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Jemal Countess/Getty Images(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Former President George W. Bush's daughter, Barbara Pierce Bush, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for a Planned Parenthood fundraiser next week.

On Wednesday, Bush, 35, will headline Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas' annual Forth Worth luncheon, according to an announcement from the women's health organization.

The older Bush daughter has publicly supported Planned Parenthood, despite her father's pro-life history. In a June New York Times interview with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Bush referred to Planned Parenthood as "exceptional." 

Bush, the CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, was also spotted at a Paris fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in October.

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Remy Biase/Remy Photography(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) -- One thoughtful husband worked out with a fake pregnancy belly to better understand what it was like for his pregnant wife to head to the gym with him.

Kristin Milchuck, who is 9 months pregnant, heads to the gym every morning six days a week with her husband Blake Milchuck.

While the two were working out with their coaches at CrossFit Krypton in their hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia, last week, they decided to see if Blake Milchuck would sport a faux belly to really see what it's like for his wife at the gym.

So, Blake Milchuck strapped a 14-pound medicine ball to his belly using duct tape and began their work out, which included running, modified burpees, rowing and biking.

"It was different," Blake Milchuck, 26, admitted to ABC News. "You definitely feel the frontal load, so things that I can normally do pretty easily weren't as easy."

He added that his workout last week was "the highlight of that morning's workout." So much so that the gym shared a video of Blake Milchuck working out with his fake belly. It quickly went viral on Instagram with more than 18,000 people watching the hilarious video.

Blake Milchuck said it made him appreciate his wife, Kristin, 26, a bit more. And it helped her laugh, which "was the main purpose," he added.

He added that he's always thought his wife of two years "was a bada--. She gets up at 6 o'clock in the morning to work out with me every day and now she's 38 weeks pregnant and she's still doing it."

"It's different at times to understand where your wife is coming from with the pregnancy ... so doing something like this makes it a little bit more fun for her, which makes it fun for me," Blake Milchuck added.

The two, who are expecting their first child together in three weeks, have no idea whether it's a boy or a girl. They said they want to find out at the hospital.

Still, Blake Milchuck is looking forward to "just being a father. I don't think I have anything in mind. ... I'm excited."

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Courtesy Imoh Umoren(LAGOS, Nigeria) -- A 2-year-old boy lost his school's race after he ran over to hug his father instead of crossing the finish line.

Imoh Umoren told ABC News that his son, Imoh Umoren II, likely ran to him in his nursery school's race because that's the way they had been practicing all week.

"I would run along [with] him in the front yard," Umoren, of Lagos, Nigeria, recalled. "Of course I would always let him win and when it got to the main event he assumed it was going to be the same thing."

Instead, however, the independent film director went over to the parents' area to watch the toddlers' race.

Umoren, 34, said that when his son realized he wouldn't be running too he "was upset that I didn't run along with him."

"So spotting me, he was overjoyed and ran to me," the father continued. "Being the hugger that he is, he would usually end most races by running into my arms at home, so for him, it was a natural ending."

Umoren said he didn't mind that his son lost the race because he didn't cross the finish line.

"When he came to hug me, I was immediately teary because it showed me that sometimes love is actually the prize," he said. "As adults ... we need to be reminded that love and friendship are more important than winning trophies."

And his son did go home a winner. In a second competition, Imoh Umoren II came in third place.

For Umoren, his family means everything to him, especially sine he lost both of his parents at the age of 13.

"So I have always craved that relationship with a child and I couldn't wait to have my own family," the father gushed. "And I'm really trying to raise him right to be a gentleman and expressive."

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Three members of the University of Oregon football team were recently hospitalized following what’s been described as a “grueling workout.” We’re talking about something called rhabdomyolysis.

This type of injury involves muscle trauma or injury, which then causes a leaking of the main protein in muscles into the blood, which -- among other things -- can then cause a clogging of the kidney’s filtration system.

Here’s what you need to know about spotting and preventing rhabdo:

  • The signs are swollen, red, tender and hard muscles that are exquisitely painful, as well as a dark color to the urine.
  • Treatment is in a hospital setting with IV hydration and monitoring of kidney function.
  • Just go easy. No sudden increases in frequency or intensity and you’ll do just fine.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — The rate of fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. more than doubled since 1999, outpacing suicide and car accidents in 2015 as a cause of death, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC researchers examined data from the National Vital Statics System to see the effects of drug trends across the nation from 1999 to 2015.

Rates of fatal drug overdoses have dramatically increased since 1999, rising from 6.1 deaths per 100,000 people to 16.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2015, according to the CDC report.

That number is higher than the rate of death for suicides in the U.S., 13.4 deaths per 100,000, or the rate of death from car accidents, 11.1 deaths per 100,000 residents.

The overall number of deaths due to opioid overdoses quadrupled during the same time period, according to figures previously published by the CDC. Opioids killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the CDC, which estimates that 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

Some 5000,000 Americans died from 2000 to 2015 as a result of the opioid epidemic, the CDC says.

People in all age groups were more at risk for dying from drug overdoses but those between their mid-40s and their 60s were hardest hit, according to the new report.

And despite persistent concerns over teens and young adults abusing drugs, middle-aged adults were the most likely to suffer a fatal overdose, according to the report.

People between the ages of 54 to 65 saw the biggest percent increase in fatal drug overdoses during the study period, rising nearly five-fold from 4.2 deaths per 100,000 to 21.8 deaths in 2015.

Americans between the ages of 45 to 54 had the highest rate of fatal drug overdoses overall in 2015, with 30 deaths reported per 100,000.

Dr. Caleb Alexander, a co-director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, said the report shows overdose deaths related to opioids are increasing at an "incredible rate"

"Each year I think it's hard to imagine it getting much worse and yet last year we had the highest number of deaths on record," Alexander said.

Alexander pointed out that the data highlighted how many people the drugs have impacted from across various age groups.

"Sometimes there's this perception that this is a problem of only teenagers or young adults and nothing could be further from the truth," Alexander said. "Middle aged and elderly adults are also being affected by the epidemic."

The deadly spread of illicit opioids were also reflected in the numbers. The percentage of fatal overdoses related to heroin more than tripled from 8 percent in 2010 to 25 percent in 2015. Synthetic opioids also took a heavy toll accounting for 18 percent of fatal overdose deaths in 2015 up from 8 percent in 2010.

But the increase was not all due to opioids, the percent of drug deaths from cocaine increased slightly to 13 percent in 2015 compared to 11 percent in 2010.

The percentage of overdose deaths due to natural and semisynthetic opioids — which includes prescription heroin drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone — decreased from 29 percent in 2010 to 24 percent in 2015.

In 2015 the states hardest hit by fatal drug overdoses were West Virginia with 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people, New Hampshire (34.3), Kentucky (29.9) and Ohio (29.9.)

Dr. Corey Slovis, chairman of department of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and medical director of the National Fire Department and National Airport, said the current drug epidemic is "the worst that I've ever seen it."

With opioid use increasing, Slovis said emergency services has had a hard time responding to all the overdose calls.

"It's that it's not just heroin anymore between the fentanyl [and] of the synthetic variants including carfentanil" an elephant tranquilizer, said Slovis.

Slovis said some illicit synthetic opioids can be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.

Fentanyl and Carfentanil, which was designed to be an elephant tranquilizer, has led in some instances to EMS personnel running out of the opioid antidote Narcan while treating a single patient, he said. Rather than use one or two doses they're using 10 doses to try and save a patient's life.

"When you use an elephant tranquilizer on a human, bad things are going to happen," Slovis said, explaining EMS personnel had to double the amount of Narcan they bring with them in the field.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — The good news: an Arizona boy is happily buzzing around after being stung angry bees.  Four hundred times.

ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV reports that Andrew Kunz, 11, of Safford, is swollen and covered in bee stings but otherwise OK after his misadventure.

Petrea Kunz, his grandmother, said Andrew was out in the desert with a friend Monday shooting old cars with his BB gun. Kunz hit a beehive and bees began to chase the boys. Andrew fell down and used his cellphone to call for help as he was being attacked by bees.

"He called me and he was crying. He was saying, ‘The bees are killing me! The bees are killing me,” the boy’s grandmother said.

Multiple responders including the Safford Fire Department rushed to help Kunz, who was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and is recovering and in good spirits, despite his condition.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Noah Parker van Rhyn Strunk was born exactly on his due date, Feb. 22, but he came into the world in a most unconventional way -- in the parking lot of the hospital where he was supposed to be born.

His parents, Noah and Lauren Strunk, left their Jacksonville Beach, Florida, home around midnight on Wednesday for the short drive to a nearby hospital for the birth of their second child.

The couple was joined in a caravan to the hospital by Lauren's mom and their birth photographer, Stephanie Knowles.

As Noah exited from the highway, Lauren's contractions began to increase.

"He started going faster and I knew something was going wrong," said Knowles, the owner of Jaiden Photography, who was driving behind the Strunks.

When Noah took a wrong turn that left him near the hospital's emergency room instead of the maternity unit, Lauren told him to park the car immediately because the baby was on its way.

"She said to come over to her side to catch the baby, in her words, so I did," Noah, 35, told ABC News. "Maybe a contraction or two later, our son was on Lauren's chest."

On hand to capture the minutes-long delivery was Knowles, who was photographing her first client birth photo shoot.

"It went through my head if I should put my camera down and help and then I said, 'I'm just going to stand back,'" Knowles said. "That was my goal even before, just to stand back and capture the moments, so I just started shooting."

The photos taken by Knowles show Parker resting on Lauren's stomach with Noah by their side. The newborn came into the world at 12:21 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

"A very anxious moment of love," Noah said of his son's birth, adding that his emotions included "shock, awe, anxiety, love, all of it."

Lauren, who had prepared for a natural childbirth, was taken by hospital medical personnel into the hospital for care with her son. Both mom and baby and older brother, Harrison, 3 are doing well.

The family is expecting to be discharged from the hospital tonight. The baby's middle name, Parker, is a nod to his unconventional delivery location, his parents said.

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Gretchen Hertler McInvale (NEW YORK) -- A kindergarten teacher and her class are helping mothers who may struggle to afford necessities for their newborns.

Teacher Gretchen Hertler McInvale leads her students at Spencer Elementary School in Middletown, Connecticut, in assembling boxes of donated necessities for babies and taking them to nearby Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

"It starts even with the littlest ones knowing that they can help someone else and they love it," McInvale told ABC News. "When it's snowing or rainy the first thing they think of is, 'A baby gets to go home warm today.' I just don't think character could wait to be taught until you're older. It needs to be taught in the youngest of ages -- to be a good person and to give back."

McInvale gave birth to all three of her children at Saint Francis. She was inspired to start her Keep a Baby Warm" project after having her daughter, Courtney, at the hospital.

"When I was having my first daughter, the woman next to me, we were in the recovery room and I heard her ask the nurse if she had anything to bring her baby home in," McInvale recalled. "I felt so bad because I just had this beautiful baby shower and she had nothing new."

McInvale began gathering baby items to infants born to financially-struggling parents. The project started small with her daughters helping with donations.

Soon, the teacher got her kindergarten students involved. Items are donated by the students' families, school staff and community members.

 This Valentine's Day, McInvale and her 21 students delivered 30 boxes filled with blankets, onesies, knitted hats, socks, rattles and pacifiers.

The children were even introduced to a newborn through a hospital nursery window during their visit.

"Gretchen McInvale has been doing this for 29 years, and our staff really looks forward to the visit from the children," said Fiona Phelan, Saint Francis' media relations manager. "They bring lovely gifts for the newborns, many of which don’t have warm clothes or blankets waiting for them at home. The children are thrilled to be able to be a 'big' person and see what it was like to be a baby."

McInvale is also an author of a book, "Between the Darkness and the Light." All proceeds from its sales go to the Keep a Baby Warm" initiative, McInvale said.

She hopes that one day her daughters will carry on the project for years to come, McInvale said.

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DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- People with long-term stress may be more likely to be obese, according to a recent study by scientists at the University College London, and the telltale signs can be found in strands of hair.

The paper published Thursday in the journal Obesity found that people who have a higher level of the stress hormone cortisol, which affect's the body's metabolism and how it distributes fat, over a long period of time may be more likely to be obese. Their levels of cortisol were measured through hair samples.

This study is part of growing body of evidence linking stress and excess weight gain, including obesity, which is linked to higher risk for heart disease and cancers, according to the World Health Organization.

"We don’t know what is the true relationship between stress and obesity," said Sarah Jackson, a research associate at the Institute of Epidemiology & Health at the University College of London. "We know there’s a relationship there but we don’t know if it’s stress causing obesity or obesity causing stress."

To better understand the long-term relationship between weight and stress over time, researchers looked at information from multiple four-year periods starting in 2002. They compiled data on cortisol and body measurements from 2,527 men and women between the ages of 54 and 87 who were participating in the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing.

Cortisol levels were examined in study participants' hair at two time points four years apart to determine the relationship between persistent obesity and hair cortisol levels.

Researchers cut a lock of hair from each participant as close to the scalp as possible. Hair grows approximately 1 cm a month and 2 cm of hair was obtained to represent two months of time. Measurements of hair cortisol levels, as well as body height, weight and waist circumference were taken to determine obesity trends over time.

Scientists found those who had higher hair cortisol levels had a tendency to be larger and weigh more. In general, they also had the largest waists, were the heaviest in weight and had the highest body mass indexes (BMI).

Those considered to be obese or having a waist greater than 44 inches in men or 34.5 inches in women had the highest levels of stress hormone compared to other subjects.

The study authors acknowledge that the findings are preliminary and a vast majority of the subjects studied so far, 98 percent, where white and British. The data were also from people older than 50 and from only the most recent assessments since tests for hair cortisol have been established.

While preliminary, Jackson said the findings may help encourage people to take steps to diminish stress in their life.

"Just try to be aware of lifestyle at times of stress," said Jackson. "Really we need to have people get up and be active."

She added that finding constructive ways to handle stress could also help mitigate the body's response to it.

"It could be good to reduce their exposure to stress or finding coping situations to stress, to be able to manage it more effectively," she said.

The study findings do not prove that stress causes obesity, but do add to past evidence that they are linked, according to Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University Prevention Research Center.

"We have long had a large body of evidence implicating chronic stress and its hormonal effects with elevated body fat," said Katz. "So the association is certainly plausible."

Katz said there continues to be a tremendous amount of evidence that chronic stress is a serious factor in determining overall health, adding that the closely associated hormone, cortisol, "contributes to adipose tissue gain and obesity in particular."

"From the weight of evidence, it is rather clear that chronic stress is both bad for health in general," Katz said, "and due in part to effects on cortisol."

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Ingram Publishing/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

The handwriting on the wall was clear when President Obama spoke at a drug summit last year.

He said that we’re seeing more people killed because of opioid abuse than traffic accidents. And now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that heroin deaths outnumber deaths from handguns, and deaths from synthetic opioids -- like fentanyl -- more than doubled from 2014 to 2015.

So here’s what you need to know when it comes to opioids:

In the short term, this class of pain meds can be safe and effective for things like surgical pain or an acute injury. But the lowest dose that works for the shortest period of time should be used.

And remember that other non-opioid kinds of pain relievers can work very well for pain, along with acupuncture and other therapies.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Olfactory expert Dr. Kara Hoover says modern life is killing mankind's sense of smell, and that is leading us to eat poorly.

Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston, Hoover explained that spending time away from nature has dulled the senses humans have developed over their evolution.

What's more, the U.K. Telegraph noted, Dr. Hoover says pollution and other modern-day staples — even messy homes — contribute to this dulling of the important sense, which in turns leads us to seek out food that's more salty and fattening.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) --  Hundreds of California nurses and other community activists are rallying Wednesday in favor of a bill that could make the state the first to successfully launch a single-payer healthcare system.

The groups see this as a chance for large state of California to show how a single-payer system can work and the necessity of providing universal health care coverage, according to Bonnie Castillo, the RN Response Network director at National Nurses United.

"We believe it's a right and not a privilege," Castillo told ABC News. "We know at the federal level there is debate and quandary about what to do and we know that this provides an opportunity in California to set a standard and a model for the nation."

Supporters of the plan say the timing is right for this kind of legislation in the state, which has enormous influence with a population of nearly 40 million people and the 6th largest economy in the world. Health care coverage has been under added scrutiny as Republican leadership in Washington, D.C., has pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leaving many questions about public options for health insurance.

This proposed legislation would go further than the ACA by creating universal healthcare for California residents, meaning everyone in the state would be eligible for coverage. The bill, the "Californians for a Healthy California Act," was introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and State Senator Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) last week.

"Healthy California gives everyone insurance, because everyone has a right to health care," Lara said in a statement at the time last week. "Trump and the Republicans don’t get to pick the health care winners and losers, and we’ll never get to 100% health care in California unless we lead."

If this legislation is turned into law, California could become the first state to start a single-payer health system in the U.S. Vermont passed legislation to start a single payer system in 2009, but the governor eventually scuttled the idea over financing concerns, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Castillo said the group is optimistic about the law's chance since many people have voiced concerns about a possible decrease in health coverage if the ACA is repealed.

"It's different political time, we're just coming off this presidential election where healthcare was majorly debated and a primary issue," Castillo said. She also cited recent studies including a Pew report released in January that found 60 percent of Americans say the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans.

This bill does not give details on how state officials would implement a single-payer system, which would require the state to take on the huge task of negotiating bulk prices for healthcare services and medications on behalf of the state's nearly 40 million people. Despite a lack of details, she said the group plans on being at the drafting table to ensure the system can function.

"It's a real opportunity to address this problem and in a way that provides real relief," Castillo said.

But the functional single-payer system would also have to overcome unique hurdles in a state where millions of dollars in federal funds are spent on health programs like Medicaid and veterans affairs.

Without details on how the plan will work with federal programs, it is difficult to say how functional it would be, according to Laurence Baker, a professor of health research and policy and a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

"This would have to interact with other national programs," Baker explained. "The system would have to be functional within the national health system ... it would be another layer of difficulty."

Other countries, like Canada, may have single payer systems that differ slightly depending on province, he said, but the U.S. is more complicated. Nothing like this plan -- a state-run single payer system that must also comply with federal government rules -- currently exists.

"It would have to be a uniquely American California system," Baker said.

It's feasible for California to pull it off, he said, because of its size and bargaining power, but that in the past there has never been enough political will to figure out the complex and daunting task of doing so.

"It has been up and down and it's never been a majority of the population," in support of the single payer system Baker said. "In a political sense ... what is the moment for folks who want to support it?"

California's state legislature has considered several healthcare bills since the early 2000s. They passed a similar bill in 2006, but it was vetoed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who said socialized medicine was not the answer to the state's healthcare problems. He subsequently proposed his own universal healthcare bill, but it was never moved forward.

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Guinnevere Shuster/Humane Society of Utah(NEW YORK) --  When a three-year-old dog named Rhino Lightning was surrendered by his family to the Utah Humane Society, he came with something very unusual: A colorful little notebook with pages of information about the pup, written by an eight-year-old girl.

"We've had people bring in animals with a toy or maybe a letter," said Deann Shepherd, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Humane Society of Utah. "But this is the first time a dog came in with a notebook from a child with instructions."

Sixteen pages of a 2 x 4 inch notebook's worth of notes came with the dog.

"Please don't change his name," she said in the notes. "He likes sleeping under blankets. Take him on at least 2 or 3 runs a day. Tell Rhino I love and miss him every night."

The little girl called Rhino Lightning a "striped dream."

 Shepherd told ABC News that Rhino had been adopted from the same place in December by a family with four children. Rhino, at 65 pounds, is "unaware of his size" and was not the right match for the family.

Rhino has since been adopted again and his new family, Shepherd said, is "following all the rules."

 Melanie Hill of Clearfield, Utah, saw Rhino's story on the local news and said to her fiance "that's my dog."

After visiting Rhino Lightning at the humane society and making sure he got along with the dog they already had, Bentleigh, Rhino became Hill's on Monday. A dog sibling was one of the requirements set forth by the little girl and, according to Hill, the two are getting along very well.

 In an unexpected twist, Rhino had brought Hill peace with something she's been struggling with her whole life. Hill was adopted and said she's had "bitterness" toward her birth mother. Now, she knows how much giving up someone you love hurts.

"This little girl has totally changed my thought pattern about my birth mother," Hill said. "My heart breaks for this little girl having to give up her best friend."

As for Rhino Lightning, Hill said hers is his forever home. "I want this little girl to know her puppy is smothered in love. Neighbors have brought toys and treats, everyone comes to visit him. He is safe, and he is so, so loved."

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WLS-TV(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago infant is going home Wednesday for the first time, more than four months after being born as a "micro-premie."

Entitan Martins delivered her daughter Eirianna when she was just 23 weeks pregnant. Weighing in at just 13 ounces, Eirianna is the smallest surviving infant to be born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago, according to hospital officials.

"I'm just grateful that we're both here," Martins told ABC's Chicago station WLS-TV. "It's been a long haul."

While pregnant, Martins had pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage in other organs. As a result, she knew that she would deliver early, but 23 weeks was so early that Eirianna was born on the edge of survivability.

"He comes in one day and says, 'We're having the baby now. I'm calling your husband, we're gonna do it,'" Martin told WLS-TV of the moment a doctor told her she needed to deliver.

Born via a cesarean section, the tiny infant was so fragile that her parents couldn't even reach out and touch her as a newborn in case they accidentally injured her, according to WLS.

"I thought I was prepared for it, but when I saw her I was shell shocked," Martins told WLS-TV.

After months in the hospital, Eirianna now can now feed via bottle and looks just like any other healthy newborn.

"Oh, it's great. I mean, she looks so good. She looks like she never was a little tiny premie," Beckie Deir, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, told WLS.

As Martins prepares to take her daughter home Wednesday, she looked back on her daughter's survival after such an early delivery as "a gift."

"It feel like a miracle, like a blessing," Martins said. "I am very grateful."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — YouTube star and comedian Hannah Hart, best known for her boozy cooking mishaps on her popular series, “My Drunk Kitchen,” said she turned to meditation while she was working to get her mentally ill mother proper care.

Meditation "helps with my reactivity,” Hart told ABC News' Dan Harris during an interview for his podcast/livestream show, “10% Happier.” “On the outside, I’m always seemingly pretty calm unless I’m super happy, but on the inside, I can get really anxious really fast and meditation has kind of helped me control that.”

Her older sister, Naomi, introduced her to the guided meditation app Headspace, and it has “brought meditation into my daily life,” Hart said. “I’m not forcing myself to calm down. I just have more calm in me.”

Hart’s bubbly, shiny personality online has earned her millions of fans, many of whom were surprised to learn about her life-long private struggle of dealing with mental health issues in her family, as detailed in her memoir, Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded.

In her memoir, Hart, 30, goes into great detail about her profound family issues growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hart said her parents split up when she was a baby and she and her sister, Naomi, were mainly raised by their mother, Annette, who suffers from psychosis, in a home that Hart described as being in total squalor. She and her sister also spent time with their father, a devout Jehovah’s Witness — something Hart also described as having issues with.

“I think my ability to feel compassion for another person has been a great blessing in my life and it’s something my mother has taught me. My ability to have great optimism is something my mother has taught me. But at the same time she hasn’t been the most reliable parent, through no fault of her own,” Hart said. “Everyone’s trauma is different, but it really took me a long time to realize, and I’m still kind of in denial, I guess, that it was more abnormal than normal.”

Hart’s book is told from her perspective of watching her mother’s condition worsen over time, eventually leading Hart to care for her. Last year, her mother was placed in an involuntary psychiatric hold, which eventually led Hart to become her conservator.

“The book really deals with kind of my mother’s decent, eventually culminating in homelessness, eventually culminating in me trying to provide care for her and my journey from a child to an adult trying to provide care for this person that I love, love deeply, and coming against a system that literally told me, ‘There’s nothing you can do,’” Hart said.

Hart had become an established YouTube sensation when she won her case to be allowed to become her mother's conservator, meaning she can make decisions about her mother’s psychiatric wellbeing on her behalf — something she said is almost never granted. She has become an outspoken advocate for mental health reform.

“I can say, with total sincerity, that the only reason I pursued entertainment was to spread this message,” Hart said. “I’m really lucky that I’m funny, because it gave me a platform to do this.”

Hart’s most-well known series, “My Drunk Kitchen,” was started by accident, Hart said. In 2011, she was living in New York City and wanted to cheer up a friend back in California, so she sent her a YouTube video of herself getting drunk while cooking. That video ended up going viral — today it has over 4.1 million views — and seeing an opportunity, she began to do more.

Since then, Hart has built an entire “Harto” YouTube brand that includes videos of candid confessions about coming out as gay, quirky dating and relationship advice, hilarious DIY mishaps and hanging out and drinking with friends.

Her main YouTube channel now has over 2.5 million subscribers. She has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 1 million followers on Twitter. In addition, she has written two books, starred in two straight-to-VOD movies and hosted several live #NoFilterShows.

Her next project is to switch from the internet to television with a Food Network series, though she said it will not be a TV-version of “My Drunk Kitchen.”

“I want to be able to have that freedom to post and say and do whatever I want,” she said. “Television, in a lot of ways — you have to work with a bigger partner, and ‘My Drunk Kitchen’ is just for me and my friends.”

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