Bengals-Steelers square up in AFC North matchup

Oct 19, 2017 4

The Cincinnati Bengals travel to Pittsburgh in Week 7 of the NFL season to take on the AFC North rival Steelers.

The Steelers (4-2) lead the AFC North and are coming off a huge win on the road over the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals (2-3) arrive in Pittsburgh coming off their bye week, which allowed the team to recharge, get healthy and prepare to get back in the AFC playoff picture after starting the season 0-3.

The game showcases two of the best defenses in the NFL and two of the most prolific wide receivers.

The Bengals have won their last two games, and the change to Bill Lazor as the offensive coordinator has brought life back to an offense that was stagnant early in the year. Quarterback Andy Dalton has played the best football of his career the past three games and has a passer rating of 116.2 over that stretch.

Wide receiver A.J. Green has been the beneficiary of most of those passes and will look to do so against a passing defense that is the best in the NFL. The Steelers allow only 153.5 yards a game through the air and the secondary has yielded only one pass of more than 40 yards through six games.

Green historically has been good against Pittsburgh. In the 11 regular-season games against the Steelers, Green has four 100-plus yard receiving games and 71 total receptions. He also has six career touchdown receptions against Pittsburgh. Green enters the game second in the NFL with 504 yards and also is second in average yards per game at 100.8.

Coming off the bye week should allow 2017 first-round draft pick, wide receiver John Ross, to get more playing time for the Bengals. This should give Green more space to roam in the Steelers’ secondary. Ross has been injured most of the season with a knee issue and hasn’t played since the Houston Texans game on Sept. 14.

“It just feels good,” Ross said. “It felt really good. I feel fast. I always feel fast. I got out there and had a chance to run. I think the bye week helped a lot. Not just for me, but for everyone. I got a chance to really recover and heal up well and it felt good today.”

Green’s counterpart on the Steelers, Antonio Brown, enters the game as the best wide receiver in the NFL with 700 yards receiving on 48 receptions. Brown also leads the league with 11 catches over 20 yards. But sledding will not be that easy for Pittsburgh’s offense against one of the best defenses in the NFL.

Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has his troops playing inspired football. The Bengals head to Pittsburgh with a defense that is ranked in the top three in the NFL in sacks (18), yards allowed (262.8) and points allowed (16.6).

For the Bengals to win on the road, Lazor will need to find a way to get the running game rolling. Cincinnati averages only 3.2 yards a rush and has only scored one rushing touchdown this season. Rookie Joe Mixon is the only Bengals player with over 100 yards rushing and he stands at 187 yards through five games. That’s a paltry 37.4 yards a contest.

The one weakness in a solid Steelers defense is their ability to stop the run. They are 23rd in the NFL, allowing 118.5 yards to their opponents. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler did put together a successful game plan in Week 6 that limited Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt, the NFL’s leading rusher, to just 21 yards on nine carries.

Conversely, Pittsburgh’s run game is starting to hit full stride. Running back Le’Veon Bell got off to a very slow start to the season after holding out in the preseason. Bell enters the Bengals game with 550 yards and averaging 4.1 yards a rush. Of note is that 350 of those yards and three of those scores have come in the past three games.

Cincinnati has allowed 103.2 yards rushing per game, which ranks 14th in the NFL. Historically, the Bengals have stymied Bell and the Steelers’ rushing attack. Bell has faced the Cincinnati defense five times in his career and he has 400 career rushing yards with three touchdowns.

Jets look to sweep the Dolphins

Oct 19, 2017 7

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Miami Dolphins are coming off their most impressive victory.

The New York Jets are coming off their most impressive defeat.

On Sunday, these AFC East rivals will meet at Hard Rock Stadium as the Dolphins (3-2) seek to avenge a 20-6 loss to the Jets (3-3) in Week 3.

That loss, at the time, was viewed as a humiliating outcome for Miami since the Jets were expected to be so bad that some media members speculated they would tank this season in order to get a possible No. 1 overall draft pick for 2018.

But New York completely shut down the Dolphins that day, allowing only a meaningless touchdown on the final play.

Instead of tanking, the Jets went on a three-game winning streak. That run was snapped Sunday, but host New York may have earned more respect with a 24-17 loss to the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots than in any of its three wins.

The Jets led 14-0 and had a touchdown pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins overturned on video replay. Instead of a touchdown, it was ruled a fumble and a touchback even though the ball never hit the ground.

“I think the whole stadium felt (the call) was wrong,” Jets safety Jamal Adams told the media in New York.

While the Jets were earning their respect, the Dolphins — who made the playoffs last year and were supposed to be serious contenders this season — were trying to find out what happened to their offense.

They fell behind the Atlanta Falcons 17-0 at halftime this past Sunday. That continued a sad trend for Miami — just one non-garbage-time touchdown for the offense in its past 15 quarters.

Shockingly, though, the offense scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and the Dolphins upset the reigning NFC champion Falcons 20-17.

“I don’t think anyone outside our locker room gave us a chance,” Miami rookie cornerback Cordrea Tankersley said.

He’s right about that, and with good reason — the Dolphins’ offense had been awful all season until Sunday’s third quarter, when Jay Cutler threw touchdown passes to Kenny Stills and Jarvis Landry.

And all of that leads us to Sunday, where the Dolphins are slight favorites by virtue of being the home team. What that indicates is the Jets are not as bad as most thought and the Dolphins are not as good.

Injuries, as usual, could be a factor.

Bilal Powell, who is New York’s best running back, missed the Patriots game because of a calf injury and is questionable for Miami. He was back at practice Wednesday, giving him a shot to play Sunday.

Muhammad Wilkerson, New York’s best defensive lineman, is questionable due to toe and shoulder injuries. The Jets need him healthy because they have just seven sacks this season as a team — zero from the defensive linemen.

For the Dolphins, center Mike Pouncey missed the second half of the Falcons game due to a concussion and is likely out against New York. That is a huge loss for Miami — Pouncey is an All-Pro blocker and the team’s best offensive lineman.

Wide receiver DeVante Parker, who is arguably Miami’s best red-zone target, missed the Falcons game due to an ankle injury and is also unlikely to face the Jets.

With Parker out, Landry caught eight passes for 62 yards against Atlanta. He was targeted 14 times, nine times more than any of his teammates.

Guarding Landry will certainly be a focus for the Jets, who will try to engineer a season sweep over the Dolphins on Sunday.

The Jets will make that effort with a quarterback, Josh McCown, who has won more than three games in a season just once in a 16-year career.

McCown is 3-3 so far this season, halfway toward his career-best win total, set in 2004 when he went 6-7 with the Arizona Cardinals.

How surprising have the Jets been so far?

Take Jeremy Kerley — no one else in the league wanted him when he was cut by the San Francisco 49ers (0-6) on Sept. 2. It was the second time Kerley had been released by an NFL team — the Jets also cut him in 2016.

Yet, despite all that rejection, Kerley has caught nearly everything thrown his way this season — and that is not hyperbole. Of 20 passes thrown in his direction, he has caught 19 for 193 yards and one touchdown.

The Jets’ leading receiver is Jermaine Kearse (26 catches, 299 yards, three touchdowns), who arrived in New York in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks that occurred just days before the start of the season.

New York’s second-leading receiver is Seferian-Jenkins, who has 23 catches and two touchdowns. He missed the first two games after pleading guilty to driving under the influence.

Both Kearse and Seferian-Jenkins have found new homes with the Jets, who are one game out of first place in the AFC East and just a half-game behind Miami.

“Not a lot of people know about our team,” Kearse told the media in New York. “But we’re coming together. We fight and compete for each other.”

California doctor hops on motorcycle to help evacuate babies during wildfires

Oct 19, 2017 9

The colleagues of a California doctor have been calling him James Dean after he hopped on his motorcycle to help evacuate eight premature babies from a NICU as wildfires threatened the hospital. Dr. Scott Witt, who is the director of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital’s neonatal ICU, initially set out in his truck on Oct. 8, but had to turn back when the flames spread to the highway and traffic began backing up, KTVU reported.

“I got a call at 2 a.m. basically saying that there was some fire encroaching on the hospital so we might have to evacuate,” Witt, whose own family evacuated their Fountaingrove home, told KTVU. “I left in my truck but couldn’t get very far because the freeway at that time had flames going across it.”

MOM PENS TOUCHING THANK YOU POST TO DAUGHTER’S NURSES

Witt swapped out his truck for his motorcycle, and for four miles rode through the shoulder on gravel while dodging debris and strong winds, the news outlet reported. He arrived in time to help medical teams prepare the babies for a transfer to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, and followed the ambulances carrying his patients for the six mile journey.

“There were downed power lines that were live that we rolled over,” Witt told KTVU.

Witt’s home was destroyed in the fire, but his wife said she is grateful he was able to provide care to the babies.

“If my baby was in the hospital, I mean, I’m a little biased, but I would totally want them to be in some hands like Scott’s,” Megan Witt told KTVU. 

Super Bowl Rematch: Patriots host Falcons

Oct 19, 2017 9

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The T-shirts can be seen all over New England.

Shirt and sweet: NE 3, ATL 28.

That was the score in the third quarter of last season’s Super Bowl — before the New England Patriots pulled off the greatest comeback in the history of the game and left the Atlanta Falcons and their fans stunned with a 34-28 result that produced the fifth championship of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era.

On Sunday night, the 2017 versions of the teams meet at Gillette Stadium.

“We’ve been given really highly strict rules that we are not allowed to talk about that game, so you’re not really going to get any information from anyone about that, so I’m just looking forward to this week,” New England’s Rob Gronkowski said Wednesday. “They look good on film. They’re a fast team, a physical team, and it’s going to be a tough game coming this Sunday night.”

Atlanta center Alex Mack said Wednesday, “I think you’d look at the Super Bowl just because that’s the last time you looked at the opponent and it’s valuable because it’s their scheme versus our scheme. You can learn from what we did well, what they did well.

“Also, it’s a new year and you’ve got to look at the newest tape. I will definitely watch the Super Bowl again, and I will watch their latest games just to see who’s on their team now, how are they playing, what are they doing. What works? What doesn’t work?”

Both teams have had their problems leading up to the rematch.

The Patriots (4-2) had to rally from 14 points down to beat the New York Jets in New Jersey last week. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and his Falcons were dropping their second straight to fall to 3-2, losing both at home, both against the AFC East teams.

Atlanta was outscored a combined 36-7 in the second half by the Buffalo Bills and the Dolphins, including 20-0 by Miami last week.

The Falcons changed offensive coordinators since last season, but the early results under Steve Sarkisian haven’t been great.

“I think that it’s a very impressive group,” New England coach Bill Belichick told the Atlanta media on a conference call Wednesday. “They have a lot of talent. They’re strong at every position. The offensive line is good. The quarterback is good. The running backs are good. Tight ends, receivers — they have a lot of explosive players and they’re very well-coached.

“They do a great job there. They’re a big challenge to stop. We’re going to have to do a lot of things well to be competitive this week.”

Looking at the other side of the ball, the Patriots struggled to keep Brady upright — until last week. The Jets didn’t get to the quarterback, and the Falcons come into this game tied for 21st in the league with 12 sacks.

The Super Bowl win was New England’s fifth straight victory over the Falcons, all since the last Atlanta win in 1998.

What works for the Patriots is Brady having Gronkowski at his disposal. While it’s true New England went 12-0 (including playoffs) without the star tight end last season, the Patriots are a better team with Gronkowski on the field — especially after losing key receiver Julian Edelman for the season with a knee injury.

“He’s a big focal point in our offense,” Brady told the Atlanta media via conference call. “I mean, I think when he gets going, it’s great for everybody, so it’s been great having him in there this year. He’s worked really hard, and he’s a great player. I love playing with him. We’ve got a great rapport, and hopefully we can put together a good game plan this week.”

It was back at the start of camp that Edelman called speculation of a 19-0 Patriots run “stupid” before he was lost during the preseason. His team had to come from behind to beat the Jets and reclaim its deeded spot atop the AFC East.

“I feel like they’ve still got the same kind of guys, you know, guys that are fast and quicker like (Brandin) Cooks, and a big target like Gronk,” Falcons linebacker Deion Jones said. “I feel like they use them pretty well.”

Gronkowski caught six passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets, and Cooks had six receptions for 93 yards.

Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin), who both missed last week’s game, did not practice on Wednesday.

Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant is still dealing with a back issue.

Man's artificial hip infected with 'rabbit fever'

Oct 19, 2017 11

A severe pain in one man’s artificial hip joint turned out to be caused by an extremely rare bacterial infection, according to a new report of the man’s case. But doctors are still puzzled as to how the man got the infection in the first place.

The 77-year-old man’s right artificial hip joint was infected with the bacterium Francisella tularensis, which is responsible for a disease called tularemia, according to the case report, published Oct. 11 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Tularemia is also known as “rabbit fever” or “deer fly fever,” because the bacterium can be spread by handling an infected rabbit or being bitten by a deer fly. It can also be spread by tick bites. But in the man’s case, it’s not entirely clear how he picked up the infection. 

“We did not find any ticks attached to his skin, although it’s possible he may have had a tick bite or exposure in another form,” said lead author Dr. Harsh Rawal, an internal medicine resident at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. Rawal was one of the doctors who treated the man.

MOM PENS TOUCHING THANK YOU POST TO DAUGHTER’S NURSES

The man didn’t remember being bitten by a tick, and he had no pets that may have carried one into his home, according to the report. He also had no contact with any animals that could have transmitted the infection to him.

The man did tell the doctors that he had been a hunter about 50 years ago — some people may get the disease by handling or skinning infected rabbits, muskrats, prairie dogs and other rodents, according to the CDC — but, given his long absence from hunting, this wouldn’t explain how he acquired the infection five decades later.

A pain in the hip

After having severe pain in his right hip for about a week, the man went to the emergency room, according to the report. At the time, he said he was concerned because 25 years earlier, he had a total hip replacement done on this hip and an artificial hip joint was inserted.

His doctors decided he needed surgery to repair his artificial hip joint and drain fluid from the area, but they found no evidence of any infection.

But one week after leaving the hospital, the man returned to the emergency room with right hip pain and a fever of 100.6 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It was then that the doctors noticed a bulbous skin lesion on one of his shins, according to the report, so they sent the man for blood tests and lab cultures once again.

This time, the tests revealed that the man was infected with F. tularensis.

More on this…

Although he had lacked many of the usual symptoms of tularemia — such as swollen  lymph nodes, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing or eye irritation — the skin lesion on his shin was a telltale sign of the most common form of the disease, called ulceroglandular tularemia. In this form, people develop a skin ulcer where the bacteria enter the body, and lymph nodes near the ulcer become swollen.

The skin lesion had been present on the man’s leg for almost a year before his hip joint became infected, Rawal told Live Science.

Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location the organism may have entered the man’s body, Rawal said he suspects it was probably the area where the skin lesion developed. No other joints besides the artificial hip joint became infected, he said.

A very uncommon infection

An infection with this type of bacteria in an artificial joint is very uncommon, Rawal said. In fact, this is only the second reported case in the medical literature of a prosthetic joint becoming infected with F. tularensis, the case report authors wrote. 

And bacterial infections in artificial hip joints in general rarely, if ever, occur, Rawal said. When they do occur, the likely culprits are the organisms Staphylococcus aureus, which gives rise to MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections, or streptococcus or pseudomonas species, he said.

The man did not want to have another surgery to remove his infected prosthetic joint, Rawal said. Instead, he took oral antibiotics for about a year to treat the infection.

Fortunately, the treatment worked: His skin lesion healed, his hip pain went away and he had no further symptoms of the bacterial infection.

Originally published on Live Science.

Restaurant owner proudly defends serving Popeye's chicken on her menu

Oct 19, 2017 4

iStock/Thinkstock(LONG BEACH, Calif.) — After a Yelp reviewer slammed a southern California restaurant for its use of food from a popular fast food chain, the owner embraced the criticism and hailed the pre-made product.

Kimberly Sanchez, the owner of Sweet Dixie Kitchen in Long Beach, California, defended her choice, saying she proudly serves fried chicken from Popeye’s for the restaurant’s chicken and waffles brunch dish.

Yelp user Tyler H said he inquired about the dish after seeing a waiter bring “two large boxes of Popeye’s to the kitchen.”

“I wanted to believe that this was just a snack for the workers, but alas it was not. I ordered the chicken and waffles to see whether or not they were serving Popeye’s to their customers. I thought the chicken tasted suspiciously like Popeye’s,” Tyler wrote in the review.

He went on, “I kindly asked our waiter how they cooked their fried chicken. After checking, he admitted that they do in fact use Popeye’s.”

Tyler H added that his meal was comped by the restaurant.

Sanchez responded to the criticism in her own Yelp post.

“I am owning this,” Sanchez told ABC News’ Nick Watt in an interview that aired on “GMA.” “I love their chicken. It’s the best I’ve ever had.”

Sanchez told ABC News Los Angeles station KABC that she previously reached out to Popeye’s for approval but has not heard back.

As for the allegation that she tried to trick customers with the fried chicken, Sanchez said, “Honey, I carried it through the front door.”

Customers DeSean Bailey and Stephanie Stephens don’t seem to mind. They told ABC News they love the chicken and waffles dish.

Popeye’s did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Once-a-month shot for opioid addiction works as well as daily medication, study finds

Oct 19, 2017 9

A once-a-month shot to treat opioid addiction was as effective in maintaining short-term abstinence from heroin and similar drugs as a more commonly prescribed daily treatment, according to a Norwegian study released Wednesday.

The study is believed to be the first to directly compare Vivitrol — administered as a monthly shot — with a combination drug treatment sold under the brand name Suboxone. In the U.S. and many other countries, Suboxone or methadone have been the standard medical treatment for people with an opioid use disorder.

Researchers in Norway found the two treatments were similar in terms of safety and efficacy in helping opioid-dependent people refrain from illicit drug use during a three-month period.

The results may provide a boost to Vivitrol manufacturer Alkermes Inc., which has been aggressively promoting the medication following its 2010 approval as a treatment for opioid-dependence relapse.

Many addiction specialists, however, are waiting for more research before considering Vivitrol as a treatment option. A larger study comparing Vivitrol and Suboxone, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is expected to be released in December. That study also tracks subjects for a longer period of time. Several other studies are also underway.

The two treatments work in different ways. Vivitrol, which is a version of the drug naltrexone, blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids. Suboxone is an opioid — comprised of buprenorphine and a small amount of naloxone — that produces less of an euphoric effect than other opioids like heroin. Suboxone and methadone have been well-studied and shown to be effective in keeping people in treatment and reducing illicit opioid use.

More on this…

The federal government has called for expanded access to medications for treating opioid abuse. Most inpatient treatment facilities in the U.S. remain abstinence-based, despite high relapse rates associated with that approach.

“The message is that there are two ways into rehabilitation of opioid- or heroin-dependent individuals,” said one of the study authors, Dr. Lars Tanum of the Norwegian Center for Addiction Research. “You can keep them on low-harm opioids or give them opioid-blocking treatment.”

Some people are opposed to the use of Suboxone and methadone because they are themselves opioids — and in most cases, must be taken daily.

People taking these medications can function at a high level and are not considered addicted. But Tanum said in some countries, including Norway, people using Suboxone as a treatment for opioid dependence are barred from certain jobs, such as operating heavy machinery, or driving a car.

In the U.S., Alkermes has heavily marketed Vivitrol to drug court judges and prison officials. Some in law enforcement favor the use of Vivitrol because of the fact it is not an opioid and given monthly. Others have been critical of that approach, saying it unfairly stigmatizes the effective use of Suboxone and methadone in treating people with opioid use disorders. In June, the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed records from Alkermes related to Vivitrol.

The Norwegian study randomly split 159 patients into two groups, one receiving Vivitrol and the other Suboxone. The study participants knew which treatment they were receiving, which can bias results. The researchers reported patients in both groups stayed in the study for similar lengths of time — a little over two months, on average. About a third of the patients dropped out of the study. There was little difference between the two groups in the number of patients testing positive for illicit drug use during the study.

The authors reported no corporate funding of the study, or payments to researchersbut noted Alkermes was allowed to comment on the manuscript before it was submitted for publication. Alkermes also provided the Vivitrol used in the study. Tanum said the comments from the company were limited to technical aspects of the drug, including making sure the approved indication for Vivitrol was stated correctly.

Mom pens touching thank you post to daughter's nurses

Oct 19, 2017 11

A mother’s thank you note to the pediatric nurses caring for her 2-year-old daughter who is battling cancer has gone viral, receiving more than 51,000 reactions and nearly 28,000 shares since it was posted earlier this month.

Shelby Skiles, whose daughter Sophie was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in May, said she felt moved to thank the ambulance drivers, the nurses and the technicians who go beyond providing basic care to patients, and aim to make their stay a little easier.

“Dear Peds Nurses, (And incredible nurse techs!),” Skiles began her Oct. 3 post on the “Sophie The Brave” Facebook page. “I see you. I sit on this couch all day long and, I see you. You try so hard to be unnoticed by me and my child. I see your face drop a little when she sees you and cries. You try so many ways to ease her fears and win her over. I see you hesitate to stick her or pull bandaids (SIC) off. You say ‘No owies’ and ‘I’m sorry’ more times in one day than most people say ‘thank you.’”

INSURER ALLEGEDLY SENDS COVERAGE DENIAL LETTER TO 9-MONTH-OLD WITH BRAIN CANCER

Sophie, who had a softball-sized mass in her chest at the time of diagnosis, has been receiving treatment at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

“I see all of those rubber bracelets on your arms and wrapped around your stethoscope, each one for a child that you’ve cared for and loved,” Skiles wrote to the nurses. “I see you carrying arm loads of medicine and supplies into one child’s room all while your phone is ringing in your pocket from the room of another. I see you put on gloves and a mask and try not to make too much noise at night. I see you sorting piles of beads so you can give them to your patient to add to their ever growing milestone necklace. I see you stroke her little bald head and tuck her covers around her tightly. I see you holding the crying mom that got bad news. I see you trying to chart on the computer while holding the baby whose mom can’t-or won’t be at the hospital with her.”

“You put aside what’s happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and something’s (SIC) dying children. You go into each room with a smile no matter what’s happening in there,” she wrote. “You see Sophie’s name on the schedule and come to check on us even when she isn’t your patient. You call the doctor, blood bank, and pharmacy as many times as necessary to get my child what she needs in a timely manner. You check on me as often as you check on her. You sit and listen to me ramble for 10 minutes even though your phone is buzzing and your to do list is a mile long.”

Skiles went on to highlight scenes she’s witnessed from around the oncology floor, including nurses decorating new patient’s windows, Nerf gun fights with patients, crying over particularly hard cases and cheering on kids taking victory laps.

“I see you. We all see you. No amount of snack baskets or cards can fully express how appreciated you are,” Skiles wrote. “You are Jesus to us every single day. Our children wouldn’t get what they need without you. Moms like me wouldn’t feel sane or heard without you. You save our babies and we couldn’t’ do this without you.”

While Sophie’s treatment plan includes a stem cell transplant at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, subsequent updates on the Facebook support page have detailed that her body is too week to handle the procedure for now. Skiles wrote that the plan is to keep her in therapy and to focus on regaining strength in her throat and vocal chords before the transplant, which is temporarily slated for mid-November. 

Skiles started a blog after her post attracted a legion of followers, and a GoFundMe page was set up on the family’s behalf to help cover costs associated with Sophie’s car. 

Insurer allegedly sends coverage denial letter to 9-month-old with brain cancer

Oct 19, 2017 13

The 9-month-old son of a retired NYPD officer allegedly received a letter from the family’s insurance company recently, explaining that the clinical trial he was enrolled in to treat aggressive brain cancer was “not medically necessary,” and therefore would not be covered by the provider.

The family’s plight began two months ago when Connor Richardson, then 7 months old, was diagnosed with a teratoid rhabdoid tumor, The Daily Beast reported. He underwent two major surgeries at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York to remove the tumor, but follow up exams at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis discovered the tumor had returned and the cancer spread to his spine.

While St. Jude provides free care to its patients, Richardson’s father, Wayne, told The Daily Beast that they were shocked to receive a letter from HIP health insurance dated Oct. 11 and addressed to their baby. Wayne said the first thing he noticed at the top of the alleged letter were the notes “Type of Review: Prospective” and “Type of Denial: Medical Necessity.”

WOMAN WHOSE BRAIN IS ‘DROPPING’ OUT OF SKULL FUNDRAISING FOR LIFE-SAVING SURGERY

 “The principal investigator has requested medications including methotrexate, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine in combination with an investigational medication, alisertib,” the alleged letter purportedly said. “This combination of medications is not the standard of care for this type of cancer, and is considered experimental and investigational at this time, as evidence-based guidelines do not exist to confirm its effectiveness for his brain tumor. Therefore, this request for clinical trial treatment at St. Jude’s hospital is not medically necessary and is denied.”

Wayne told The Daily Beast that while as a parent, you don’t care what it costs to heal your child, the concern is that the insurers are denying payment to a hospital that focuses on children’s research. He plans to contest the denial, and said without the treatment, Connor would die.

“You’re taking away from them and their research … because the insurance doesn’t want to pay,” he told The Daily Beast.

Connor has been receiving treatment at St. Jude’s since the end of September. A GoFundMe page has been keeping supporters updated on his progress. 

Breakup retreat turns healing from heartbreak into a business

Oct 19, 2017 9

ABC News(NEW YORK) — While many deal with a breakup by eating large amounts of ice cream, those with some extra cash to spend may opt to visit a post-breakup retreat to find healing after a romance ends.

Amy Chan, a relationship columnist, founded the Renew Breakup Bootcamp in upstate New York following her own difficult breakup. She now holds weekend-long retreats that can cost upwards of $1,700, but promises healing for the heartbroken.

“Five years ago … I was dating someone that I thought was going to marry,” Chan told ABC News. “When that relationship fell apart abruptly, I completely fell apart.”

“I tried everything to get better,” she added. “I realized that there needs to be something to help people who are going through this very pivotal stage in their life.”

The program aims to help those suffering from a breakup to move on, and includes sessions lead by a neuroscientist, a psychologist, a life coach and various other activities that are supposed to equip attendees to “detach from the past,” according to the camp’s website.

One attendee, Puneet Grewal, 36, from Vancouver, Canada, told ABC News that she was in an on-and-off relationship for seven years before winding up at the Renew Breakup Bootcamp.

Even five years after the breakup, Grewal said she is still reeling, and has not found a way to move on.

“I find myself still having, you know, painful moments that I wish that I could deal with better,” Grewal said. “And I haven’t found love.”

Grewal signed up for the “Intense Love Life Reboot,” which takes place at a farm in upstate New York. Attendees are asked to disconnect from their digital devices and take part in therapy, yoga and meditation sessions. The camp even features alpaca petting.

The three-day experience was eye-opening, according to Grewal. She said she was left filled with a renewed hope. Grewal added that she is learning to let go of her fear, and even open up her heart up to romance again.

“I think I’m definitely open and ready to find love again,” Grewal said. “I have that confidence. So I’m definitely going to pick a different type of love and the love that I deserve.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.