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11-year-old with rare cancer blogs to show good and bad sides of disease

When Nevaeh Williams was just 8, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer. Doctors were unsure if she’d ever be cancer-free, but the treatment worked and she enjoyed two years playing softball, enjoying math class with friends and just being a kid. This August, a scan revealed the cancer had returned and her mom, Alana Simmons-Williams, was distraught.

“I’ve always had a little bit of anxiety when it would be time for scans but the anxiety was starting to ease,” Simmons-Williams, 34, who lives outside of Savannah, Georgia, told TODAY. “At her two-year scan (the doctor) told me the cancer came back. I was devastated, like heartbroken. I want to say it was worse than hearing it the first time.”

For two years, Nevaeh enjoyed life like any other child her age. But at recent scans, she and her family learned her rare cancer had returned. (Courtesy Nevaeh's Victory Against Cancer)
For two years, Nevaeh enjoyed life like any other child her age. But at recent scans, she and her family learned her rare cancer had returned. (Courtesy Nevaeh’s Victory Against Cancer)

But Nevaeh, now 11, had a different reaction.

“For her going through it a second time, she’s like, ‘OK, the first time they told me I wasn’t going to be able to be cancer-free at all and I did it. I beat it,’” Simmons-Williams said. “She wanted to blog her journey … She was like, “I want to record it this time. I want to show everyone what it’s like.’”

A shocking diagnosis

One day when Nevaeh was 8, she was doing a cartwheel when Simmons-Williams noticed her daughter’s stomach was bloated. Simmons-Williams asked her daughter if she felt sick or was constipated, but Nevaeh felt fine. They visited their pediatrician who recommended they go to the emergency room.

At first doctors believed Nevaeh had Ewing sarcoma, a cancer that affects the bones. But Simmons-Williams didn’t think that’s what Nevaeh had and pushed for another opinion.

“She didn’t have any problems with her bones. She just had a tumor in her stomach and tumors throughout her chest wall,” she said. “That’s when it was revealed that it was desmoplastic small round cell tumors.”

Desmoplastic small round cell tumors are so rare that there are only 200 known cases of it since 1989, according to the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research.

“There is no standard treatment plan for DSRCT,” Simmons-Williams explained. “They commonly use the treatment plan that they use for Ewing sarcoma.”

Nevaeh, 11, gives her social media followers an unfiltered look about what having cancer is like. She finds strength in the support she receives. And, they learn more about cancer. (Courtesy Nevaeh's Victory Against Cancer)
Nevaeh, 11, gives her social media followers an unfiltered look about what having cancer is like. She finds strength in the support she receives. And, they learn more about cancer. (Courtesy Nevaeh’s Victory Against Cancer)

They removed the mass in Nevaeh’s stomach, which was three pounds, and she also underwent hyperthermic intraperitoneal (HIPEC) treatment where doctors fill the abdomen with warm chemotherapy drugs to “wash” it. While she remained cancer-free for two years, doctors spotted a recurrence during her most recent scans and she began treatment in August.

“She doesn’t give up that easy,” Simmons-Williams said. “She has positive vibes.”

Vlogging through cancer

Before the cancer returned, Nevaeh’s hair had started growing

Trump wanted to rip open shirt to show Superman t-shirt when leaving Walter Reed: report

President Trump considered staging his own Clark Kent moment as he exited last week from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center by ripping open a button-down to reveal a Superman T-shirt underneath, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported on Saturday that during several phone calls from inside the hospital last weekend, Trump shared the idea of appearing frail when he emerged from the facility then exposing the Superman t-shirt underneath his top layer, which he described as a symbol of strength, according to sources with knowledge of the conversations.

Trump reportedly spoke about the idea on multiple phone calls. In the end, the president did not going along with the move. 

The report from the Times came on the same day Trump made his first public appearance on Saturday since returning to the White House from Walter Reed on Monday after a three-night stay following his COVID-19 diagnosis. 

The Times reported the president, who spoke for less than 20 minutes on Saturday, also had a bandage on his hand, which it noted was “a reminder of the treatments and infusions” he has gotten in recent days.

Trump’s doctors have said he was given a steroid, an antiviral drug and an experimental antibody therapy during his treatment of the highly infectious disease. 

The day before his left Walter Reed, Trump was criticized for leaving the facility to wave at supporters from an SUV with two Secret Service agents in the front seat.

Upon returning to the White House the following day on Monday, Trump also got heat for posing for photos on the balcony without a mask, then entering the residence without a face covering.

Just days before, Trump was reported to be exhibiting fatigue and fever. He also had been given supplemental oxygen before and during his stay at Walter Reed, his doctors said during a weekend of conflicting updates on the president’s health.

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Trump dodges tough questions on his health during rambling interview on Tucker Carlson’s show

Donald Trump; Tucker Carlson
Donald Trump; Tucker Carlson

Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, less than a week since the president returned from being hospitalized for COVID-19, revealed very little about Trump’s health or infectiousness. Yet unintentionally,  the president seems to have dropped some clues about the seriousness of his condition during the rambling, tangent-ridden interview.

The interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was conducted by Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News contributor who has defended Trump’s poor handling of the American coronavirus outbreak, compared the pandemic to the flu and in 2016 raised concerns about the neurological health of then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton despite never having examined her in person.

Carlson set a hagiographic tone for the segment at the beginning, describing Trump’s supposed “remarkable turnaround” before allowing Siegel to conduct the interview. The two were not in the same room: Siegel was in a studio and Trump was in the White House, being filmed separately. Trump and Siegel’s conversation wandered, from Trump blaming China for the virus and repeatedly mentioning Regeneron (a company that gave him an experimental drug and with which he has personal ties) to describing himself as “very strong,” offering to donate his plasma and claiming that he has improved faster and better than others who have had COVID-19.

Despite these attempts to project that he was “virile,” Trump admitted that the disease had made him feel “tired,” adding that “my life is based a little bit on energy and I didn’t have it.” While downplaying his symptoms, however, Trump promised to freely give away the drugs that he has previously claimed constituted a “cure” for him. (Curiously, Trump has been consistently opposed to universal healthcare policies that might make such drugs free and accessible, though he was treated by the military healthcare system that has been likened to an exclusive form of universal healthcare).

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Trump also stated that was “medication-free.” “I’m not taking any medications as of eight hours ago,” he claimed.

Trump also claimed that his Secret Service agents did not mind his Walter Reed hospital drive-by, which involved close physical contact with the security detail. Some current and former Secret Service agents interviewed by CNN were “frustrated” by Trump’s publicity stunt. “We’re not disposable,” one said.

Trump declined to say if he had received a test for the virus today that might definitively say if he had cleared the virus from his system. “I have been retested and I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet …. I’m at either the bottom of the scale or free,” the president said. Based on reports of infections, the CDC recommends that those who have had COVID-19 refrain from being around others until at least 10 days since their first symptoms appeared and 24 hours since their fever waned without the use of “fever-reducing medications.”

Trump also denied experiencing any of the psychological symptoms that frequently accompany dexamethasone, the steroid that he

The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Happy Friday! From talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE’s two-hour call into the Rush Limbaugh show, it’s been another chaotic day in Washington to say the least.

Let’s get you up to speed.

The day kicked off with Democrats rolling out legislation that would establish a panel to examine a sitting president’s ability to perform their duties, and potentially to remove the commander in chief from office if they are found to be debilitated.

The legislation would invoke the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To be clear, any panel created by the legislation would apply to future administrations, but it’s a hit at Trump, who is facing questions from Democrats over his mental acuity in the wake of his coronavirus treatments. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Trump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now ‘working out’ | Pelosi shoots down piecemeal approach | Democrats raise questions about Trump tax audits Trump retweets reporter saying 25th Amendment is not equivalent to a ‘coup’ Trump responds to Pelosi bringing up 25th Amendment: ‘Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation’ MORE (D-Calif.), who unveiled the legislation, has openly questioned whether Trump’s COVID-19 treatments have impacted his decisionmaking skills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus Human Rights Campaign unveils its congressional scorecard ahead of election MORE (R-Ky.) blasted the legislation as “absolutely absurd.” The bill has no chance of being enacted this session, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans.

Meanwhile, sources told The Hill that Trump and his aides offered Pelosi a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package. The latest figure is a jump from their last offer of $1.6 trillion. However, we don’t know yet if Pelosi will be willing to move down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

Trump made news on the issue while he was on Limbaugh’s show this afternoon, saying he wanted a larger package than either Democrats or Republicans have offered. The comments

Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.



a man wearing a suit and tie: The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump's mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election


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The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Happy Friday! From talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to President Trump’s two-hour call into the Rush Limbaugh show, it’s been another chaotic day in Washington to say the least.

Let’s get you up to speed.

The day kicked off with Democrats rolling out legislation that would establish a panel to examine a sitting president’s ability to perform their duties, and potentially to remove the commander in chief from office if they are found to be debilitated.

The legislation would invoke the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To be clear, any panel created by the legislation would apply to future administrations, but it’s a hit at Trump, who is facing questions from Democrats over his mental acuity in the wake of his coronavirus treatments. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who unveiled the legislation, has openly questioned whether Trump’s COVID-19 treatments have impacted his decisionmaking skills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted the legislation as “absolutely absurd.” The bill has no chance of being enacted this session, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans.

Meanwhile, sources told The Hill that Trump and his aides offered Pelosi a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package. The latest figure is a jump from their last offer of $1.6 trillion. However, we don’t know yet if Pelosi will be willing to move down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

Trump made news on the issue while he was on Limbaugh’s show this afternoon, saying he wanted a larger package than either Democrats or Republicans have offered. The comments are a break with what his own White House is currently offering leaders on Capitol Hill.

McConnell said he does not expect the White House and Congress to reach a deal on a coronavirus spending package prior to Election Day.

And speaking of Trump’s call into Limbaugh’s show … the president spent a whopping two hours on the conservative talk radio program, in what the president’s reelection campaign dubbed the “largest radio rally in history.”

Trump spent the call lashing out as his usual targets, including the news media, Black Lives Matter and Democrats.

“To be with you two hours, you have no idea. It’s a great honor,” Trump told Limbaugh.

READ MORE:

Democrats unveil bill creating panel to gauge president’s ‘capacity,’ by Mike Lillis

Trump and allies try to reframe 25th Amendment

Trump, on Sean Hannity’s show, projects optimism about resuming rallies this weekend.

President Trump called into Sean Hannity’s show on Thursday night and, while giving vague answers to questions about his health, suggested a rapid return to the campaign trail that could violate public health guidelines.

Mr. Trump said he wanted to hold a rally in Florida on Saturday — just two days away — and another rally the following night in Pennsylvania. He went on to say he was in “great shape” — even as he paused on a few occasions and seemed to cough or clear his throat — and again presented the monoclonal antibody treatment he received as a miracle cure, even though there is no clinical trial data to evaluate its effectiveness.

He did not give a clear answer when Mr. Hannity asked if he had tested negative for the coronavirus: He first said he wouldn’t get an “actual test” until Friday, then suggested that he had already had a test and that it had found “very little infection or virus, if any,” and then said, “I don’t know if they found any. I didn’t go into it greatly with the doctors.”

Mr. Hannity also pushed the president to denounce the commission organizing this year’s debates for its decision to make next week’s forum virtual — a decision that prompted Mr. Trump to withdraw earlier in the day. At one point, Mr. Hannity suggested that Mr. Trump should organize his own debate.

“Well, I might,” Mr. Trump said, adding that he would want a “fair anchor” — perhaps, he said, Sean Hannity.

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No, Your Dog Doesn’t Really Prefer Your Face, Brain Scans Show | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — You may think your dog is gazing lovingly at your face, but a new study suggests that’s not the case.

Hungarian researchers say dogs’ brains may not process faces the same way human brains do.

Faces are such an important part of communication for humans and other primates that faces have a special status in the visual system, and areas in the human brain are specifically activated by faces.

But this study found that dogs don’t have specific face areas in their brains.

The researchers, led by Nóra Bunford of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, used magnetic imaging to compare the brain activity of 30 humans and 20 pet dogs as they watched brief videos of people and dogs.

The results revealed that human brains had a preference for faces. Some visual areas of human brains showed greater activity in response to a face than to the back of someone’s head. Some of these brain regions also displayed species preference, with increased activity in response to seeing a human compared to a dog.

In contrast, dog brains only showed species preference. There was greater activity when they saw a dog than a person, and there was no difference in brain activity when dogs saw a face than when they saw the back of a head.

The findings were published Oct. 5 in the journal JNeurosci.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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The Health 202: Genetic tracing could show how coronavirus spread through White House

White House spokesman Judd Deere said tracing has been done for people who had contact with Trump. But it’s the kind recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which involves merely tracking people who were nearby those known to be infected.

“Contact tracing has been done by the White House Medical Unit consistent with CDC guidelines,” Deere said, though The Post has reported many of the hundreds of people potentially exposed to the president found out via media reports of his diagnosis.

Coding coronavirus samples would give a clear picture of whether recent White House events were so-called “superspreaders.”

This is an approach researchers have tried around the country.

They’ve watched the virus accumulate a catalogue of mutations as it moved through Zip codes in the Houston area. They’ve used genetic sequencing to trace how the virus spread outward from a conference in Boston, infecting people from Alaska to Senegal to Luxembourg.

And as detailed by my colleagues Sarah Kaplan, Desmond Butler, Juliet Eilperin, Chris Mooney and Luis Velarde, tumor geneticist Paraic Kenny sequenced samples taken from people in the small town of Postville, Iowa. By looking at variants in their genetic coding, he was able to identify a cluster of cases that all originated from one meatpacking plant.

“Infectious particles swabbed from a patient’s nose carry small but distinctive differences in its genome that can be used, like a molecular bar code, to track where the virus came from and how it had been transmitted,” my colleagues write. “By reading the virus’s RNA, Kenny could unveil how cases were connected to one another, exposing the secret spread of the disease.”

Genetic tracing could play a critical role in seeing how the virus spread – and even whether Trump himself played a role in spreading it. 

They include senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who tested positive along with several others who helped Trump prepare for last week’s debate. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who checked himself into the hospital after testing positive, has said masks were not worn while prepping the president. 

NBC News’s Kelly O’Donnell:

A Coast Guard aide is also infected. Jennifer Jacobs, senior White House reporter for Bloomberg News:

Others who have contracted the virus also include assistant press secretary Jalen Drummond, who attended a Sept. 26 Rose Garden event where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee. While others who attended that event – including Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Thom Tillis – later tested positive, several White House press aides are also infected. 

From the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman:

The Rose Garden event has prompted speculation it may have turned into a so-called “superspreader event” where the virus was transmitted to many people. While that’s less likely to happen outdoors, part of the event was held indoors — and many guests were not wearing masks and were pictured hugging, shaking hands and talking closely together. And during the time they were outside, they were seated close to one

‘If I Could Just Show People How Beautiful This Looks’

Ash Soto

Ash Soto wants others to learn to love themselves.

Known on social media as “the girl with the world painted on her body,” Soto has vitiligo, a skin disorder that results in the loss of pigmentation. Using body paint to create art, she has empowered herself while encouraging body acceptance in others.

Soto currently has around 166,000 Instagram followers and regularly garners more than 10,000 likes on her posts, which often feature her signature art — tracing the natural lines on her skin to create a map-like masterpiece.

However, the Florida resident and Puerto Rican native, 26, tells PEOPLE she wasn’t always so confident in herself, especially when she was first diagnosed with vitiligo at age 12.

Ash Soto

RELATED: Broadcaster Opens Up About Living with Vitiligo

“Right when I showed the doctor my spots, they immediately knew what it was,” she recalls of the initial doctor’s appointment. “I just remember being so scared in that moment and confused. I didn’t know what vitiligo was — I had no knowledge of it.”

At school, Soto was bullied and often felt like she had to hide her body under heavy sweaters and pants, even in the Florida heat. Eventually, however, she began to give herself “challenges” to achieve.

“I knew that I didn’t want to live that way anymore and I knew that I had to make the change,” she says. “So with time I started doing little challenges, whether it was going outside in shorts or going outside in a tank top, which seems so small for some people, but for me, it was the biggest thing ever.”

Ash Soto

RELATED: Photographer Travels the Country Taking Portraits of Others with Vitiligo: It’s Nice to ‘Be a Support System’

It was about five years ago that Soto first began using art to to build her confidence, after she accidentally drew on herself and ended up tracing her entire body.

“I started tracing every spot that I could have reached and when I looked in the mirror, it just looked so cool and beautiful — it looked like a map to me,” she says. “So I was like, ‘Wow, this is so empowering. If I could just show people how beautiful this looks, maybe they won’t find their vitiligo something that has to be a burden.’”

Now, Soto says she hopes her social media presence and use of body art can inspire others to accept themselves in the way she was able to.

“I just hope that they see that they’re not alone, and that there’s somebody like them in the world,” she says. “When I was diagnosed, I didn’t really have anybody to look up to, so I just want my platform to be that safety place for people that are going through the same thing.”

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Immune Cells Show the Way in This Medical Mystery

A 54-year-old man presents to a foot and ankle clinic in Maryland with a diffuse, hard lesion in the middle of the arch of his left foot; it is tender to the touch and painful to walk on.

He explains that it began developing gradually about 3 years earlier as a dry, scaly spot, and that the skin later cracked but there was no pain. He says he had not been concerned, since he had a history of having severe eczema and dry patches of skin in the same spot on his foot.

However, his efforts to treat the eczema with topical cortisone cream and “over-the-counter acid” have been ineffective, he said, adding that he became concerned when the lesion slowly grew thicker and harder.

The patient’s surgical and medical histories include thyroidectomy (for thyroid cancer) at age 28, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, headaches/migraines, and high blood pressure. His family history is unremarkable, and clinical assessment reveals no major abnormalities.

Dermatological Examination

Dermatological assessment shows a 3.0-cm, scaly, keratotic patch with slight erythema in the plantar central region of the left arch, which is notably tender to palpation. There is no evidence of skin atrophy or lymphadenopathy. Laboratory test results are within normal limits.

Clinicians perform a skin punch biopsy and send the sample for histological evaluation.

The report notes infiltration of atypical lymphocytes in the upper dermis. Most of the atypical lymphocytes are round or ovoid with a cerebriform nuclear contour but with no clear nuclear membrane or nucleoli.

Single units or small clusters of these have infiltrated up into the epithelial layers (epidermotropism), down into the eccrine sweat glands (syringotropism) and the walls of the blood vessels in the dermis.

image

Histopathology and immunostaining profiles of mycosis fungoides palmaris et plantaris: (A) An infiltrate of the atypical lymphocytes in the upper dermis (hematoxylin and eosin [H&E], 40×1). (B) Round or ovoid atypical lymphocytes with cerebriform nuclear contour and no clear nuclear membrane or nucleoli (HE, 400×1). (C) Atypical lymphocytes infiltrating into the epidermis (epidermotropism) (HE, 100×1). (D) Atypical lymphocytes infiltrating into eccrine sweat glands (syringotropism) (HE, 100×1). (E) Perivascular infiltration of the atypical lymphocytes in the dermis (HE, 100×1). (F) Strong CD4 expression in atypical lymphocytes (3, 3 -diaminobenzidine [DAB], 100×1). (G) Reduced CD7 expression in atypical lymphocytes (DAB, 100×1). (H) Reduced CD8 expression in atypical lymphocytes (DAB, 100×1).

Immunostaining of the atypical lymphocytes shows almost uniformly strong positive staining for CD3, CD4 antibodies and about 30% positivity for CD7 and CD8; staining for CD20 was negative.

Clinicians note an approximately 3:1 ratio of CD4- to CD8-positive cells. Results of periodic acid-Schiff staining for fungal elements are negative for both spores and hyphae; yet the histomorphology and immunostaining profiles are judged to be consistent with mycosis fungoides palmaris et plantaris (MFPP).

The team discusses the treatment options with the patient, and he is referred to a dermatologist. The patient receives topical psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) photochemotherapy, which results in complete remission.

At 5-year follow-up, the