‘Scrubs’ actor Sam Lloyd diagnosed with lung cancer, brain tumor weeks after welcoming son

Scrubs” actor Sam Lloyd has been diagnosed with lung cancer just weeks after his wife Vanessa gave birth to their first child together.

A GoFundMe page for the actor, 55, said Lloyd was diagnosed in January after welcoming a son named Weston.

According to the page, Lloyd began experiencing headaches and suddenly lost 10 pounds which he initially attributed to his busy schedule and sleepless nights taking care of his newborn son. But after going to the doctor, a CT scan revealed a brain tumor.


His doctors ordered immediate surgery to remove the tumor but found that the cancer had spread to his lungs, spine, jaw, liver and brain.

A GoFundMe page is asking for $  100,000 to cover medical and childcare expenses for actor Sam Lloyd and his wife Vanessa who recently gave birth to their son, Weston.

A GoFundMe page is asking for $ 100,000 to cover medical and childcare expenses for actor Sam Lloyd and his wife Vanessa who recently gave birth to their son, Weston. (GoFundMe)

“In the face of this devastating news, Sam and Vanessa have been incredibly strong and positive. Humor and laughter, which have been a huge part of Sam’s life, will undoubtedly help him with what lies ahead,” the GoFundMe page, which was created by “Scrubs” executive produce Tim Hobert, said.

The page noted that Lloyd was cheering his “beloved New England Patriots in his hospital room” just after his diagnosis. His cheering was so loud he was asked by a nurse to “cheer quieter.”


“Sam politely nodded. When the nurse left the room, Sam turned to Vanessa and his friends and said, ‘What are they gonna do? Kill me?'”

The GoFundMe page is asking for $ 100,000 for medical and childcare expenses. As of Wednesday morning, more than $ 73,000 has been raised.

Lloyd is best known for portraying Sacred Heart lawyer Ted Buckland on the sitcom “Scrubs.” He is also the nephew of actor Christopher Lloyd.

Toddler suffering from hallucinations, seizures diagnosed with rare brain disease

An Illinois 3-year-old is on the mend after she was rushed to the hospital by her terrified parents when she experienced a seven-minute seizure and lost the ability to speak in full sentences.

Grace Smolinski, who had been experiencing seizures for several weeks prior to the episode, landed at Lurie Children’s Hospital, where the girl’s speech began to decline.


“Within hours of getting to Lurie, her speech started to decline,” Erin Smolinski, Grace’s mother, told SWNS. “She was a very vocal child and was capable of telling full stories, using full sentences. She went from that to only being able to say syllables. She went from singing whole songs from the movie Moana – to hardly being able to say ‘Moana.’”

Erin Smolinski was terrified when Grace began hallucinating about a sinister figure in her hospital room hours after she was admitted.

Erin Smolinski was terrified when Grace began hallucinating about a sinister figure in her hospital room hours after she was admitted. (SWNS)

Smolinski said her daughter’s condition continued to worsen, and she began experiencing fearful fits and tantrums.

“She seemed to think there was someone else in the room, and she seemed scared of that person,” Smolinski told SWNS. “It was terrifying. I wondered what she was seeing. The nurses told me she was likely having hallucinations.”


Smolinski said her toddler was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis. At one point she went into cardiac arrest and landed in the ICU, where she had another massive seizure.

“I just broke down as I watched what felt like 20 people work on her,” she told SWNS. “She was intubated and it was an image I will never forget.”

Grace has since been able to rejoin her friends at preschool.

Grace has since been able to rejoin her friends at preschool. (SWNS)

Autoimmune encephalitis is a group of conditions that occur when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy brain cells, leading to inflammation of the brain, according to the Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center (GARD). Patients may experience neurologic or psychiatric symptoms, including seizures, psychosis, speech issues, panic attacks, fear and others. Treatment may involve intravenous immunosuppressive therapy.


Two weeks later, Grace was able to return home to her parents and two siblings, and was put on a monthly dose of a chemotherapy drug to prevent relapse, SWNS reported. While she needed help with balance and speech at home, she has returned to preschool, and her mom says they haven’t noticed any cognitive issues.

“We feel lucky every day,” she told SWNS.

Boy born with kidney in thigh diagnosed with extremely rare disorder

A 10-year-old boy in the U.K. who was born with his kidney at the top of his right thigh was diagnosed with such a rare disorder, that his doctors have named his case after him. Hamish Robinson, who was born missing the 7p22.1 chromosome, reportedly has a fully functioning organ at the top of his right thigh.

According to Chromosome Disorder Outreach, chromosome 7p22 deletion can cause a range of symptoms including developmental delay, intellectual disability, internal organ malformations (primarily within the heart and kidneys), and facial abnormalities.


Robinson’s mom, Kay Robinson, said her son was born 5.5 weeks premature, weighing just 2 pounds, but that he was discharged from the hospital once issues with feeding were addressed. She told SWNS that it wasn’t until he started missing milestones at 17 months, that she took him to see a geneticist.

His chromosomal disorder was detected and has since been linked to hearing loss in one ear, severe asthma, learning difficulties and spinal issues. According to SWNS, Robinson also requires a voice computer to speak.


“It’s so hard knowing his condition is unique because no one knows what to expect,” Kay Robinson told SWNS. “Research is ongoing and his geneticist has written a paper on Hamish, but there’s no knowing what’s going to happen. The kidney is fully functioning but it’s the potential of what could happen in the future.”

Kay Robinson said a urinary infection could send her son’s health into a tailspin, but that for now doctors have opted to monitor the organ.

Despite his obstacles, Kay Robinson said her son is a personable boy with “a magnetic personality,” who has a love for karate and pantomime.

“Being with him has inspired me,” she said. “He’s been the biggest blessing of my life.”

Teen allergic to smells, heat diagnosed with rare condition

A 15-year-old girl who was forced to skip school and live inside a sealed room after she developed a life-threatening allergy to smells two years ago said she’s been able to gain some normalcy after being paired with a service dog.

“Caiomhe has changed my life,” Martine Baker, who was diagnosed with Mass Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), told SWNS. “I feel so much safer with her around, I am able to have a social life again. I lost a lot of friends after I developed MCAS, it’s hard for people to handle, for them to watch me collapse and have to take my EpiPen and be rushed to the hospital all the time.”


MCAS can be triggered by different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. According to Mast Cell Action, it affects both children and adults and can mimic other conditions, which may lead to misdiagnosis.

Baker's mom said the hives came on suddenly, and then began happening more frequently. 

Baker’s mom said the hives came on suddenly, and then began happening more frequently.  (SWNS)

Baker said her allergies started with hives, and then a sudden anaphylactic reaction that required hospitalization. The teen’s mother, Loretta Leighton, said that the hives began occurring more frequently, and at one point she was being rushed to the hospital three times a week.

After one harrowing incident involving a skunk outside of her window, Baker was sent to live at a friends while her family sealed her room to make it safer, SWNS reported. She also has to keep the temperature low in her room, as the condition caused her to develop a sensitivity to heat.


Baker was eventually diagnosed with MCAS by a doctor in Massachusetts and put on stabilizing drugs. Thanks to Caiomhe, the medication and changes in the family’s everyday life, Baker now only experiences an episode once every four to six weeks.

Caiomhe can smell when Baker is about to have a reaction before the teen knows, and can identify smells that may trigger her allergy.


“It could be very lonely at times, but Caiomhe is always beside me protecting me,” the teen, who also wears a mask to protect her from smells, told SWNS. “She makes me feel less alone, she even checks up on me in the middle of the night.”

College student who thought she had ‘common cold’ diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

A college freshman who thought her headaches were symptoms of a common cold that she had picked up after moving into her new dorm this fall has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Laura Nuttall, 19, has already undergone brain surgery and radiotherapy for the tumors, but her family says that they’re not sure how much time she has left.

“Our lives changed forever as Laura was diagnosed with 2 brain tumors,” Nicola Nuttall, the woman’s mother, wrote on their GoFundMe page. “She had a further MRI scan later that morning and it became apparent that she in fact had at least 6 brain tumors.”

Her family is struggling to cope with the diagnosis and is raising money for experimental treatments.

Her family is struggling to cope with the diagnosis and is raising money for experimental treatments. (Family Photo)

The GoFundMe page said that when Nuttall began feeling ill, she had coincidentally undergone a medical and eye test when she joined the University Navy Corps, where a doctor reportedly detected abnormalities behind her eyes. She was then referred to a neurologist and landed in Homerton Hospital in London as her condition grew worse.


According to the fundraising page, Nuttall was officially diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, which according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons is a fast-growing, invasive disease. Treatment is typically dependent on the location and severity of the tumor, and can include surgical removal as well as radiation and chemotherapy, but the prognosis for patients remains poor.

“We were devastated and horrified to find out that the prognosis was so poor with this disease, the most common length of survival following diagnosis is 12 to 15 months, with fewer than 3 to 5 percent of people surviving longer than five years,” the GoFundMe said. “Without treatment, survival is typically just three months.”


The family is raising money for experimental treatment as they struggle to cope with Nuttall’s diagnosis.


“As a family we couldn’t believe that our beautiful intelligent girl with so much life ahead of her, was basically facing a death sentence. It’s just heartbreaking,” the GoFundMe said.

Tennessee Outback Steakhouse worker diagnosed with hepatitis A; 143 get vaccinations

An employee at an Outback Steakhouse restaurant in Madison, Tenn., has tested positive for hepatitis A, health officials announced this week. Now, they’re urging customers who dined at the restaurant just before Christmas to receive a vaccine to prevent the contagious liver infection.

The Metro Public Health Department announced earlier this week that the employee, who has not been identified, tested positive for acute Hepatitis A. He or she worked at the restaurant’s Rivergate location while experiencing symptoms of the infection between Dec. 22 and Dec. 24, officials said.


“Individuals who dined at the restaurant on those dates have until January 7th to be vaccinated,” the Metro Public Health Department said, which added it is offering vaccinations at the Lentz Public Health Center on certain days until that date.

More than 100 people — 143 people to be exact — who dined at the restaurant had received a hepatitis A vaccine as of Thursday, a spokesperson for the Metro Health Department told WSMV-TV.

The “highly contagious” liver infection is caused by the hepatitis A virus, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus typically spreads when a person eats or drinks something “contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person,” the health agency said.


Those who contract hepatitis A — not to be confused with hepatitis B or C, which are caused by different viruses — may be sick for “several weeks” and usually fully recover, according to the CDC. It is rare to die from the illness, though hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death, typically in those who are 50 years of age or older.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, dark urine, vomiting, joint pain, and jaundice, among other signs.

Hepatitis A is preventable with a vaccine.

Recent grad diagnosed with paralyzing illness while teaching in Thailand

The family of a recent University of Mississippi graduate who has been teaching in Thailand since October is racing to raise funds to transfer her back home to Virginia after she developed a paralyzing disorder that’s left her unable to move from the neck down. Caroline Bradner, 22, reportedly complained of fatigue and weakness before experiencing full-blown paralysis.

Bradner, who according to the family’s GoFundMe page has since been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, has been in the hospital since shortly before Christmas, and will reportedly need medical clearance and be accompanied by a nurse on the 26-hour journey home, but cannot board a commercial flight.

Bradner's mother flew out to be with her on Christmas Eve.

Bradner’s mother flew out to be with her on Christmas Eve. (Courtesy)

Her father, Jim Bradner, told WTVR that the family’s insurance company has denied their request to cover her transfer home.


“The hospital there has put out bids to get us costs and we should know something in the next two to three days,” he told the news outlet, adding that they aren’t sure how long it’ll take his daughter to recover.

Guillain-Barre syndrome causes a patient’s immune system to attack the nerves, and typically first presents as weakness and tingling in the limbs. According to the Mayo Clinic, the sensations quickly spread and cause eventual paralysis, which nearly always requires hospitalization.

The family is raising funds to cover the cost of transporting her back to their home in Virginia.

The family is raising funds to cover the cost of transporting her back to their home in Virginia. (Courtesy)

While there is no known cure, treatment options can help ease symptoms and while patients are expected to eventually recover, some may experience lingering weakness, numbness or fatigue.


According to the family’s GoFundMe page, Bradner’s mother was able to fly to Thailand on Christmas Eve to be with her daughter, who has been pictured smiling alongside her care team.

“She’s scared because she can’t move,” Bradner’s sister, Pierce, told WTVR. “But she is really strong and really brave. She’s a great person, the best sister.”

New York Times: Daughters of foot doctor say he diagnosed Trump with bone spurs as ‘favor’ to Fred Trump

Did McCain mock Trump's draft deferments?


    Did McCain mock Trump’s draft deferments?


Did McCain mock Trump’s draft deferments? 01:24

(CNN)The daughters of a Queens foot doctor say their late father diagnosed President Donald Trump with bone spurs to help him avoid the Vietnam War draft as a “favor” to his father Fred Trump, according to a new report Wednesday.

Dr. Larry Braunstein, a podiatrist who died in 2007, often told the story of providing Donald Trump with the diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels so he could be exempt from military service, his two daughters — Dr. Elysa Braunstein and Sharon Kessel — told the New York Times.
“It was family lore,” Elysa Braunstein told the Times, adding that the story was “something we would always discuss” among family and friends.
The Times did not find documentation to help corroborate the family’s account, who described themselves as Democrats who dislike Trump, and Elysa Braunstein was unsure whether her father ever examined Donald Trump.
    The White House did not return the Times’ request for an interview with the President nor respond to questions about his service record.
    Dr. Braunstein rented his office in Jamaica, Queens, from Fred Trump in the 1960s, the Times reported, citing records. His two daughters told the Times that their father provided the diagnosis of bone spurs as a courtesy to the elder Trump.
    “I know it was a favor,” Elysa Braunstein told the newspaper, who added that the “small favor” got her father “access” to Fred Trump.
    “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and (Fred) Trump would take care of it immediately,” she told The Times.
    Elysa Braunstein also told the newspaper that her father implied that Trump did not have a foot ailment.
      In 1968, after receiving four deferments due to education, Donald Trump was diagnosed with bone spurs in his heels at the age of 22, seven years before the Vietnam War ended.
      In a 2016 interview with The Times, Trump claimed that a doctor “gave me a letter — a very strong letter — on the heels” to provided to draft officials. In the interview, Trump couldn’t recall the name of the doctor.

      Newlywed was diagnosed with aggressive blood cancer on honeymoon

      For Matt and Dani Fontanesi, everything was going according to plan. The American newlyweds had just been married in February and were ramping up for their honeymoon that August. They would leave their home in New Zealand to embark on a coast-to-coast tour of United States, hiking in Idaho, then sightseeing in Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Diego. After their travels wrapped up, they’d work on a new adventure: starting a family.

      Matt developed a bit of a cold before leaving but didn’t think much of it—August is winter in New Zealand, after all. “I was 33, and I ignored it,” says Matt. A bit of soup and a vitamin-packed smoothie, and he’d be good to go.

      During the first 14-hour leg of their flight, though, Matt’s simple cold developed into a high fever and intense sweats. By the time they got to Idaho, Matt crawled straight into bed, hoping some rest would sort him out. But as three days passed and Matt stayed in bed, Dani dragged him to the ER for some antibiotics.

      When the doctor came back with the blood test results, his lighthearted, let’s-get-you-better attitude from earlier had noticeably changed. “He looked visibly shaken and ashen, and he kept looking down,” says Dani. “I thought, ‘What happened in the next room?’”

      But it was Matt the doctor was worried about. The patient’s white blood cells were dangerously low. It was either AIDS or cancer.


      With Matt’s immune system down, even germs that would normally just cause sniffles could be deadly, so he was put into isolation at the hospital. “We couldn’t even have the window open because even pollen from flowers could come in and kill him,” says Dani.

      Three days later, the diagnosis came: acute myeloid leukemia. The blood cancer is rare, affecting less than 20,000 new people every year, according to the American Cancer Society. Make sure you know these 16 silent symptoms of leukemia.

      About 90 percent of Matt’s blood was cancerous, so he’d have to start chemotherapy right away. There was a catch—treatment would mean Matt could never have kids. They tried to preserve some of Matt’s sperm, but he was too sick. Even knowing their chances of starting a family were gone, they had no choice but to proceed.

      “They said it would get worse before it gets better. It got a lot worse,” says Matt. “Fevers of 105 to 107 every night. I’d shake violently and be packed in ice. I lost 35 pounds in the first 35 days.”

      Chemotherapy clearly was not enough, so Matt needed a bone marrow transplant. His sister was the perfect match, and they boarded another plane to San Diego for the treatment. As the Fontanesis got ready to board the flight, Matt asked his father-in-law to push his gurney around on the tarmac. “It had been two weeks since I’d felt the sun, and it wasn’t clear if I’d ever be out of the hospital again,” says Matt. “It was this moment of ‘grab your freedom while you can.’”

      At UC San Diego Health, the bone marrow transplant wiped out what was left of Matt’s immune system—and got rid of the cancer—making way for new white blood cells to repopulate. “You have a new immune system, but it’s as effective as a baby’s, so you need to be in isolation,” says Matt. His immune system was too weak to be in public, but Matt was strong enough to go “home” to a new apartment near the hospital.


      The Fontanesis lost everything back in New Zealand. The couple had quit their jobs—Matt as a structural engineer and Dani as a corporate lawyer—and gave up their home, their car, and all their belongings. All they had left were two weeks’ worth of clothes they packed. “In that first year [of marriage], we put every single word of our vows to the test,” says Matt. “It was such a powerful, galvanizing experience.”

      In the middle of Matt’s fight against cancer, a blog they’d started was picked up by New Zealand media, and the publicity meant their GoFundMe donations page started filling up—fast. They received all $ 80,000 they needed within about a week, much of it from complete strangers.

      The treatment went better than expected, and year after his diagnosis, Matt was already back at work in San Diego. But he and his wife have never stopped thinking about the unprecedented generosity that came their way. “The feeling of being blessed very quickly became an emotional burden. How do we responsibly accept this?” says Matt. “We recognized we needed to pay this forward and to be ambassadors for leukemia.”

      The two have been volunteering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, supporting other families going through similar struggles. “The most impactful moment is when you see these families pulling behind them a little red wagon with a picture of the child they lost to blood cancer,” says Matt, who is still cancer-free. “It’s so sad for us, wanting to start a family and to see someone who also had that stolen from them.”

      August 24 is normally a bittersweet day when the Fontanesis celebrate Matt’s strength on the anniversary of his diagnosis. But this year, the day brought a miracle: Dani found out she was pregnant. The couples’ fertility treatments had paid off, and they’re expecting a baby boy.

      “It literally came full circle,” says Dani. “We have a new appreciation for life and a gratitude for everything. Our lives are richer now because of it.”

      Next, check out these inspiring quotes from cancer survivors.

      This article first appeared on Reader’s Digest.