This restaurant’s ‘labor inducer’ burger has pregnant women running to its doors

iStock(EXCELSIOR, Minn.) — As many as five women per day are visiting a Minnesota restaurant that has on its menu a cheeseburger named the “Labor Inducer,” according to the restaurant’s co-owner Kelsey Quarberg.

Quarberg, who owns The Suburban in Excelsior, Minnesota with her mom and sister, is the reason the bacon and cheese-topped burger got its name.

She was just over one week away from her due date with her first child last April when she and her mom and sister were sampling sliders made for an upcoming local burger competition.

Quarberg liked this particular burger so much she asked the chef to make her a regular-size version.

“That was literally the last thing I did before I went into labor,” said Quarberg, who finished eating the burger around 8 p.m. and started feeling contractions around 2 a.m.

Quarberg gave birth to her son Sam on April 10th and the burger — an Angus beef patty topped with honey-cured bacon, American cheese, peach caramelized onions, spicy Bavarian mustard and spicy Cajun remoulade on a butter-and-salt-flavored pretzel bun — got its name.

“We knew that was the burger we wanted for the burger battle because it was the most delicious and we were trying to name it,” Quarberg told “Good Morning America.” “We were thinking of German names because of the mustard on it and we kept just coming back to this funny idea of it being the ‘Labor Inducer’ so we kept it.”

Quarberg and her family saw it as a funny coincidence that she had gone into labor so soon after eating the burger until the end of July when Katy Engler came into the restaurant with her husband and their newborn daughter Elise.

Engler, also a first-time mom, went into labor with Elise in mid-July just after eating the Labor Inducer at The Suburban. She and her husband went to the restaurant for the first time on her due date, July 12th.

“When we walked in they had a sign about [the burger] and it felt like a sign from the universe,” she said. “I had no idea they would have that there.”

Engler had gone to her 40-week doctor’s visit the day before and was told she showed no signs of labor. Since her doctor would not induce until 41 weeks, Engler said she went to dinner resigned that she would be pregnant for another week.

Instead, she ate the Labor Inducer that evening and, just like Quarberg, started feeling contractions about six hours later, around 2 a.m.

She went to the hospital and gave birth to Elise on July 14.

“At the time [of Elise’s birth] I was just tired and in pain but later on we couldn’t help but think it was an interesting coincidence,” Engler said. “So a few weeks later we went back to the restaurant with our parents and Elise.”

The Suburban shared the two birth stories on social media and pregnant women have been coming in ever since, according to Quarberg.

“We were eating there last night and every time we looked at the door a very pregnant woman would walk through,” she said. “Statistically, if women are coming around their due date, it’s got to have happened more.”

While there is an old wives’ tale that eating spicy food — like the two sauces on the Labor Inducer — could cause contractions and induce labor, an OBGYN told Good Morning America earlier this year there is “no evidence whatsoever” for that theory.

Quarberg said she has thought that maybe just eating some “good greasy food” prompted her body to say, “Let’s do this.”

Engler said whether or not there is actual science to back up whether a food can induce labor, she understands on a very personal level why pregnant women are willing to try the Labor Inducer.

“I think at the very end of pregnancy, especially anyone who has gone up to their due date or after, is pretty desperate, at least I was,” she said. “I think people will try just about everything as long as it’s safe and this is a fun and delicious thing to do.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Doctors who saw first signs of vaping outbreak speak out

Paolo_Toffanin/iStock(NEW YORK) — As the number of vaping-related illnesses and deaths continues to grow across the country, several of the doctors who first sounded the alarm are tracing the outbreak back to its beginning.

A group of physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin quickly believed they had a trend on their hands when treating four teenagers suffering from illness.

“Most of the patients that came into the hospital and required more intensive services were having breathing problems,” Dr. Michael Gutzeit, of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “And that was being presented as shortness of breath, coughing, unexplained weight loss. Those would be symptoms that we wouldn’t expect to see in an otherwise healthy teenager without any other explainable cause.”

Not knowing what could be behind their symptoms, the doctors ran tests and conducted a “social history” that asked the teens about their lives and habits to find the cause. Using that history, they were able to conclude that vaping was the likely root cause of their illnesses.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams has called the vaping outbreak an “E-cigarette epidemic” with more than 800 lung injury cases across the country and at least 12 deaths. New statistics will be released on Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 62% of patients are between 18 and 34 years old — and 38% are younger than 21.

It was also found that most of the lung illnesses associated with vaping involve THC, with or without nicotine.

Doctors are advising people to be honest with their physicians if they are experiencing similar symptoms and to be treated immediately.

“It’s very important to be honest and to tell your trusted health care provider all the details that you can think of related to vaping especially if you’re experiencing an unexplained cough, weight loss, fatigue or other respiratory symptoms,” Gutzeit said.

Above all, they’re urging people to stop vaping all together.

Dr. Louella Amos, a pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin who was part of that group of physicians to see the outbreak first hand, said, “My mantra is that nothing other than air should be inhaled.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

How three women trusted their instincts and discovered they had cancer

Courtesy of Sandra Hoehler(NEW YORK) — By the time Sandra Hoehler was diagnosed with cancer, it was as much a moment of relief as one of fear.

Five years earlier, Hoehler, now 38, started experiencing symptoms including a persistent vaginal itch and severe pain that she’d eventually learn were associated with her cancer.

“I kept trying to find out what’s going on because this itch now had progressed to something so severe it would wake me up at night. It would make me cry,” Hoehler told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I completely felt like nobody was trying to pay attention to me.”

Over a five-year period, doctors diagnosed Hoehler with and treated her for yeast infections and lichen sclerosus with different ointments and creams, she told GMA, but her pain only intensified.

“I was in pain every single day. Whether it was an itch, burning, pain just from sitting,” she said.

Hoehler told GMA she asked for a biopsy for further testing, but didn’t really expect the devastating news she’d learn: It was cancer.

“From time to time, those doubts, ‘Are you really crazy?’ were there. So there was relief. Like listen, you’re not crazy. Everything you have experienced has been real, has been true and now you know what it is,” she said.

Hoehler was diagnosed with vulvar cancer, which accounts for 0.7% of all cancers in women, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Is this going to be a death sentence? What could this cancer do to me still?” Hoehler said she asked herself.

The American Cancer Society estimates roughly 6,000 vulvar cancer diagnosis and roughly 1,200 women will die from this cancer in 2019.

Since her diagnosis in December 2017, Hoehler has had multiple surgeries, including a radical vulvectomy, and is recovering physically and emotionally.

But Hoehler told GMA that the informational material doctors were able to provide her with about her cancer was limited due to how rare the disease is.

“I knew something had to be done. Women have to know this exists and they have to know what are the symptoms? What are the signs?” she said. “I wanted to do something about it, because when I found myself at that doctor’s office, getting those results, hearing vulvar cancer and never having heard of it before.”

Hoehler organized a vulvar cancer awareness advocacy forum where women can share their symptoms and stories.

How a painful menstrual cycle was a warning sign

Like Hoehler’s journey to discover that she had vulvar cancer, Caitlin Nespoli, 29, had a similar experience with gynecologic cancers manifesting themselves with more common menstruation symptoms.

At 16, Nespoli’s first symptom was a painful period. She said she was told it was menstrual cycle pain and a year later that she had endometriosis, a disease that occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus migrates outside of the womb, often resulting in severe pain.

But when Nespoli continued to have painful periods and felt full after small meals, she told GMA her mother demanded an ultrasound.

“When everyone said don’t worry about it, she said, ‘I love my daughter. I know my daughter. This isn’t her and something more is going on,'” Nespoli recalled.

The ultrasound showed a dermoid cyst, but she was told it was unlikely to be malignant.

A month later, she had surgery to remove her cyst, which turned out to be cancerous. In June 2008, she had surgery to remove a fast-growing tumor and her right ovary. She was diagnosed with stage 3 of dysgerminoma ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths than any other type within the female reproductive system, ranking fifth in cancer deaths among women, according to the American Cancer Society.

“I’m asking my mom if I am going to die? I want to get married and have kids. Will this be the end for me?” Nespoli said.

While Nespoli’s friends were preparing for college, she was undergoing chemotherapy and was down to nearly 90 pounds. She underwent six months of chemotherapy that saved her life. Nespoli has been in remission for 10 years.

Now she is a doctor of acupuncture and works in women’s health. She told GMA she tells her female patients to always fight.

“Fight for what you believe in if you think something is wrong,” she said.

Trusting your instincts after being diagnosed

Carletha Cephas’ cancer diagnosis started with routine mammograms that showed dense breast tissue, but no malignancies.

After consistent routine mammograms, in June 2017, then 47, Cephas had another mammogram followed by an ultrasound. After the results still showed dense breast tissue she was told to return in six months, but only a few months later, Cephas experienced excruciating pain while exercising.

“I felt a sharp, bulging pain as I was jogging. At night I felt burning inside my left breast,” she said.

After insisting on a biopsy, she was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma, a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules) in the breast.

 Cephas pointed out other symptoms to her medical team.

“I pointed out symptoms, like redness, I pointed out the orange peel and how it was warm to the touch,” Cephas said.

The skin of your breast appearing pink, reddish purple, or bruised, in addition to appearing like the skin of an orange is a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, according to The National Cancer Institute.

After advocating for another biopsy, she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic inflammatory breast cancer.

“I never knew that all breast cancers wouldn’t be shown on a mammogram,” she said.

Inflammatory breast cancer represents only 1% to 5% of all invasive breast cancers in the United States, but accounts for 10% of breast cancer deaths, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.

By the time she was diagnosed with breast cancer it was terminal.

“It ate my breast away like a flesh-eating virus,” she said.

African American women are at higher risk for inflammatory breast cancer, according to The American Cancer Society, and also tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage.

“Breast cancer death rates are about 40% percent higher in black women compared to white women, while incidence rates remain slighter lower in black women,” said Carol DeSantis, MPH, the principal scientist in the Surveillance and Health Services Research Program at the American Cancer Society.

DeSantis said that even with improved breast cancer treatment, disparities still exist.

“In fact, as treatments for breast cancers have improved, the mortality disparity between black and white women has widened,” DeSantis said.

Cephas has undergone chemotherapy and hormone therapy and is now in a clinical trial to attempt to slow down the progression of the cancer that has spread throughout her body.

She told GMA she can never say she is remission with her invasive cancer.

Advocating for yourself at the doctor

A 2015 study by the Institute of Medicine reported that nearly 1 out of 20 adults experience a diagnostic error every year and half of those errors could be harmful, because they can prevent or delay appropriate treatment.

Vulvar, ovarian and inflammatory breast cancers all have symptoms that are subtle, making them more difficult to diagnose. Most women with vulvar cancer have no symptoms at all, ovarian cancer symptoms can be bloating and abdominal pain, and inflammatory breast cancer may look like an infection leading to a delayed diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

Factors like race, class and gender can play a role in the diagnosis process. Members of minority groups in the U.S. are more likely to be poor and medically underserved, which contributes to disparities, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Gender bias can also impact the diagnosis process, Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine at Greenville, told GMA. She gave an example, “If I walk into a room and have implicit biases, because she’s a woman and she’s telling me she’s tired, I talk to her about depression and she needs to exercise.” Jenkins said this assumption would impact a patient’s treatment.

Dr. Kristen Kendrick, a family physician with the ABC News Medical Unit, said there are ways to advocate for yourself to help ensure you receive the health care you deserve. Patients should keep a diary noting any new or changing symptoms, ask questions, educate themselves on those symptoms and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.

Hoehler, who endured years of feeling ignored while suffering, wants women to know that they are in charge of their care.

“You are at liberty at any time to seek a different doctor, seek a different physician, until you find somebody who you’re not only comfortable with but who listens to you,” she said.

Now each of them lean on a community of brave women as they navigate through their cancer journey.

“There is a community of women out there that are going through the same thing, have been diagnosed with the same thing, and we’re here,” Hoehler said. “We are here to embrace you, take you in and walk this journey with you.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Girl’s memory brings smiles, dancing to kids with cancer at hospitals

Scott and Pammy Kramer(NEW YORK) — “We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it.”

These words from an unknown source inspire Dancing While Cancering, an organization whose mission is to help children battling cancer and their families by bringing music and joy to them at the hospital.

Dancing can put a smile on almost anyone’s face, even in the hardest of times, and perhaps no one knew this better than Maddie Kramer.

Maddie, of Chicago, was diagnosed at the age of 2 with a rare form of cancer called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). Even through intense treatment, she would smile and find a way to have fun in the hospital — and often times, it was through dancing.

“Maddie, in true toddler form, battled her cancer the only way she knew how, which was through the powers of imagination, dancing and singing,” her father, Scott Kramer, told ABC News’ Good Morning America.

Sadly, Maddie lost her battle with cancer in January 2018.

Her parents, Scott and Pammy Kramer, founded Dancing While Cancering in October 2018 in memory of their daughter.

Their goal is to bring joy to the in-patient hospital experience for kids with cancer.

As parents of a child who had cancer, they know how troubling a diagnosis can be for both the family and the child.

“The time right after a child is diagnosed with cancer is extremely dark and overwhelming, and we just want to bring some smiles to that moment,” Pammy Kramer told GMA.

Dancing While Cancering brings joy to hospitals by providing kids who have been recently diagnosed with cancer with a Smile Pack, a bright green backpack filled with goodies such as decorations and musical instruments to brighten up their hospital rooms.

Items in the Smile Packs vary depending on the age of the patient, but every Smile Pack includes a wireless speaker so patients can enjoy their favorite music.

“In so many ways, the Smile Pack is an extension of what brought Maddie joy,” Scott Kramer said.

Although Maddie loved all music, Scott Kramer shared that he’d often find Maddie dancing to her favorites, such as Taylor Swift’s “Shake It off” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”

“Just because they have cancer doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have fun,” Pammy Kramer said.

Today, Dancing While Cancering brings joy and smiles to 11 hospitals across seven states with the Smile Packs. The organization also launched a #BattleWithJoy campaign on Instagram to inspire other kids and families who may be going through a hard time.

“We often get asked how did we get through it. What got us through was Maddie. Despite taking chemo that was making her feel terrible, she was there dancing and singing and living in the moment. And we should all learn from Maddie and these awesome kids that that’s the way to live life,” Pammy Kramer said. “Just live it up.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.