."

"When someone kills you or you die of fall damage and you get angry at that, and you just go insane on your tablet and you throw it," he says.

He admits there are times when he forgets to eat and times when his body tells him he's played too much.

"When you're just lightheaded and you can't get enough Fortnite, but it hurts inside," he says.

Effects on the brain

Andrew Newberg, M.D., a neuroscientist at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Medicine at Jefferson Health, has devised a way to illustrate some of the physiological and structural changes happening to gamers. He wants to compare a gamer's brain to a non-gamer's brain to see how the response to different stimuli affects them.

Amado, a 12-year-old fellow student at Cash's school who loves music, basketball and watching movies, fits the profile of a non-gamer, occasionally playing car-racing games but who overall isn't into video games.

For the experiment, Cash settled into an MRI machine while game footage was played in a monitor bolted above his face. First a control: Newberg contrasts a minute of non-Fortnite gaming video (from an older shooting game that doesn't have the neon colors, social integration or fun dances) with a minute of neutral video (birds at sunset). The neutral video is colorful and moving, so it will stimulate some of the visual regions of the brain. By playing video the older game on the monitor, Cash will see violence, action and many of the same stimuli that he sees in Fortnite, it just won't be his favorite game. After 10 minutes, Newberg stops the imaging and gives Cash a chance to move his arms and legs.

Now for the Fortnite portion: To most accurately simulate the experience of playing the game, video was recorded from Cash's iPad of his actual gameplay, complete with his avatar and favorite skins.

Within a few minutes, Newberg sees the pleasure centers of Cash's brain light up. The presumption is that dopamine is firing into his frontal lobes. After 30 minutes Cash is done.

Amado goes through the exact same process. When Amado is done, Newberg analyzes the scans and meets with Cash's mom, who wants to know what's going on in Cash's brain when he's playing the game.

Newberg brings up an image contrasting both boys' brains, and points to the one on the left that has big red and orange blooms of color that Newberg says represent blood flow and stimulation. Cash's brain had much greater activation than Amado's in an area called the anterior cingulate cortex, a structure that can be involved in focus, emotional regulation and addiction.

"These are areas that are very involved in our reward system of the brain," he explains, noting game play delivers dopamine hits to the brain's reward center.

Newberg explains that brain scans of people with internet gaming disorder, an addiction classified in the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," show these rewards centers are enlarged. It takes more and more dopamine for people with this problematic gaming behavior to experience the same levels of euphoria.

The data on gaming and addiction varies widely: a meta study done by Mass General in 2017 examined 116 different gaming studies summarized their findings with the reality that there's a lot we still don't know.

"We are still working out what aspects of games affect which brain regions and how. It's likely that video games have both positive (on attention, visual and motor skills) and negative aspects (risk of addiction), and it is essential we embrace this complexity," says a report in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The reward centers of the brain in people with internet gaming disorder look different than those of non-gamers. They are smaller. In layman's terms, the physical structures that signal happiness or satisfaction to the brain are robust compared to people without the disorder. One possible theory for that difference is that gaming produces so much dopamine on such regular intervals, that the part of the brain that makes us happy about little things, gets lazy or out of shape.

To quote another study published in Substance Abuse & Misuse on "reward deficiency theory," "the modified reward system leads to lower enjoyment from the same level of rewards that excited a person in the past, and hence propels people to seek additional rewards; in this case, possibly also from substance use." This physical change is consistent across studies that look at other addictions specifically alcohol and drugs.

Despite all this data, Newberg's exercise comparing the brain scans of a gamer and a non-gamer is only an illustration of how the brain's dopamine centers are is being stimulated. And, he clearly states, this is in no way predictive of Cash's future.

"Just because we see a dopamine area lighting up in the gamer that we saw today, that doesn't inherently mean that the person has an addiction," he says. "What it means is that it's affecting the areas of the brain that are involved in that. We ultimately have to find out how they're doing as a person."

Newberg goes on to reiterate that these images are in no way predictive of any addictions, but may help explain Cash's resistance to putting his iPad down and going out to play in the park. He also points out something obvious: addictive disorders are not diagnosed by brain scans but by obsessive and destructive behavior, which Cash is not exhibiting. By all accounts he is a well-adjusted kid with good grades and healthy family relationships.

What now?

How does all this make Rusti want to alter or adjust Cash's playing?

"[It's] a long time for that brain to be doing that," she says. "I think everything in moderation … I don't know what moderation is with Fortnite."

"I know it's gotten to be too much lately," she adds. "Even if I just break it up on the weekends and don't let him go for four or five hours at a time."

If only Fortnite makes Cash this happy, what else is there for him? Where does he go from here? What other joys is he going to seek? And will they compare?

Rusti hopes so, but she knows the change will be hard.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- James Longman, a successful foreign correspondent for ABC News, is in a club no one wants to belong to: suicide survivors.

"There's been a lot of secrecy in my family about it. This is not something that people want to talk about now, let alone all these years," Longman told Dr. Jennifer Ashton on her podcast, "Life After Suicide," discussing his family's history and his own depressive episodes.

"It's kind of this looming tragedy that has really marked my family for now three generations. I'm hoping, obviously, to buck the trend," he told Ashton.

Longman's grandfather died by suicide when his father was in his 20s, and his father decided to end his own life 20 years later.

Longman revealed how he would question himself again and again while growing up.

"Well, my dad did it. My grandfather did it. Am I destined for this?" he said he would wonder.

His family's history made it hard to know for sure.

Longman knows that losing a parent to suicide makes children more likely to die by suicide themselves, but he always wondered why that is.

"Is the fact of me knowing that my dad killed himself more powerful than the genes he gave me?" he told Dr. Ashton. "I've always wanted to know the answer to that question."

It's also what sparked him into action. Since his father's death, he's made it his life's mission to understand whether serious depression and the potential for suicide is genetic.

"It's what I've wanted to do, to ask questions, because I've been fortunate enough to be able to research, and to ask the questions that my father wasn't able to do -- and certainly his father didn't seem able to do -- and to really talk about it so much more than either of them were able to," Longman said.

So Longman began interviewing mental health experts and geneticists as part of a documentary.

While at a research facility at King's College University in the U.K., he learned that certain genes are present in people who not only have depression, but also schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. As satisfying as that discovery was, he said he's continued to wonder about the role of nature versus nurture -- a question for which there still is no answer.

And yet Longman has found that being able to talk about the issue with like-minded people has been amazingly therapeutic.

"Talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, just talking," he said. "I mean, it's been the saving grace for me to spend time talking. You don't have to write in the newspaper. You don't have to make documentaries. Talk to your friends. Talk to people you love. It's like a magic trick. I can't explain it. It doesn't even matter what the thing is you're saying. That, for me, has been the thing."

But it isn't always an easy ride.

Longman recalled one day when he was particularly down and felt he'd hit rock bottom. He was at work in the U.K., so he tried calling a non-emergency number and then went to the nearest clinic.

When he arrived, he was told the clinic had shut down six months ago. So he sat down on the curb in the center of London.

"I seriously contemplated walking out in front of traffic. In that moment, I wanted to stop feeling the way I was feeling," he recalled. "I really didn't think that anyone was going to be able to help me. I didn't think that anyone could possibly have the answers to how I was feeling … it just seemed like the easiest thing to do."

A friend reached him in the nick of time.

Longman is a young, successful journalist, and he's aware that many might wonder how someone so privileged could ever think of ending his life. Longman wondered the same thing, but he explained that in that moment he felt numb to everything and all alone. He said it made him realize that if he could feel that way, it could happen to anyone.

That's the reason behind organizations like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, according to Dr. John Draper, the organization's program director. Draper, who has spent 25 years in crisis intervention and suicide prevention work, reminds people to be hopeful and to share stories of hope. After all, he says, for every person who dies by suicide, there are another 280 people who consider it.

Sharing stories of hope and teaching people how to help each other are equally important, Draper says, because in the end, we will all be stronger for it.

Longman agrees.

"If you are able to talk, then people will know that you're feeling the way you're feeling," he told Dr. Ashton. "Then, hopefully, you'll get the help that you need."

If you or someone you care about needs to talk, contact the free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-273-8255.

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The Taylor Haugen Foundation(NEW YORK) -- For one Florida couple, their life's work to prevent injuries among young athletes is motivated by the loss of their son, Taylor.

Every parent's worst nightmare came true for Kathy and Brian Haugen when they lost their son when he was just 15 years old. He died while doing what he loved most: playing football.

"He was very proud to be a starting wide receiver on the JV squad [at Niceville High School]," Brian Haugen shared with ABC News' Good Morning America.

During the season's opening game, Taylor jumped up in the middle of the field to catch a pass when he was hit by two defenders.

"He got hit simultaneously while catching the ball from the front and back in a way that it basically crushed his liver," Brian Haugen said.

"This is an injury that does happen and it needs to be out in front just like every other injury out there," Kathy Haugen shared with GMA. "These are vital organs just like the brain that you can't live without."

After learning that this type of abdominal injury is not rare among athletes like football players, the Haugens felt compelled to create a foundation that would honor their son and bring awareness to this issue.

With the help of their friends, family and the community, Kathy and Brian Haugen created the Taylor Haugen Foundation.

"I didn't want another parent to have to go through what we have gone through, go through every day," Kathy Haugen said. "I can't sit back and watch this happen to another child."

"Our son had a big heart and a big community service belief," Brian Haugen said. "In many ways, we are trying to continue his legacy by living up to his legacy because this is is what he would want us to do."

The foundation is committed to educating athletes, coaches, schools, trainers and players about how to protect athletes from abdominal injuries.

Kathy and Brian Haugen have even learned about protective tactics such as proper blocking and tackling, which the organization speaks about.

In 2011, the couple expanded their efforts even further by creating a Youth Equipment for Sports Safety (YESS) program under their foundation to help provide young athletes and schools with high-tech equipment to help shield them against deadly abdominal injuries.

The Haugens have helped provide protective gear to more than 5,000 football players in middle and high schools across 14 states.

The couple has heard from other parents who have children that play other sports, such as soccer, where abdominal injuries are also common.

"Kathy gets phone calls and emails from people all the time across the country, from parents who have a child who sustained an abdominal injury from athletics, because there's nothing else out there that covers this," Brian Haugen shared.

"We just felt like that was our calling, like that was our time to step up and do something," he added.

The players themselves also tell the Haugen family how much they love the equipment.

 "They tell us they feel like Superman and it gives them confidence and support," Brian Haugen said.

The Taylor Haugen Foundation has even received support from professional athletes such as former NFL player Matt Stover and Drew Stanton, quarterback for the Cleveland Browns who wears abdominal protective gear.

"We receive several phone calls a year from players or former players," Brian Haugen said. "[They'll say,] 'I'm familiar with your foundation. What can I do to support?'"

The foundation likes to call its work with players "protect it forward" as a form of "pay it forward."

The Haugen family also started #PledgeToProtect in 2018 as another form of awareness for coaches and parents. These are things that can be done to "better protect young athletes."

"Don't be afraid to talk to your coach, ask questions," Kathy Haugen said. "You are your child's best advocate."

"A lot of people out there are astounded that we would support football after losing our son in a football game, but it's so much more than a sport for so many," she said. "For many, it's the only avenue that they have to a better life."

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IGphotography/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Mediterranean-style diet, long associated with longer life and reduced risk of cancer, may also help protect against depression, new research shows.

Researchers in Greece found that a diet rich in vegetables and lower in poultry and alcohol -- two hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet -- was associated with a decreased likelihood of developing symptoms of depression or a diagnosis of depression later in life.

The study was presented over the weekend at the American Psychiatric Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

It is the latest example in a surge of recent research showing how what we eat can affect our brains and mental health. Another popular diet, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, has also been found to reduce the risk of depression later in life.

Researchers have even said that diet "is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology."

Both the Mediterranean and DASH diets are consistently ranked at the top of U.S. News and World Report’s annual diet rankings. The Mediterranean diet was named the top overall diet this year for the first time.

Here is what you need to know about the diet and the connection between diet and brain health:

The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is an eating pattern that emulates how people in the Mediterranean region have traditionally eaten, with a focus on foods like olive oil, fish and vegetables.

U.S. News and World Report calls the diet a "well-balanced eating plan" and pointed to research that suggests the diet helps prevent some chronic diseases and increases longevity.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil and flavorful herbs and spices; fish and seafood at least a couple of times a week; and poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt in moderation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

It also emphasizes getting plenty of exercise and enjoying meals with family and friends.

How diet affects the brain

Most people experience occasional, “situational” depression, or what doctors call an adjustment disorder, when losing a job or experiencing a difficult breakup, for example.

Depression is a persistent loss of enjoyment in things you used to love, a slide into lethargy and despair, sleep problems and disinterest.

Since what people eat -– the nutrients available to the body -– affects various bodily functions, it seems logical that diet would affect chemistry and mood as well.

Diet decisions that improve the rest of the body may improve the brain’s outlook on the world.

"When people are feeling better by dieting and losing weight or resolving symptoms that they’re having, that could have an impact on mood," Dr. Sherry Pagoto, a licensed clinical psychologist and University of Connecticut professor, told ABC News last year. "When people do engage in healthy lifestyle changes, we do see improvements in depression."

Nutrition also influences the immune system, which has been shown to impact the risk of depression.

It could also come down to inflammation, research shows.

A study published last year gave more support to the theory that increased inflammation in the body could play a role in depression. The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, found that people who had depression had 46 percent higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammatory disease, in their blood.

Diets like DASH and the Mediterranean Diet are both rich in anti-inflammatory foods.

Foods like white bread, margarine, red meat, processed meat and fried foods can cause inflammation in the body and should be eaten minimally or avoided, according to Harvard Medical School.

Tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts, fish like salmon and sardines and fruits like oranges and strawberries are all foods that fight inflammation, according to Harvard's list.

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dkfielding/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A unanimous Supreme Court has blocked, for now, a class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Merck over "atypical femoral fractures" caused by osteoporosis drug Fosamax.

More than 500 Fosamax users from 45 states contend the company failed to warn them or their doctors of the danger, despite early evidence suggesting the increase potential for spontaneous bone breaks without any previous stress.

Merck, which does not dispute the risk and has included a warning with prescriptions since 2010, argued it cannot be held liable for damages in state courts because the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 rejected a proposed warning to patients.

"When the FDA exercises this authority, it makes careful judgments about what warnings should appear on a drug's label for the safety of consumers," Justice Stephen Breyer writes in the court's opinion.

"For that reason, we have previously held that 'clear evidence' that the FDA would not have approved a change to the drug's label preempts a claim, grounded in state law, that a drug manufacturer failed to warn consumers of the change-related risks associated with using the drug," he wrote.

The case was returned to a lower court for further proceedings.

The justices clarified that it should be left to a judge, not a jury, to decide the preemption question in class-action drug-harm suits, as occurred in this case. But they left the door open for patients to challenge drug companies on the facts surrounding information provided to the FDA -- up front -- ahead of a labeling decision.

Patient advocates have said a decision siding with Merck in the case would embolden drug manufacturers to provide insufficient and misleading information to FDA, in effect insulating themselves from potential legal liability. "It's the pharmaceutical company's job to write the drug label," said Medshadow's Sue Robotti.

Manufacturers are required by law to inform patients of potential adverse reactions to their drugs as soon as reasonable evidence exists. But the FDA has ultimate authority to approve or reject the wording that appears on drug labels.

In a 2008 application to the FDA, Merck proposed revising the warning language for Fosamax, describing a heightened risk of “stress fractures.”

One year later, the FDA rejected that draft language, saying the warning was “not warranted and is not adequately supported by the available literature” and asked for revised language.

Merck said the FDA’s conclusion, based on available evidence at the time, means the company cannot be held liable for failing to warn consumers as required under state law because the federal government wouldn’t allow it.

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed.

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SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control as of May 17, 2019. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to climb but at a slightly slower rate than previous weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there have been 880 cases in the U.S. since January.

The number of measles cases in 2019 has already blown past the reported cases in recent years.

In early May, there were 60 new cases in a week, and in late April, that number jumped to 78 cases in one week. There were 71 new cases the week before that.

The latest numbers through May 17 show that there was an increase of 41 cases from the prior report.

Oklahoma reported its first measles diagnosis, bringing the total to 24 states with reported cases.

The majority of the reported cases are in New York. New York City health officials say there have been a total of 498 confirmed cases in Brooklyn and Queens since the outbreak there began in September. There have been been 231 confirmed cases as of May 17 in New York's Rockland County.

Washington state was home to a significant outbreak earlier in 2019 and there have been a total of 78 cases in the state this year.

In California, there have been 45 reported cases in four outbreaks.

The CDC said the majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

Measles was eliminated in the country in 2000 but the CDC notes that measles is still common in many parts of the world and travel is one reason why it has returned to the U.S.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Janne Kouri, who was paralyzed in 2006, has accomplished what most able-bodied people will never do. He completed a 3,100-mile ride across the country, from California to Washington, D.C.

Kouri completed the ride to raise money and awareness for people living with paralysis. He used a specialized power chair and was surrounded by family and friends on his two-month journey.

One of those friends was ABC News correspondent Will Reeve, whose own father, the late Christopher Reeve, was paralyzed in a horse riding accident in 1995.

"People used to tell my dad, 'You were meant for this to happen to you,'" Reeve recalled. "And he was like, 'What do you mean? I had a life. I had plans and now they've completely changed.'"

When Reeve asked Kouri if he has found himself equipped to handle all he has been through, Kouri replied, "Definitely."

"I knew it happened for a reason," Kouri said of the 2006 accident that left him instantly paralyzed when he dove into a sandbar in the Pacific Ocean.

Kouri said his "reason" is NextStep Fitness, the Los Angeles-based non-profit organization he founded in 2008 to make rehabilitation and fitness available to individuals living with paralysis. Today there are seven NextStep Fitness gyms across the country and there are plans to expand.

"Insurance on average only covers 36 days of rehab for people, and then you're sent home with access to nothing," Kouri said.

NextStep is a member of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN), a network of rehabilitation centers founded by Will Reeve's late parents.

Kouri's own commitment to exercise and physical therapy has brought him personal returns, too. In May 2009, Kouri took his first steps in three years with the assistance of a walker.

At the time of his accident, Kouri, a former star defensive tackle for Georgetown University's football team, was told he would never walk again.

"What I love and miss and I'm so grateful in that moment is just how tall he is," said Kouri's wife, Susan, who was his girlfriend at the time of his accident. "I forget that most days and it's just great to see him in that way, to see him standing and see him be as large in stature as he is in his heart."

Kouri said his greatest physical milestone recently has been his ability to ride across the country. The ride raised over $350,000 for people living with paralysis.

He has another major goal planned for 2021, he told Reeve, but has not yet revealed the details.

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ABC(NEW YORK) -- The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg was joined by her doctors, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez and Dr. Martin Greenberg, on Monday morning to share the story of how close she was to death's door during her battle with double pneumonia and sepsis earlier this year.

Goldberg said that she had felt "sick for a while" since at least November 2018, and it "kept going" until Donald Trump's State of the Union Address.

"This can't be the only reason I'm feeling sick," Goldberg said she thought to herself while watching the president on television.

Eventually Goldberg got on the phone with her primary physician, Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, who said he could "barely understand what she was saying" during their conversation, because her teeth were chattering from her uncontrollable shivering.

"She was gasping for air" prior to going to the hospital, Dr. Rodriguez said.

When Goldberg told her doctor she was unable to walk and wanted to go to sleep, Dr. Rodriguez knew "it sounded very serious," he said.

"She couldn't breathe," the doctor said. "Her teeth were chattering, she was obviously in what we call rigors," which he described as an episode of shaking chills.

Every episode of ABC's award-winning talk show "The View" is now available as a podcast! Listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher or the ABC News app.

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Seattle Children's(SEATTLE) -- Emma Krall has spent much of the first 23 months of her life in a hospital.

The Seattle, Washington, toddler was born nine weeks premature on June 20, 2017, and spent the next eight months in the hospital.

She was born with campomelic dysplasia, a potentially life-threatening disorder that affects development of the skeleton, reproductive system and other parts of the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Emma returned to Seattle Children's in March, six weeks before she underwent major spinal surgery. She spent her time in the hospital before surgery in halo-gravity traction in order to stabilize her spinal cord and prevent her from becoming paralyzed, according to her pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Samuel Browd.

The Disney princess-obsessed toddler passed the time at the hospital by watching Disney movies and dreaming of princesses, according to her mother, Rachel Krall.

"We watch Disney movies all the time at our house and the hospital," said Krall, noting Emma especially loves Tangled and The Little Mermaid. "Emma has always loved flowers and pink and really anything girly."

Emma then underwent a nearly five-hour spinal surgery last month. During her recovery, her mom and nurses decorated her halo with flowers and a paper crown.

When she was finally strong enough to leave Seattle Children's in May, her doctors and nurses gave her a send-off worthy of a princess.

In fact, they brought in Rapunzel from the Disney movie Tangled to surprise Emma in her hospital room.

"Her reaction to Rapunzel coming through the door was kind of, 'Whoa, who is this girl?,' and then she really had fun," Krall said of Emma, who cannot talk due to a tracheostomy tube. "She played peek-a-boo with her and counted, and those are her two favorite things."

Then, Emma's entire medical team of doctors and nurses arrived in her room wearing tiaras and carrying magic wands themselves.

"It was definitely the first time I've had a tiara on, but we've done some fun stuff for kids over the years," said Browd. "That's what really special about children's hospitals, the ability to think of them as kids instead of just patients and to create some fun for them under what are really trying circumstances."

Emma's pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Klane White, said special moments of fun like the princess surprise they created for Emma are more important to a patient's recovery than most people realize.

"I've spent my entire career devoted to taking care of kids who have chronic, life-threatening diseases and these types of acts, they add up and they make a big difference," he said. "For Emma and her family, it's just some recognition of what they've been through and what they have ahead."

Krall, who has been by her only child's side for every moment of her treatment, described the surprise princess send-off as "a really sweet moment."

"It was really touching that they had thought so much about Emma and wanted to give back to her in a certain way, with princesses," she said. "It was a touching and humbling experience and I just hope Emma has given joy to others too."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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iStock/AndreyPopov(CHICAGO) -- Health officials in Chicago have confirmed the city's first case of measles, the latest in the worst outbreak in the U.S. in the last 25 years.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said officials identified an individual with the virus on Friday.

In a statement, the city said additional "exposures may have occurred" Thursday at O’Hare International Airport, the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) campus and the Chicago Loop. Residents may have also been exposed in Millennium Park, retail establishments on State Street between Monroe and Randolph Streets, and on South Canal Street, according to the city.

“Measles is a serious yet preventable disease through a safe, effective and universally available vaccine,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “Chicagoans should make sure their children and family members are up to date on vaccines now. Vaccination is the best way to protect against measles.”

The city said its health officials are monitoring high-risk locations to contain exposure.

In 23 states across the country, there have 839 cases of measles documented as of May 10, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The spike in measles cases this year marks the highest number of infections since 1994.

New York has the highest number of reported measles cases in the U.S., according to health officials. Since September, New York City has had nearly 500 confirmed cases, according to the city's health department.

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iStock/torwai(NEW YORK) -- Teen suicide trends have long shown differences between the sexes: While girls have been more likely to attempt suicide, boys have died by suicide at higher rates. This disparity, however, may be getting smaller.

Suicide rates among both girls and boys ages 10 to 19 had been on a downtrend throughout most of the 1990s until 2007, when they began increasing. However, they rose at a higher pace among girls compared to boys, a new study has found.

The authors of the study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital explained that the narrowing of the gap was related to changes in the method of suicide. Whereas girls had been more likely to die by suicide from poisoning in the past, the study’s findings suggested they had shifted to more lethal means, including suffocation and hanging.

“One of the potential contributors to this gender paradox is that males tend to use more violent means, such as guns or hanging,” said Jeff Bridge, co-author of the study and director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide, in a press release. “That makes the narrowing of the gender gap in suicide by hanging or suffocation that we found especially concerning from a public health perspective.”

The researchers discovered the trend after looking at data on over 85,000 teen suicides that occurred between 1975 and 2016.

Bridge emphasized the importance of parents speaking to their kids and noticing the signs of suicidal thoughts and behavior.

“Parents need to be aware of the warning signs of suicide, which include a child making suicidal statements, being unhappy for an extended period, withdrawing from friends or school activities or being increasingly aggressive or irritable,” Bridge said. “If parents observe these warning signs in their child, they should consider taking the child to a mental health professional.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) where you’ll be put in touch with a local crisis center.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The abortion debate in America has lately been dominated by news that conservative lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri had approved sweeping new restrictions to abortion access. But meanwhile, several states with Democratic majorities have been pushing through bills that fortify abortion rights.

While proponents of abortion rights had few outright victories, they say they are making progress.

On Tuesday, the Vermont House gave final approval to H.57, a bill that states abortion is a "fundamental right" and also protects the right to contraception, sterilization and family planning.

"Thank God for Vermont," state Sen. Virginia Lyons told ABC News on Friday. "We're a bastion of sanity and understanding of reproductive rights and process."

Lyons is also sponsoring Proposal 5, which would amend the state's Constitution to declare abortion a right. That proposal passed in the state House and Senate, but must be approved again by a majority in both houses in the next legislative session before it can go before voters in a referendum. Its proponents hope to see it on the ballot in 2022.

It's not just Vermont.

In Illinois, the Reproductive Health Act would establish reproductive health, including abortion, as a fundamental right. The bill has stalled since its introduction in February, and this week, its sponsor State Rep. Kelly Cassidy held a protest to call for movement on the act.

"The more we hear stories like Alabama, like Ohio, the more frustrating it becomes, because the threat is very real," she told ABC News, adding that watching the string of anti-abortion bills in another states is "the nightmare."

The bill has been sitting in a subcommittee and needs to be moved to a substantive committee for action to take place on it, The State Journal-Register reported. The Executive Committee has indicated they would take it as early as next week.

"I think that there is a lack of understanding of the urgency," Cassidy said, because the state has a Democratic majority. But, "this threat" to reproductive rights "is real," she said.

Cassidy supports the bill not just to preserve abortion access for the people of Illinois, she said, but also for the people from neighboring states, where restrictions are harsher, who go to Illinois for abortions. In 2017, over 5,500 women came to Illinois to get abortions, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Other states, though, have stumbled in their attempts to enact laws protecting abortion rights.

A Rhode Island Senate bill was voted down in committee this week. State Sen. Stephen Archambault, a Democrat, said the bill went too far and wasn't strict enough where it concerned abortion in later stages of a pregnancy.

"I wasn't comfortable with that," he told ABC News, acknowledging that he is "pro-choice," but had "serious concerns in the event that there is a post-viability, late-term abortion."

Archambault did draft an amendment that would codify Roe v. Wade in the state, but with stricter language around abortion in the later stages of a pregnancy. That amendment and a House bill "are still very much alive," he said.

Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch withdrew a measure that would make abortion rights part of the state's constitution in February, saying he recognized it would not pass in both chambers of the State House and that he plans to reintroduce it in 2020, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Meanwhile, efforts to widen abortion access in Virginia led to a showdown between Gov. Ralph Northam and President Donald Trump. Since then, Trump has used increasingly violent and misleading language around "late-term abortions."

Conversations around "late-term abortion" were prompted in part by a long-awaited victory for abortion rights advocates in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act in January. That act codifies abortion as a right in the state and legalized abortion in New York after 24 weeks of pregnancy if the patient's health or life is at risk or if the fetus is not viable.

State Sen. Liz Krueger, a sponsor of the bill, told ABC News it has been "extr1emely disturbing" to see the recent anti-abortion laws pass and be signed in other states.

"I am fairly mortified that state after state, it is older men who are trying to dictate what kind of health care doctors can perform in their state and what kind of health care rights women of fertility age can access," she said. "Who are these men who think they have the right to determine what every women are choosing for themselves in coordination with their doctors? How dare these men tell doctors we will throw you in jail for providing basic health care services?"

She added that in addition to a lack of apparent understanding of reproductive health some anti-abortion lawmakers have shown, they are also acting against the wishes of the people. While an equal percentage of Americans self-identified as "pro-choice" and "pro-life" in a 2018 Gallup poll, a total of 79% of Americans said they believe abortion should be legal under any or certain circumstances.

"I hope it does backfire on [the anti-abortion lawmakers]," Krueger said, "and I hope more and more states realize following New York's path is in the best interest of their residents."

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iStock/Southern Drone Group(WASHINGTON) -- Amid a wave of new anti-abortion laws passed in several states this week, celebrities — from A-list musicians like Lady Gaga and Rihanna to Hollywood heavyweights like Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon and Jordan Peele — are using their platforms to express their outrage.

But as "heartbeat" abortion bans face legal challenges across the country, Hollywood's influence is coming into particular focus in Georgia, where enticing tax incentives have helped transform the state into a production and filming oasis.

The Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which was signed into law in 2008, provides a 20% tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more in the state and grants an additional 10% tax credit if the project includes a promotional logo provided by the Peach State.

As activists prepare for what is set to be a prolonged legal battle -- which could make it all the way to the Supreme Court -- the "Hollywood of the South" is becoming a battleground where the entertainment industry is split on, among other issues, whether to boycott the state.

Why Hollywood has sway in Georgia

Earlier this month, Georgia became the fourth state this year alone to pass a "heartbeat" abortion ban when the state's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio also passed laws this year that ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen about a month and a half after a woman becomes pregnant.

Before signing the law, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp acknowledged that the state would likely face legal challenges.

"I realize that some may challenge it in a court of law but our job is to do what is right not what is easy," Kemp said.

Georgia is home to a multi-billion dollar film industry and, according to a study by the non-profit FilmL.A., more best performing films were made in Georgia in 2016 than any other state or country. Twelve of the 100 best performing films were made in California that year, while 17 were made in Georgia, which ranked in first place.

According to Project Casting, dozens of films and TV shows are filming in Georgia in May alone, including one of the most popular -- the Netflix hit "Stranger Things."

Then-Gov. Nathan Deal announced in April 2018 that the state's film and TV industry generated a total economic impact of $9.5 billion during the 2018 fiscal year, with 455 productions shot in the state representing $2.7 billion in direct spending.

But the abortion debate has forced companies to question whether they should continue doing business in the state. While several production studios indicated they would not film in Georgia in light of the anti-abortion bill, the biggest production companies have remained silent so far, as they track how the law will play out in court.

“Film and television production in Georgia supports more than 92,000 jobs and brings significant economic benefits to communities and families. It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or is currently being challenged," a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) told ABC News. "The outcome in Georgia will also be determined through the legal process. We will continue to monitor developments.”

The MPAA is a trade association founded in 1922 and now represents the five major film studios in Hollywood — Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., and Netflix — a leader in the streaming service industry. ABC News is owned by Disney.

To boycott or not to boycott

Actress Alyssa Milano — an outspoken political activist who has also been vocal in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements — was one of the first to call for a boycott of Georgia, telling The Wrap, "I will do everything in my power to get as many productions as possible — including ‘Insatiable’ — to move out of this state which continues to put forth oppressive, hurtful policy that contradicts everything the entertainment industry stands for."

Several smaller production companies, including “The Wire” creator David Simon's Blown Deadline Productions, Mark Duplass and his Duplass Brothers Productions, Killer Films and CounterNarrative Films slammed the law and vowed to boycott the state.

"I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies. I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact. Other filmmakers will see this," Simon tweeted.

"Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned," CEO Christine Vachon tweeted.

"Don’t give your business to Georgia. Will you pledge with me not to film anything in Georgia until they reverse this backwards legislation?" Duplass wrote.

"No Georgia filming on any of our projects until the unconstitutional & anti-woman law is gone," Neal Dodson, who runs CounterNarrative Films with J. C. Chandor, tweeted.

And actor Jason Bateman, who is starring in Netflix' “Ozark” and HBO's “The Outsider," which are currently filming in Georgia, told The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday that he will boycott Georgia if the “heartbeat bill” goes into effect.

“If the ‘heartbeat bill’ makes it through the court system, I will not work in Georgia, or any other state, that is so disgracefully at odds with women’s rights,” he said.

ABC News has reached out to the governor's office, but a request for comment on the proposed boycotts was not immediately returned.

However, some of the biggest critics of the anti-abortion legislation fear that the boycott could backfire.

A group of women from the Georgia film and media industry, who oppose the anti-abortion legislation, urged Hollywood not to boycott the state in a petition that has garnered nearly 2000 signatures.

"It would be a great comfort to move to another place where the fights felt fair and the battles were easier to win. But that would be giving up and we are not quitters. To those who choose not to come to Georgia because of the actions of our government, we understand your reasoning," the petition says. "But please know this: Georgia’s hardworking women and many men in this industry will continue to be the resistance from the inside.

"With our voices, our art, and our daily boots on the ground, we’ll keep working for the leadership we deserve," the petition continued. "Your condemnation is understandable, but what we really need most is allies. Change is coming. Your support and encouragement is appreciated, however you can give it."

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams -- who has also been rumored to be considering a run for the presidency -- echoed the sentiment and urged producers not to boycott Georgia. Instead, she urged supporters to help local organizations that are fighting the legislation.

“While I support those who want to live their values by not bringing their resources here, I do not want to harm the citizens of Georgia who are doing this work,” Abrams told MSNBC on Thursday.

"I appreciate the energy & passion of those who have called for a boycott - publicly or quietly. While we differ on strategy, we are in solidarity," Abrams also tweeted. "Your determination to bring attention to their hateful works & right this wrong should be lauded. Looking at you @Alyssa_Milano."

In response to an Abrams tweet, Milano pledged to donate $10,000 to "the grassroots orgs on the ground fighting against hurtful policies in Georgia" and challenged corporations that she has partnered up with in Georgia to match her donation.

Directors J.J. Abrams of Bad Robot Productions and Jordan Peele of Monkeypaw Productions announced in a joint statement that they will continue filming HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” in Georgia, but pledged to donate their salaries to the American Civil Liberties Union and Fair Fight Georgia.

“Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms," they said. "Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women. We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100% of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia. We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”

And Georgia state representative Dar'shun Kendrick, a Democrat who is critical of the law, urged Hollywood not to boycott the state.

"I have constituents who benefit from the film and industry in GA. So instead of boycotting, I am advocating for taking BACK the House and Senate to majority democrats," Kendrick tweeted.

Several celebrities, including Kerry Washington, have pledged to donate to grassroots organizations to fight the law, but as this plays out in court, it has yet to be seen how the biggest players will respond.

Missouri became the latest state on Friday to push controversial anti-abortion laws forward when the Republican-led House passed a series of sweeping abortion restrictions, including an 8-week ban. The legislation, which includes an exception for medical emergencies, but not for cases of rape or incest, is set to be signed by the state's Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

"I’m beyond upset about the passing of new abortion bans in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio. This is Unconstitutional and Abhorrent. We can not tolerate this attack on women’s fundamental rights," Witherspoon tweeted.

And on Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial abortion ban into law that makes it a felony for doctors in the state to perform abortions in all cases, with the only exception being when the life of the mother is threatened. It does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Ivey also acknowledged that the law will face legal challenges in a statement on Wednesday.

"No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973," she wrote. "The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur."

Oscar-nominated director DuVernay cautioned that what happened in Alabama could impact the nation.

"Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day. Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up," she tweeted.

And several celebrities, including Rihanna and Lady Gaga, slammed the male lawmakers who voted for the laws.

"Take a look. these are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!!" Rihanna wrote, along with a photo of all 25 white, male Alabama state senators who voted for the bill.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A 9-year-old boy who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November received a life-changing surprise Friday on ABC News' Good Morning America.

The boy, Eli Morgan, met the Labrador retriever who will soon be his constant companion as his diabetes alert dog.

Eli and his family had been on a wait list for a diabetes alert dog for the past four months. Their new dog, Polar, will now undergo anywhere from eight to 12 months of training before he returns to Eli full-time.

Polar will be specially trained to smell Eli's scent and be able to notice changes in his blood sugar. Those changes can be life or death for a person with type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body can't make insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

"It’s peace of mind, just the security of knowing someone else is looking out for him too," said Eli's mom, Brooke Morgan. "And empowering him to just kind of, you know, take control of his disease."

Polar will be able to go to school with Eli and will allow him to once again be able to go to sleepovers at friends' houses, something Eli said he is looking forward to.

For someone like Eli with type 1 diabetes, a missing drop in their glucose can end up becoming a matter of life and death if hypoglycemia, the medical term for low blood sugar, sets in, according to ABC News' chief medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include confusion, blurred or impaired vision, seizures -- and if not treated immediately it can lead to death.

"It can be dangerous if your blood sugar goes very, very high, which it can, and it can be very dangerous if it goes very, very low," Ashton said Friday. "With type 1 diabetes, different than type 2 [diabetes], your body is not making enough insulin so [people with type 1] need to take insulin in, which they do constantly."

People with type 1 diabetes must check their blood sugar levels constantly by pricking their fingers for blood and testing with a device called a glucometer. They must also deliver insulin into their bodies, through either shots or an insulin pump.

Having a trained dog like Eli soon will with Polar does not mean that a person with diabetes can stop monitoring their blood glucose levels, Ashton warns. It's incredibly important to remember that these dogs provide an added layer of protection, but it's still important to continue careful and diligent monitoring in case the dog ever does miss a sign.

Moreover, a medical alert dog can't deliver insulin or count carbohydrates. The person with diabetes still needs to do that work.

Matt Tarro, who has type 1 diabetes, brings his diabetic alert dog, Forrest, with him where ever he goes.

"It's a team," Tarro told GMA. "You need to have trust ... a great deal of trust with your partner."

Tarro said Forrest alerts him to changes around six times a day, indicating with his paw to tell him that he needs "to be mindful of what my blood glucose is right now."

Since he met Forrest two years ago, Tarro says he no longer feels alone in the fight.

"To have somebody with me all the time whose only job is to squeeze my arm when something's wrong," he said. "There's nothing better in the world."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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