140-Pound Weight Loss; Autistic Hate Letter? Cancer Drug Denial?
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The Doctors weigh in on a spiteful letter sent from one mom to another — targeting her autistic children! Then, why a father who died from skin cancer was denied a potentially life-saving treatment. Plus, a former show guest reveals how she dropped 140 pounds in just one year!

Hollywood Health Headlines
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Weight Loss Success Story
Danielle, 27, appeared on The Doctors in November 2012 and shared her experience undergoing robotic gastric bypass surgery. At the time, she weighed 285 pounds and felt she was ready to make a commitment to changing her eating and exercise habits, so that she could live a long, healthy life and be around to raise her 5-year-old son. The Doctors then set her up with a nutritionist and a personal trainer to help her on her journey to a healthier life.

Danielle has since lost more than 140 pounds and gone from dress size 24 to 4! See her remarkable transformation and learn how she did it!

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Latest: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
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Mother Receives Hate Letter
Jim and Karla are the parents of two autistic children, Jackson and Max. While Jackson, 15, is high-functioning, Max, 13, has a very severe form of autism and is nonverbal and prone to loud outbursts. Though Jim and Karla are used to the looks they receive when out in public, nothing could have prepared them for the hate-filled letter they recently received from a neighbor. Berating them for “selfishly” allowing their son to play outside despite his loud yelling, the letter goes so far as to suggest that they move or euthanize him.

Jim and Karla join The Doctors via polycom to discuss what they hope to accomplish by sharing their story. “Our life is very challenging,” Jim says. “And to have a sick person write this letter toward our family … it’s very frustrating and really hurts.”

Autism affects one in 88 children and one in 54 boys. It is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S., according to the Department of Health and Human Services. There is no cure for autism, though early intensive behavioral intervention can produce significant gains in language and mental abilities.

Areva Martin, co-founder of Special Needs Network and author of The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism or Other Special Needs, applauds Jim and Karla for sharing their story. She adds, “There’s no known cause for autism, and these parents didn’t create this situation for their child.”

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains that every child is different. “No one therapy works for every child,” he says. “It has to be very personalized, and that’s where the parents come in, because they know their child better than anyone else.”

Since the incident, Jim and Karla note that their hometown has rallied behind Max to support him, and Jim adds, “We’re hoping that a show like this can help educate the general public about autism and things will get better.” 

• Learn more about autism.


Fighting for Treatment
Nick Auden, 40, is a husband and father to three young children. Diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, his doctors told him he has mere months to live and a zero percent chance of survival. Not willing to accept his fate without a fight, Nick pursued a clinical trial for a new drug called PD-1, which has shown promising results and could give him a 50 percent chance of survival. After being accepted into the clinical trial, he was subsequently deemed ineligible after he suffered a bowel obstruction and, therefore, became disqualified to participate in the trial. Desperate to save their loved one, Nick’s family started an online petition to persuade the drug company to grant him compassionate use of the drug.

The Doctors discuss Nick’s case and debate the pros and cons of clinical drug trials.


The Power of Words
If you knew your ability to speak would soon be lost, what would your last words be? Marie, a wife and mother, recently faced that question just days before a drastic surgery to arrest her cancer. Diagnosed with a solid mass squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, with the possibility of invasion of the jaw bone, Marie had to have her tongue surgically removed. After spending 20 years reading stories to children at the library, Marie must find new ways to communicate.

In an interview before the surgery, Marie explained, “My last words to my husband will be ‘I love you.’ Everyone has their own way of saying ‘I love you,’ but people need to hear the words. Say ‘I love you’ to people you love, all the time. Celebrate life. There’s a lot to be celebrated.”

The Doctors share the common causes and symptoms of oral cancer. Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon adds, “Anytime you see something, a lesion, in your mouth, that doesn’t go away within a matter of days … make sure you have it biopsied.”

 

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