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Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
June 3rd, 2013
11:23 AM ET

Janet Murnaghan feels her daughter has been 'left to die' after an 18 month wait on the child transplant list for a lung.

Janet Murnaghan is on 'Starting Point' with John Berman and Christine Romans talking about her frustration over getting her daughter a lung transplant. Her 10-year-old daughter Sarah has been waiting on the child transplant list for 18 months.

Her mother says that there are not nearly as many child lungs donated per year, as there are adult lungs. She says she's learned 'the odds are really stacked against young children like Sarah' in regards to receiving a successful organ donation.

According to federal guidelines Sarah is too young to receive an adult lung transplant-the cut off age for an adult transplant is 12-years-old. At the time the guidelines were created adult to child transplants were seen as more difficult procedures without as successful results. Now the surgery is still challenging, but according to Murnaghan surgeons assure her that 'their outcomes are just as good' for children who receive partial adult lungs versus pediatric lungs.

Murnaghan has appealed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to try to get Sarah priority on the adult donor list, but so far has failed. Sebelius says she will order a transplant review, but any changes could take years to achieve, and Sarah is running out of time.

Murnaghan is asking for all children to be treated 'fairly.' She feels that Sarah's 'civil rights are being violated,' and the guidelines for children in need of transplants are 'unjust.'

Filed under: Children • Medical • Medical Condition • Petition
June 3rd, 2013
11:04 AM ET

Ten-year old Sarah in desperate needs for lung transplant: CNN's Jason Carrol reports

Ten-year-old Sarah has cystic fibrosis, and has been waiting on the child donor list for a new lung 18 months. Sarah has cystic fibrosis, and has been waiting on the child donor list for a new lung 18 months. CNN's Jason Carrol reports on her family's desperate plea to the government for help.

There is a shortage of child lung donations. According to federal guidelines Sarah is not old enough to receive an adult lung. She is 10-years-old the cut off for an adult lung is 12-years-old.

Her family has appealed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to try to get Sarah priority on the adult donor list, but so far has failed. Sebelius says she will order a transplant review, but any changes could take years to achieve, and Sarah is running out of time.

READ MORE: Parents of girl waiting for transplant ask Sebelius to intervene

Filed under: Children • Disease • Medical • Medical advancements • Medical Condition
March 21st, 2013
11:31 AM ET

Adopted boy writes letter to Chief Justice Roberts urging support of same sex marriage

Daniel Leffew is a very passionate 12-year-old who wrote a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts urging him to support same sex marriage. Daniel and his father Bryan are on "Starting Point" to talk to John Berman and Christine Romans about how deeply this issue effects their family.

Daniel and his 8-year-old sister Salina were adopted by their two gay dads when Daniel was 5-years-old. When he heard that Chief Justice John Roberts also had two adopted children, he decided to write the letter. Daniel believes that everyone has a different opinion on family, and both he and Justice Roberts “know that no matter if you are blood related, family is people who love and take care of you.”

Daniel suffers from a genetic disorder called Goldenhar syndrome, which affects the whole left side of his body. When he was in foster care he was frequently told he was un-adoptable because of his condition.

Daniel writes this letter a week before the Supreme Court is set to hear the case determining the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in California. Daniel's family lives in California, and while his dads' marriage was grandfathered and not "annulled when they upheld prop 8” he still hopes that Chief Justice Roberts “makes the right decision and sees our family like any other.”

Filed under: Adoption • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Medical Condition • SCOTUS
March 15th, 2013
09:50 AM ET

Food bloggers Vani Hari & Lisa Leake take on Kraft to remove yellow color dye from its Mac and Cheese

A health story of growing interest this week has moms on alert for a staple food in the diets of thousands of children. Two women are taking on Kraft, asking them to change their Macaroni and Cheese. Vani Hari and Lisa Leake are food bloggers leading a campaign and petition on to get Kraft to remove two color dye ingredients from their beloved Macaroni and Cheese.

Their online petition states: "We recently discovered that several American products are using harmful additives that are not used—and in some cases banned—in other countries. [...] Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the US contains the artificial food dyes Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. These unnecessary—yet potentially harmful—dyes are not in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in other countries, including the UK, because they were removed due to consumer outcry."

Lisa Leake, a mom and blogger, and Vani Hari, an aunt and blogger, both share the reasons for their campaign on “Starting Point” this morning.

The bloggers say their aim was not to target Kraft alone. “These are American companies using ingredients in our food that are not used, and in some cases banned elsewhere. And we decided we needed to do something about it,” Lisa Leake says. “We strategically picked Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, an iconic food product, trying to get our message across.” That message is that these unnecessary artificial food dyes are being used for cosmetic reasons only and pose health risks. “And we'd like to get them to get them out of our food.”

Hari says they picked Kraft to send that message more effectively. "We didn't just pick Kraft for no reason. They are the largest food company headquartered in the United States," Hari explains. "They have the largest footprint to actually be the leader here."

January 11th, 2013
08:55 AM ET

Worst flu season in a decade; National Institutes of Health's Dr. Anthony Fauci's advice: 'wash your hands frequently'

CNN is bringing you the latest developments in the rising number of flu cases reported as the outbreak worsens around the country. Six more states are reporting widespread activity— that brings the total to 47 states, up from 41 the week before. The CDC has yet to release more information about which states were added and will issue an update later today.

We bring you some of the individual reports we’ve received from states. The Minnesota Health Department says 27 people have died from flu-related complications. South Carolina reports 22 flu-related deaths this season compared to one for all of 2011. Pennsylvania is also reporting 22 deaths, and six people are reported dead in Illinois. Eight are reported dead in Oklahoma, 15 are reported in Indiana, 7 in Arkansas and 18 flu related deaths in Massachusetts.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He joins “Starting Point” live from NIH headquarters in Bethesda, MD this morning with more. He explains the nature of this flu outbreak and how to protect yourself from getting it. “Washing your hands is critical,” Dr. Fauci says.

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Filed under: Flu • Medical • Medical Condition
December 11th, 2012
10:09 AM ET

Actor Frankie Muniz, 27, recovers from 'mini-stroke': 'Until something happens, you really don’t expect it'

Actor, racer and musician Frankie Muniz comes to “Starting Point” with a harrowing tale of a recent health scare.

Just two weeks ago, the former “Malcolm in the Middle” started feeling strange while riding his motorcycle when he noticed he'd lost vision in one eye. After that, he was having trouble understanding words, and his fiancée noticed that he couldn't speak properly. A visit to the hospital revealed that he had suffered a mini-stroke. Muniz turned 27 just last week and shares his story of recovery this morning.

Muniz had worked out earlier that morning and felt perfectly healthy until the symptoms came on during his motorcycle ride. “Personally, I felt invincible,” Muniz says. “Until something happens, you really don’t expect it.”

Muniz and his doctors are still uncertain what caused the mini-stroke. "[I've] never had a drink of alcohol," Muniz says. Drugs? "I've never even been near them."

But Muniz admits extreme stress may be a factor. "I can say that is the one thing in my life that I do need to work on."

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Filed under: Health • Medical • Medical Condition