April 29, 2010

No Kidding, Me Too!

Posted: 06:45 PM ET

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and The Sopranos’ Joey Pantoliano wants you to talk about your brain!

Pantoliano directed a new documentary, titled “No Kidding, Me Too,” about fighting the stigma and shame associated with mental illnesses (which he calls a "dis-ease").  The idea behind the documentary is that everyone knows someone who either lives with mental illness or is affected by it.  "No Kidding, Me Too" is available now through CreateSpace,’s DVD-on-demand service.

Tomorrow on the LKL Blog, Joey will talk to us about mental illness, his own battle with depression and why he thinks more American’s need to talk about it all.

Here’s his organization’s public service announcement:


Filed under: Health

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April 23, 2010

Ray Johnston: His Story Begins Where Others Would End

Posted: 05:08 PM ET

Here's the story.  Loan officer plays pick-up basketball game...catches the eye of an NBA talent scout...tries out for and makes the Dallas Mavericks.  End of story, right?  For Ray Johnston, that's where it starts.  Shortly after making the team, Johnston learned he had leukemia, and was immediately placed into a coma.  He's come close to death several times while fighting the disease, yet now he's touring with the Ray Johnston Band - and they're really good.

HDNet is following the band around and chronicling Ray's amazing story.  "Ray Johnston Band: Road Diaries" premieres Sunday.  Check out the clip, and read Ray's story below as told to the LKL Blog.


LKL Blog: First things first, how did you become a Dallas Maverick?

Johnston: In 2004, I took the oh so traveled path of going from the loan officer desk, to the Hoop-It-Up 3-on-3 tournament, and had my fingers crossed I'd come out a Dallas Maverick after that.  It was so random.  The Mavericks were just being smart and doing basic PR in their backyard.  Some of the Maverick scouts came out and decided they'd invite 20 of the best they see to an open tryout.  The talent in the competition is really good.  A lot of folks are just home for the summer, but played in college in the Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, or even overseas.

One of the scouts came over to me after I made a flashy play, and they said "We're going to have a free-agent open tryout.  You want to come?"  And I thought someone was pulling my leg.  But turns out he was telling the truth and that was how it all got started.  There were probably 15 tryouts in a 20 day period.  I remember the Chinese team was in town because they were getting ready for the Olympics, or the World Games.  We scrimmaged them about 6 times.  Yao Ming set some mean picks on me.

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Filed under: Health • LKL Web Exclusive • Ray Johnston

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April 13, 2010

Hank Aaron On His Cause And His Game

Posted: 04:52 PM ET

Baseball is a game of immortals. Untouchables. From 1888's "Casey at the Bat" to Bob Dylan's "Catfish" and Fogerty's "Centerfield", the rhapsodizing of the game and its heroes endures. From "Pride of the Yankees" to "Field of Dreams," Hollywood looks to one sport more than any other for its silver screen magic.

The game and its heroes have an aura of timelessness and invincibility. The best of the best- the true untouchables- are few in number. The list of living legends is even smaller, and the best living player usually comes down to two names- Willie Mays and one Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron.

In this day of inflated statistics (and inflated bodies) in baseball, Aaron still holds the record for career RBI (2,297) and extra base hits. He made the All-Star team every year from 1955 to 1975. He held the career home run record of 755 until Barry Bonds broke that record just three years ago.

Yet even immortals are vulnerable. A few years into retirement, Hammerin' Hank noticed lingering pain in his knee. And it only got worse. "I play golf and hack it like the rest of us. I hit one ball in the sand trap and I had to have someone to almost pull me out of the trap. Its gets to be an embarrassing situation. You know I was an athlete I don’t need all this help."

Then came the real warning signs. "My first sign of trouble when I was trying to drive from my home to the office which is at the ball field which is only ten minutes away. And the more I was putting my foot down on the accelerator my legs would start paining, I was having knee problems. And I said, “whoa this is kind of freakish.” Cause I’ve got to be able to drive." Soon after, he would be diagnosed with a debilitating ailment.

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) can happen to anyone, including Hank Aaron. Until now, Hank's battle with osteoarthritis of the knee has been kept on the sidelines. Yet, in hopes of helping the 10 million Americans with the condition, Hank has teamed up with the drug company Genzyme,  and orthopedic surgeon and author Dr. Nick DiNubile to launch "Get Back in the Game." The program encourages the millions of people suffering with OA knee pain to take action now and to talk to their doctor about treatment options.

As proof that he is truly "Back in the Game," Hank will walk in the Arthritis Walk on May 22, 2010 in Atlanta. He is encouraging others to support the fight against arthritis by joining For every person who joins Hank's team, Genyzme will make a donation to the Arthritis Foundation.

Hank Aaron recently spoke with LKL producer Quinn Brown about living with his osteoarthritis, and his thoughts on the baseball season.

LKL: You were always a pretty fit player. How did this start?

Aaron: I’d been playing for 23 years and I’ve never been on the disabled list. I probably just ignored it I didn’t bother with it too much. Of course the more I was having to stop doing some of the things I wanted to do like play golf or tennis or walking and doing things with my grandkids I decided I needed to do something about it. And a friend of mine who was a orthopedic surgeon came up and said, “you know you can try the shot. One shot.” So I said why not try it. I tried everything else. So I tried this one and I have not had any problems since then. Of course I think it lasts six months and its only for the knee (the shot was Synvisc-One, manufactured by Genzyme).

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Filed under: Baseball • Hank Aaron • Health • LKL Web Exclusive

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April 7, 2010


Posted: 07:00 PM ET

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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova! A  fearless competitor on the court, now she faces her biggest opponent yet. Martina opens up on her personal battle with breast cancer. And! Dr. Oz joins her to answer YOUR medical questions!


He lived to tell about the mine explosion he witnessed with his own eyes! A survivor details his scramble to escape! We’ll have the latest on the desperate efforts to reach 4 trapped miners. Can rescuers get to them in time? The dramatic struggle to bring them out alive!


Filed under: Dr. Mehmet Oz • Health • Larry King Live

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Is fat fare at fast foods going too far?

Posted: 05:50 PM ET

By Kat Kinsman, Special to CNN


(CNN) - In the midst of first lady Michelle Obama's campaign against child obesity and chef Jamie Oliver's prime-time TV initiative for cleaner cooking, a chicken chain is crowing about some aggressively fat-laden fare. 

KFC's long-rumored Double Down waddles into stores on April 12, boasting an ingredient list that prompted a copywriters' caveat on the product's Web page that it is "Real! No fooling."

The bun-free ("so meaty, there's no room") sandwich features two pieces of bacon, two slices of melted cheese and "Colonel's Sauce" – which KFC officials said is a "zesty mayonnaise" - slathered between two chicken filets, either original recipe (540 calories and 32 fat grams per or the slightly slimmer grilled version (460 calories and 23 fat grams).

Response from around the Internet ranges from's "mysteriously tempting (and potentially lethal)" and the Huffington Post's "going too far" to the Lincoln Journal Star's "fast-food-related crimes against humanity," but KFC's gamble on the Double Down's outré appeal to calorie scoffers seems downright chicken in light of a new baseball concession pitched by the Toledo Mud Hens.

At a March 24 press conference, V/Gladieux Enterprises, the catering company that services Fifth Third Field announced a sundae, "Which is fifteen scoops of Toft's ice cream served in a full size souvenir helmet for $25. It will serve 1 to 8 fans, you can enjoy by yourselves if you love ice cream or share with family and friends."

A solo at-bat with the Fifth Third Fanatic Freeze would average 2,325 calories, based on a ½-cup scoop size - before a grand slam addition of whipped cream, hot fudge, rainbow sprinkles, peanuts, and cherries.

Dessert not on the roster? That same full-sized batting helmet can switch-hit as a bowl for cheese-drenched Fifth Third Nachos - a perfect snack after you've finished running the bases the approximately 341 times it would take a 150-pound person to burn off the aforementioned ice cream.

Read more…

Filed under: Health

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LKL tonight- tennis great Martina Navratilova on her breast cancer

Posted: 12:32 PM ET

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The disease was detected early, and the prognosis is said to be excellent.

"I cried," Navratilova, 53, told PEOPLE about the moment in February when a biopsy came back positive after a routine mammogram revealed a cluster in her left breast. "It knocked me on my ass, really. I feel so in control of my life and my body, and then this comes, and it's completely out of my hands."

She was diagnosed with a non-invasive form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, which in her case was confined to the milk ducts and had not spread to the breast tissue. "It was the best-case scenario you could imagine for detecting breast cancer," Dr. Mindy Nagle, a good friend of Navratilova's (and her ob gyn), told PEOPLE.

Navratilova had a lumpectomy and will begin six weeks of radiation therapy in May.


Filed under: Health • Larry King Live

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April 5, 2010

Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars

Posted: 09:00 PM ET

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(CNN) - If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

"The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations," the report said.

The World Health Organization says infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life "to achieve optimal growth, development and health." The WHO is not alone in its recommendations.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all agree that breast milk alone is sufficient for newborns and infants until they are 6 months old.

However, a 2009 breastfeeding report card from the CDC found that only 74 percent of women start breastfeeding, only 33 percent were still exclusively breastfeeding at three months and only 14 percent were still exclusively breastfeeding at six months.

Dr. Melissa Bartick, one of the new study's co-authors, says the vast majority of extra costs incurred each year could be saved "if 80 to 90 percent of women exclusively breastfed for as little as four months and if 90 percent of women would breastfeed some times until six months." Bartick is a hospitalist - a doctor who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients - at Cambridge Health Alliance, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a mother of two.


Filed under: Health

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March 24, 2010

TV chef fights obesity one state at a time

Posted: 09:00 PM ET


LOS ANGELES (KABC) - Popular TV chef Jamie Oliver is on a mission to reduce obesity in America.

He's launching a new TV show called "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."

 He'll be traveling across the country trying to convince skeptical Americans to change their eating habits, and showing them how to do so on a budget.

In the series premiere, he heads to Huntington, West Virginia, which has been called the unhealthiest city in America.

Oliver launched a similar show in England, which resulted in schools completely overhauling their lunch menus.

Filed under: Health • Larry King Live

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February 26, 2010

30 Million Americans, 7,000 Rare Diseases

Posted: 07:01 PM ET

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By Peter Saltonstall
Pres. & CEO of NORD - National Organization of Rare Disorders

While the eyes of the nation are directed toward Washington and the ongoing Health Care Summit, I wanted to take the opportunity to raise an issue that too often flies below the radar of the collective health consciousness – rare diseases.

In the United States, “rare” refers to conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are nearly 7,000 such diseases. These might sound like relatively small numbers on the surface, but collectively, nearly 30 million Americans suffer from these uncommon—and in some cases, unknown—conditions. That’s one out of every ten individuals in this country alone.

Across the nation, patients are plagued by unexplainable symptoms and a general lack of awareness regarding their conditions, forcing them to endure dismissals and misdiagnoses before ever receiving a proper diagnosis.

In support of the struggle and bravery of these patients, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is celebrating the second annual Rare Disease Day in the United States this Sunday, February 28. NORD is collecting patient stories, photos and videos to raise awareness of specific rare diseases, to be featured on a special website for Rare Disease Day U.S. activities: NORD, along with its 150 member organizations and partners, serves as an advocate for these patients by heightening awareness of their conditions and the need for increased research funding for effective treatments.

One of these partners is Discovery Health, a television network well-known in the rare disease community for its popular medical mystery programming. Discovery Health has joined NORD for the second consecutive year as media partner for Rare Disease Day. In honor of the occasion, Discovery Health will premiere “Disease Detectives” at 8 PM ET/PT, an hour-long special featuring the first televised look into the NIH’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP), a unique program that combines the scientific and medical expertise with our enhanced resources in order to identify some of the most complex and problematic medical cases.

Although progress has been made in recent years, approximately 15 million Americans have rare diseases for which there still is no approved treatment. I encourage you to learn more about rare diseases—as the odds are you already know someone dealing with such a condition.

To learn more about NORD, visit

You can also CLICK HERE to learn more about Disease Detectives on Discovery Health.

Filed under: Health • Health Care

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February 5, 2010

Woman's Day to celebrate the 7th Annual Red Dress Awards

Posted: 02:51 PM ET

Press Release:

Event to Benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation

NEW YORK, NY – Woman’s Day magazine’s 7th Annual Red Dress Awards will commemorate American Heart Month by honoring four women who have made significant contributions to the fight against heart disease, the number one killer of women today.

This year’s Red Dress Awards will be held on Wednesday, February 10th at The Allen Room at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Views Sherri Shepherd will emcee the event, which will feature performances by Mary J. Blige, Colbie Caillat and Anthony Hamilton, as well as appearances by Larry King, Jennie Garth, Tim Gunn and Dancing with the Stars’ Anna Trebunskaya and Jonathan Roberts.

One of the Award’s sponsors, Campbell Soup Company, is teaming up with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn to help make heart health fashionable. Gunn encouraged people to design a Campbell red dress inspired by their heart-health hero to raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. Starting in January, people began voting for their favorite finalist’s story and inspired red dress design at to trigger a $1 donation from Campbell to the cause (up to $625,000). Gunn and the winner will debut the original red dress design at this year’s awards ceremony. People can continue to generate contributions to AHA throughout February by clicking on the photo of the winning dress on the website.

The Red Dress Awards will not only honor those making a difference in the fight against heart disease, but will also give others the chance to make a difference. Tickets for the event are available by logging onto For the second year in a row, all proceeds from the event will be donated to The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Established in 1988 by Larry King, the Foundation provides funding for life saving cardiac procedures for individuals who, due to limited means and no insurance, would be otherwise unable to receive lifesaving treatment.

Filed under: Health • Larry King Live

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