4-year-old cancer survivor who was flower girl at donor’s wedding meets second donor

Mark Broadway Photography(GREENSBORO, N.C.) — In 2018, a toddler captured hearts around the globe after she walked down the aisle at the wedding of one of the people who saved her life.

Now, 4-year-old Skye Savren-McCormick just met her second bone marrow donor — one year after serving as the flower girl for Hayden Hatfield Ryals, 26, who was Skye’s first donor.

Thanks to Be The Match, Skye and her parents, Todd and Talia, met donor Ricky Currier, a 25-year-old resident application engineer from Greensboro, North Carolina.

“It was amazing,” mom Talia Savren-McCormick of Ventura, California, told “Good Morning America” of the meeting. “Because there are two people who saved her life, it had come to a complete circle. It felt very fulfilling.”

Skye was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia in March 2016, just before her first birthday. That same year, she had her first bone marrow transplant, from Ryals, and later, a vital infusion of cells. Skye’s final transplant was in April 2017 and from Currier.

On June 28, 2018, Talia Savren-McCormick told “GMA” that her daughter would have not made it to her second bone marrow transplant if it weren’t for Ryals and her selfless gift.

“She was that sick,” Savren-McCormick said at the time. “I feel like Hayden [Ryals] is such a huge success in why Skye was able to beat leukemia.”

Months after her transplant, Savren-McCormick and her husband, Todd, received a letter from Ryals, who reached out through Be the Match, the organization to which Ryals donated her bone marrow.

Ryals and the Savren-McCormicks exchanged texts and Facebook messages until Ryals sent Skye a gift for her third birthday. Inside the card was an invitation asking the toddler to be the flower girl at her June 9, 2018, wedding.

After Skye’s doctors gave her a clear bill of health, she and her parents made the trip to Alabama. At the wedding rehearsal, Skye and Ryals embraced for the very first time.

Today, Skye is two years cancer-free, and it’s all thanks to Ryals and Currier’s bone marrow donations.

In September 2018, Currier’s identity was released to the Savren-McCormick family, who reached out in hopes to thank him face-to-face.

Currier and his wife, Chelsea, met Skye and her parents in Santa Monica last week.

Currier said he donated bone marrow in 2017 at a drive in support of a family friend. However, he soon learned that he’d be helping out a 1-year-old girl with leukemia instead.

“I didn’t do anything special,” Currier told “GMA.” “I helped out like anyone should do. I don’t feel like I deserve a ‘thank you.'”

“From her being in the hospital to her progression now, it’s amazing to see,” he added.

Mom Talia Savren-McCormick said her family is forever grateful to both Ryals and Currier.

“Her heart beats because of you both,” she said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

WNBA star Candace Parker on the strong women who influenced her and the NBA Awards

Sports News WNBA star Candace Parker on the strong women who influenced her and the NBA Awards https://linewsradio.com/wnba-star-candace-parker-on-the-strong-women-who-influenced-her-and-the-nba-awards/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — WNBA star Candace Parker is outspoken about the women who have influenced not just on the court, but off it, too.

One of the most prominent of those influences was late college basketball coaching legend Pat Summitt, who Parker played under for four years at the University of Tennessee.

On Monday night at the 2019 NBA Awards, Parker will honor another strong woman, who was a dear friend of her role model Summit, with the 2019 Sager Strong Award. This award is given to “an individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace.”

That 2019 honoree and close friend is none other than “Good Morning America” co-anchor, Robin Roberts.

“For four years and beyond Coach Summitt spoke about Robin Roberts in the highest words that you could describe somebody,” Parker said. “To be able to present this award to her really means a lot to me and I know it would mean a lot to Coach Summitt.”

Being impacted by strong female role models

Since the WNBA wasn’t around for most of Parker’s childhood, she says looked up to athletes in other sports who showed her the type of athlete she wished to become.

“Women’s soccer, and even the Magnificent Seven gymnasts put women’s sports, for my generation, on the map,” Parker said. “It was really cool to go out and pretend you were Dominque Dawes or Dominque Moceanu or Mia Hamm.”

Now, Parker is quite the influential woman herself. The WNBA star has two NCAA championships, one WNBA championship and two Olympic gold medals under her belt.

Parker broke barriers as the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game and the first player to dunk multiple times in their WNBA career. On top of her success as a basketball player, she has now stepped into the booth as a commentator for ESPN.

While the list of Parker’s jobs and accomplishments is extensive, her purpose, she said, is being a mother to 10-year-old Lailaa.

Finding balance with basketball and motherhood

When Parker got pregnant shortly after she became a professional basketball player, she had the same concerns as many working moms. She worried that she would have to sacrifice one for the other, whether it giving up her love of basketball or giving up being a present mother.

That’s when, she said, Summitt stepped up to help her not only develop as an athlete, but as a mother.

“She basically showed me that you can have both. You can have a family and you can have a career and you can give to both,” Parker said. “That was huge for me, being able to see her do that as a role model.”

Parker said finding the balance came from realizing she needed both her love of basketball and love for her daughter for her own happiness.

“We’re better when we’re happy with ourselves,” Parker said. “Everybody has mom guilt. I feel so guilty when I leave my child. But she understands that in order to be the best mom to her I have to be happy. It’s OK to continue to make yourself happy.”

Working to raise a strong woman

While her views of happiness have changed since having Lailaa, so has her purpose. Parker said being a strong female athlete is now “greater than me.”

As Lailaa grows, Parker hopes to not only be a role model for her daughter herself, but surround her the same types influential women who helped her be the person she is today.

“My daughter has grown up around so many strong, independent, free-thinking women that I don’t think she understands the limitations that are put on her. She doesn’t feel them,” Parker said.

“I want her to keep this little sliver of innocence,” she continued. “If you didn’t feel that you couldn’t do something or someone was limiting you or putting you in a box, imagine the amount of things that you could do.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 24 Jun 2019

As America takes on Spain in World Cup, fans are already inspired

Sports News As America takes on Spain in World Cup, fans are already inspired https://linewsradio.com/as-america-takes-on-spain-in-world-cup-fans-are-already-inspired/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images(LE HAVRE, France) — As the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) gears up for its first game in the knockout round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Americans in France are super excited for the players.

“They’re really inspiring and, just — it’s [great] to see them play,” Leah Beaubien, an 11-year-old from Avondale Estates, Ga., told ABC News outside the stadium in Le Havre before last Thursday’s match against Sweden. “It makes me really happy, and you know, it’s just really inspiring.”

Her friend Ella Pearson, 12, from Decatur, Ga., agreed that it was “very exciting.”

“They’ve had some obstacles in their life, but they just had to face them and move on, and I just think that’s really inspiring to all of us and to fans,” Leah explained.

The USWNT has been making an historic run in this World Cup, which started with a record-breaking win over Thailand.

The team’s push for the cup continues Monday with a match against Spain at noon E.T. Now that they’re in the knockout stage, the defending world champions face elimination with each game until the end of the tournament.

Meanwhile, scores of Americans have flooded France to watch the athletes. Parents are bringing their kids, some of whom are soccer players themselves.

“Any time I watch each one of them play, it comes out in my own game,” said Finley Scott, 12, of Illinois, explaining how she’ll mimic Julie Ertz or Alex Morgan to get around defenders to score.

Plus, her friend Lucy Corley, also 12, added, “If something bad happens, they’re also really good role models. It teaches us good things [about] how to play the sport.”

“They inspire us to dream big and stuff,” said 11-year-old Sole Corley.

Like many American fans out to see the matches in France, Lucy and Finley are not just invested in the USWNT’s on-field play; they’re also following the women’s fight for gender equity. They had with them a sign reading “better play, equal pay” although World Cup security bars signs in the stadium, so they had to leave it in the car.

The women are teaching them, Lucy said, “if you want something to fight for it.”

Over the weekend, a spokesperson from U.S. Soccer confirmed to ABC News that the USWNT and the U.S. Soccer Federation tentatively agreed to mediation in the gender discrimination lawsuit 2015 team members filed in March.

“The women are paid under a different structure than the men, which they preferred and specifically negotiated for, but that doesn’t mean they are compensated less by U.S. Soccer,” a U.S. Soccer spokesperson told ABC News. “We will readily admit that FIFA pays more prize money out to the Men’s World Cup than the Women’s World Cup, and we support FIFA increasing prize money for the Women’s World Cup, even beyond the fact the prize money was doubled for 2019.”

Although there are differences in the men’s and women’s contracts, many of the fans in France see equal pay as a simple answer.

“They’re working just as hard; they’re having more success. They deserve at least equal pay,” said Jon Chambers, who came to France from the Bay Area along with his wife and their two teenage sons.

Regardless how the lawsuit goes, fans know this tournament will have a lasting impact.

“I think it’s great for girls,” said Lisa Little of Austin, Texas. “I think it’s great for them to see how powerful these girls can be and how they work so hard to be successful. I think they’re a great influence for younger girls.”

For Sue Holliday and her daughter, Rebecca Holiday, 22, coming to the World Cup together is fulfilling a “dream” for Rebecca, who grew up playing soccer and following the team. The trip is even sweeter as she’s about to graduate college.

“Our whole family loves soccer and this is a trip of a lifetime and spending it with Rebecca was priceless,” Sue Holiday told ABC News.

Monday’s match against Spain will be broadcast on FS1 and Telemundo.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 24 Jun 2019

Told she was too overweight to get pregnant, woman undergoes bariatric surgery

ake1150sb/iStock(NEW YORK) — One woman’s story is putting a spotlight on the discrimination women who are overweight may face when trying to get pregnant.

After trying to get pregnant for four years, Gina Balzano, of Massachusetts, said she was told by doctors it would not happen because of her weight, which at the time was over 300 pounds.

“I couldn’t conceive because I was, you know, very heavy, very, very fat,” Balzano told Good Morning America.

Balzano and her husband looked into in vitro fertilization (IVF) after failing to get pregnant naturally, but she said multiple fertility doctors declined to help her because of her weight. Balzano said they offered no other explanation and said her blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal.

“I heard all those negative comments from the first two physicians,” she said. “I just had to change my body.”

Balzano chose to undergo bariatric surgery in order to lose weight. Even after the surgery, though, she was still unable to get pregnant.

Her journey finally led her to a new facility and a new doctor who opted to try an intrauterine insemination (IUI), a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to help with fertilization.

Balzano became pregnant with the IUI and gave birth to her son, Logan, last year.

Her long and emotional road to becoming a parent was first chronicled by The New York Times in a story titled “When You’re Too Fat to Get Pregnant.”

“The message that we need to get out there is you can have a healthy pregnancy at any weight,” the author of The New York Times piece, Virginia Cole-Smith, told GMA.

Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OBGYN and women’s health expert, said Balzano’s story is “not unique.”

“That’s unfortunate,” said Shepherd, who was not involved in Balzano’s treatment. “When we look at a physician and a patient relationship, the real heart of the matter is the emotional aspect of it.”

“For anyone who walks in with a health condition, or for infertility in this matter, you want to walk away and that patient wants to feel empowered and motivated to do the things that they need to do and that’s not how they felt,” she added.

Shepherd said any patient should be empowered to get a second opinion. She also urges women trying to get pregnant to look at their health in a more holistic way.

“We want them to be overall healthy and not to focus on things that are going to make them feel defeated such as doing fad diets,” she said. “We want them to look at it from a mind-body connection and what are they really doing to take in the fact that, ‘I have infertility and I need to lose weight.'”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Missouri’s only abortion clinic allowed to continue providing under judge’s new order

Andrei Stanescu/iStock(ST. LOUIS) — The lone abortion clinic in Missouri just received permission from a court to continue practicing even though the state’s health department refused to reissue their license.

A circuit court judge announced Monday that the preliminary injunction that allowed the Planned Parenthood clinic to keep performing abortions after their license was not initially renewed has now been extended another week.

Judge Michael Stelzer said the extra week would allow for an administrative panel to evaluate the dispute between the clinic and the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

On Friday, the DHSS announced that they were denying the license that would allow Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region to continue to provide abortions.

The denial of the license didn’t change anything at the clinic, however, as the final decision lands in the hands of the court. Monday’s extended restraining order pushes a more permanent decision down the line another week.

On Friday, Randall Williams, the director of DHSS, said the decision to deny their health department license was based on the fact that of 30 deficiencies found in the department’s review of the clinic, only four have since been addressed by Planned Parenthood.

He did not list all 30 deficiencies, but gave reported examples that included an instance where the doctor who performed the pre-operative review of the patient was not the one to perform the surgery itself, which goes against state laws. He also gave reported examples of two patients who had failed abortions and had to have multiple procedures.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Woman hospitalized after being hit by foul ball at Dodgers game

Sports News Woman hospitalized after being hit by foul ball at Dodgers game https://linewsradio.com/woman-hospitalized-after-being-hit-by-foul-ball-at-dodgers-game/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

cmannphoto/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — A baseball fan was hospitalized Sunday after being struck by a foul ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger.

The incident happened at Dodger Stadium during the first inning of the Dodgers’ game against the Colorado Rockies. The woman who was hit by the line drive was seated four rows from the field, just outside the protective netting.

After being struck by the ball, the woman was immediately treated in the stands but she was later transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

Sunday’s incident comes just one month after a little girl was struck by a foul ball at a Chicago Cubs game, raising the question whether Major League Baseball is doing enough to protect its fans.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 24 Jun 2019

Could this wearable UV tracker help protect your skin from the sun?

La Roche-Posay(NEW YORK) — As we head into summer, a lot of us are starting to think about protecting our skin, but is applying sunscreen enough?

About 96,480 people are expected to be diagnosed and 7,230 will die of melanoma this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Sun protection has gone high-tech as a number of wearables and apps designed to track exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays have come onto the market.

La Roche-Posay launched the first battery-free wearable sun safety sensor in the United States in January. The My Skin Track UV sensor is a little larger than a quarter and tracks your skin’s UV exposure.

ABC News’ Good Morning America spoke to leading dermatologists to see how the device works. Here’s what they had to say:

The basics

The My Skin Track UV clip can attach to your shirt, necklace or bag and connects to a smartphone app to show you real-time UV, pollen and pollution levels. It is activated by the sun and waterproof.

The app will let you know when you are close to reaching your “UV max” for the day, which is a recommended maximum daily allowance of UV that varies by person and is based on your skin tone and the UV index.

This device is for everyone and it adapts to different skin types, tones and concerns.

While the device itself won’t protect your skin, the company calls it a “problem-solving technology” designed to help make “it easier for people to make smart, sun-safe choices” with the information it provides.

Does it work?

Dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe tried the device for herself.

“The My Skin Track UV was really eye opening, even for me,” Bowe told Good Morning America. “Protecting our skin from UV rays is really paramount but a lot of people really have a false sense of security when it’s a cold cloudy day.”

Bowe used the device for a week this past winter. During an hour-long run outdoors, she said she had already gotten half of her daily UV exposure allowance, according to the device.

“UVA [rays] actually penetrate through clouds and window glass,” Bowe said.

UVA rays age skin cells and damage their DNA. They’re linked to long-term skin damage like wrinkles but are also thought to play a role in the development of skin cancer, particularly in tanning beds, according to the American Cancer Society. UVB rays are the rays believed to cause most skin cancers, as they are stronger in energy and can directly damage DNA in skin cells.

When to use it

You don’t have to wear the device every day — although that might be best — but a critical time to wear it is when the weather is changing, Bowe said.

Knowing your UV max is important because once you reach it, your skin becomes more vulnerable to skin cancer and aging, Bowe said.

“Having the awareness,” she said, “and being able to get real-time feedback regarding how much sun exposure you’re getting is really helpful when it comes to making lifestyle changes and changing your daily habits.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.