MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: April 7, 2017

Congressman Dan Donovan of Staten Island is fighting to get drugs off the street. Gloria Steinem will tell us about her feminist Seders. "Sesame Street" introduces us to a new character who will help to demystify autism. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park will be overflowing in purple this weekend to fight against pancreatic cancer.

AIRED: April 06, 2017 | 0:26:47
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

PRESIDENT TRUMP MAKES GOOD ON

HIS PROMISE TO TAKE ACTION

AGAINST THE SYRIAN REGIME FOR

ITS CHEMICAL ATTACKS ON

CIVILIANS.

WE'RE WATCHING THE FALL OUT FROM

LAST NIGHT'S MISSILE ATTACK.

>>> YESTERDAY NINE PEOPLE

OVERDOSED ON HAIR WIN RIGHT HERE

IN NEW YORK CITY.

ONE IN MACY'S BATHROOM.

THE REGION'S EXPLODING OPIOID

EPIDEMIC.

CONGRESSMAN DAN DONOVAN ON

STATEN ISLAND KNOWS TOO WELL THE

DANGERS OF THE SCOURGE.

HIS DISTRICT HAS BEEN HIT HARD

BY THE OPIOID CRISIS.

BUT HE NOW HAS A PLAN TO HELP

FIGHT IT.

HE'LL JOIN US TO DISCUSS THAT

AND THE LATEST ON THE REPUBLICAN

PUSH TO REPEAL AND REPLACE

OBAMACARE.

>>> AS PASS OVER APPROACHES,

GLORIA STEIN UM BUCKS IT AND

REDISCOVERING THE WOMEN WHO ARE

AT THE HEART OF THE HOLIDAY FOR

THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

>>> AS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH

MARCHES ON, FRIENDS ON "SESAME

STREET" INTRODUCE US TO A NEW

NEIGHBOR WHO WILL HELP DEMYSTIFY

THE DISORDER FOR ALL.

>>> PROSPECT PARK WILL BE AWASH

IN PURPLE TO HELP COMBAT

PANCREATIC CANCER.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS

"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.

JENNA FLANAGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS

PROVIDED BY --

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR

"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY

MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR

RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE & G SERVING

CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE

BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING

IN THE FUTURE.

>> WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

PRESIDENT TRUMP FOLLOWED THROUGH

ON HIS PROMISE TO THE CHEMICAL

ATTACK ON ITS OWN PEOPLE EARLIER

THIS WEEK THAT BRUTALLY KILLED

DOZENS OF MEN, WOMEN AND

CHILDREN AND INJURED HUNDREDS OF

OTHERS.

>> IT WAS A SLOW AND BRUTAL

DEATH FOR SO MANY.

EVEN BEAUTIFUL BABIES WERE -- IN

THIS VERY BARBARIC ATTACK.

NO CHILD OF GOD SHOULD EVER

SUFFER SUCH HORROR.

IT IS IN THIS VITAL NATIONAL

SECURITY INTEREST OF THE UNITED

STATES TO PREVENT AND DETER THE

SPREAD AND USE OF DEADLY

CHEMICAL WEAPONS.

>> THE ASSAD GOVERNMENT AND ITS

RUSSIAN ALLY HAVE CONDEMNED

PRESIDENT U.S. STRIKES AND

DECLARED THEM AN ACT OF

AGGRESSION ON A SOVEREIGN

NATION.

WE'LL CONTINUE TO WATCH THIS

TENSE SITUATION.

>>> HERE AT HOME A DIFFERENT

KIND OF TRAGEDY WAS TAKING PLACE

YESTERDAY.

NINE PEOPLE OVERDOSED IN A

24-HOUR PERIOD INCLUDING ONE IN

A MACY'S BATHROOM ON HAROLD

SQUARE.

ALL VICTIMS OF NEW YORK CITY'S

EXPLODING OPIOID EPIDEMIC.

CONGRESSMAN DAN DONOVAN FROM THE

11th DISTRICT REPRESENTS STATEN

ISLAND, A PART OF THE CITY THAT

HAS SEEN A HUGE SPIKE IN OPIOID

RELATED DEATHS.

HE HAS NOW INTRODUCED

LEGISLATION TO COMBAT OPIOID USE

LOCALLY AND ACROSS THE NATION.

I HAD A CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH THE

CONGRESSMAN, THE ONLY REPUBLICAN

REPRESENTATIVE IN NEW YORK CITY.

I BEGAN OUR CONVERSATION BY

ASKING HIM WHY HE HAD OPPOSED

THE REPUBLICAN BILL TO REPEAL

AND REPLACE OBAMACARE, A PLAN

THAT BOTH HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL

RYAN AND PRESIDENT TRUMP

STRONGLY SUPPORTED.

>> I AM NOT A PROPONENT OF THE

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HURT

MANY HARD WORKING TAX PAYING

AMERICANS.

IT CAUSED PREMIUMS TO SKYROCKET.

THERE ARE FAMILIES NOW, FAMILY

OF FOUR, PAYING $20,000 IN

PREMIUMS.

THEY HAVE $6,000 DEDUCTIBLES.

THEY STILL HAVE HIGH COPAYS.

THEY SIMPLY DON'T USE THEIR

INSURANCE ANY LONGER.

AT THE SAME TIME THE AFFORDABLE

CARE ACT HELPED SOME PEOPLE.

IT EXPANDED MEDICAID TO PEOPLE

WHO ARE ABOVE THE POVERTY LEVEL

UP TO 138%.

SO, SOME PEOPLE HAVE BECOME

DEPENDENT ON IT.

I AM IN FAVOR OF REPEALING THE

PARTS OF OBAMACARE THAT ARE

HARMING PEOPLE, BUT AT THE SAME

TIME NOT HARMING THE PEOPLE THAT

IT HELPED.

AND THE REPUBLICAN PLAN AS I SAW

IT WASN'T GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE

THAT I REPRESENT.

AS YOU SAY, I'M THE ONLY

REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF CONGRESS IN

NEW YORK CITY.

THERE'S 13 MEMBERS.

THERE'S 12 DEMOCRATS AND ME.

BUT IT'S MY PARTY THAT'S IN

POWER RIGHT NOW IN LEADERSHIP,

BOTH AT THE WHITE HOUSE, IN THE

SENATE AND IN THE HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES.

SO, I FEEL AN OBLIGATION AND

RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PEOPLE IN

MY CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AS

WELL AS ALL THE PEOPLE IN NEW

YORK CITY.

SO, THE PROPOSAL WAS NOT GOING

TO HELP NEW YORK AT ALL.

FIRST OF ALL, IT WAS GOING TO

HARM SENIORS, PEOPLE WHO AT THIS

TIME IN THEIR LIVES ARE LIVING

ON LIMITED INCOMES AND HAVE HIGH

NEED FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE

PROBABLY MORE SO THAN THEY DID

IN THEIR YOUNGER YEARS.

RIGHT NOW THE LAW ONLY ALLOWS

INSURANCE COMPANIES TO CHARGE

SENIORS THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS

IT ALLOWS THEM TO CHARGE A YOUNG

HEALTHY PERSON.

THE REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL WAS

GOING TO INCREASE THAT TO FIVE

TIMES AS MUCH.

WE CAN'T BE HARMING SENIORS LIKE

THAT.

THERE WAS AN AMENDMENT TO THE

BILL THAT WAS GOING TO RELIEVE

THE UPSTATE COUNTIES OF THEIR

PAYMENT FOR MEDICAID AND PUT

THAT BURDEN ON NEW YORK CITY,

THE PEOPLE I REPRESENT WHOSE

TAXES WOULD HAVE BEEN CREASED

WITHOUT SEEING ANY ANY FURTHER

BENEFITS.

SO THERE WERE A COUPLE THINGS IN

THIS BILL THAT WERE GOING TO

HARM THE PEOPLE THAT I

REPRESENT.

AND AS MUCH AS I LOVE THE

REPUBLICAN PARTY, 740,000 PEOPLE

BACK HOME ARE DEPENDENT ON ME TO

DO WHAT'S RIGHT FOR THEM.

>> YOU KNOW, THE NEW PROPOSAL

THAT'S BEEN FLOATED BY THE WHITE

HOUSE, IT'S BEEN REPORTED WOULD

ALLOW STATES TO APPLY FOR A

WAVER FROM OBAMACARE ESSENTIAL

HEALTH CARE BENEFITS SUCH ASTHMA

TERNT CARE, MENTAL HEALTH AND

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

AND WOULD ALSO ALLOW STATES TO

OPT OUT OF THE COMMUNITY RATINGS

WHICH IN ESSENCE WOULD ALLOW

INSURANCE TO CHARGE DIFFERENT

RATES TO PEOPLE DEPENDING ON

THEIR HEALTH AND ON THEIR AGE.

DOES THAT SOUND LIKE SOMETHING

THAT YOU COULD SUPPORT?

>> WELL, WE COULD TAKE THE TWO

ISSUES SEPARATE, RAFAEL.

WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE

WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS, AND

WE PROMISE THE PEOPLE WITH

PREEXISTING CONDITIONS THAT WE

WOULDN'T ALLOW INSURANCE

COMPANIES TO DENY THEM COVERAGE.

THE DIFFICULTY WITH THE

COMMUNITY RATING IS NOW, YEAH,

THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE COVERAGE.

IT'S GOING TO COST THEM $30,000

A YEAR OR MORE.

AND, SO, IN ESSENCE THEY'LL HAVE

COVERAGE THAT THEY CAN NEVER

AFFORD.

SO, THAT'S A DIFFICULT THING IN

MY EYES TO THE PROMISE WE MADE

TO THESE PEOPLE WITH PREEXISTING

CONDITIONS THAT WE WOULD TAKE

CARE OF THEM.

AS FAR AS ESSENTIAL BENEFITS,

YOU KNOW, I'M A PROPONENT OF

ALLOWING PEOPLE TO CHOOSE THEIR

OWN HEALTH CARE AND WHAT'S GOOD

FOR THEM AND WHAT'S NOT.

THERE'S NO REASON FOR A 75 YEAR

OLD MAN TO HAVE A HEALTH

INSURANCE POLICY THAT COVERS

MATERNITY CARE.

IT'S NOT REALLY REASONABLE TO

HAVE A 26-YEAR-OLD WOMAN HAVE

COVERAGE THAT TAKES CARE OF

PROSTATE EXAMS.

SO I THINK THAT SHOULD COVER

BENEFITS.

PEOPLE CHOOSE WHICH BENEFIT IS

BEST FOR THEIR FAMILY AND WHAT

THEIR NEEDS ARE INSTEAD OF

LETTING THE GOVERNMENT DECIDE

WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM.

>> WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL OR

WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES

THAT SEPARATE THE CONSERVATIVE

WING OF THE PARTY, THE FREEDOM

CAUCUS, LET'S SAY, AND THE MORE

MODERATE WING OF THE PARTY

REGARDING THIS ISSUE?

AND IS THAT GAP -- CAN THAT GAP

REALLY BE BREACHED?

>> I THINK THAT'S THE STRUGGLE

THAT THE LEADERSHIP -- AND I

ADMIRE PAUL RYAN.

PAUL RYAN ASK A WONDERFUL LEADER

AND HE'S A GREAT SPEAKER.

HE HAS A DIFFICULT JOB.

HE HAS A DIFFICULT TASK.

AND HE AND THE PRESIDENT COULD

HAVE LET THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

JUST COLLAPSE UPON ITSELF.

A FEW YEARS FROM NOW

[ INAUDIBLE ].

ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WITH THAT,

THOUGH, IS BARACK OBAMA WAS A

GREAT POLITICIAN WHO PUT ALL THE

DIFFICULT PARTS OF THE

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IN THE OUT

YEARS WHEN HE WAS NO LONGER

GOING TO BE PRESIDENT.

INSURANCE RATES WILL INCREASE

THIS YEAR AND DONALD TRUMP AND

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WILL

PROBABLY GET BLAMED FOR THAT

WHEN IN REALITY IT WAS JUST THE

RESULT OF HOW THE A DFFORDABLE

CARE ACT WAS STRUCTURED.

WE MADE A PROMISE TO THE

AMERICAN PEOPLE, WE HAVE A

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT IS

BROKEN AND IT NEEDS REPAIR.

THE DIFFICULTY IS THERE'S 240

SOME ODD OF US WHO ALL REPRESENT

DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY,

WHOSE PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT

NEEDS.

AND SOME OF THE FOLKS ARE

CONCERNED ABOUT THE DEFICIT,

WHICH I AM CONCERNED, TOO.

>> BUT THEN YOU COME TOGETHER AS

REPUBLICANS AND IF YOU CAN, WILL

YOU TRY TO MAKE DEALS WITH THE

DEMOCRATS?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT, ONE OF

THE PROBLEMS WITH OBAMACARE

WAS -- AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE

ACT, IT WAS PASSED WITHOUT ONE

REPUBLICAN VOTE.

AND IF WE CONTINUE TO DO THIS

AND NOT HAVE BUY-IN FROM PEOPLE

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE,

THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION MAY TRY

TO OVERTURN THE HEALTH CARE BILL

THAT WE EVENTUALLY PASS.

HEALTH CARE SHOULDN'T REALLY BE

A POLITICS ISSUE.

IT'S A NATIONAL ISSUE OF THE

CITIZENS OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY.

>> CAN YOU COME TO A DEAL, YES

OR NO, BY THE END OF THIS YEAR?

>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE TIME

FRAME IS.

I THINK THE ORIGINAL TIME FRAME

WAS AMBITIOUS.

I DON'T FAULT PEOPLE FOR BEING

AMBITIOUS.

IT'S MY HOPE THAT WE DO COME TO

AN AGREEMENT AND WE REPAIR THIS

BROKEN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.

WE PROMISED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

WE WOULD DO IT.

WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO DO

IT.

>> OKAY.

LET'S MOVE TO A BILL THAT YOU

RECENTLY INTRODUCED INVOLVING

ONE OF THE MAJOR HEALTH CRISIS

IN OUR COUNTRY, THE OPIOID

EPIDEMIC.

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT

THAT BILL AND HOW YOUR

COLLEAGUES ARE RESPONDING TO IT?

>> YES, ABSOLUTELY.

BEFORE I CAME TO CONGRESS, I WAS

THE DISTRICT -- ELECTED DISTRICT

ATTORNEY OF STATEN ISLAND FOR 12

YEARS AND WE WERE THE EPICENTER

OF THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC THAT OUR

NATION WAS FACING.

WE HAD MORE YOUNG PEOPLE GETTING

ADDICTED, MORE YOUNG PEOPLE

DYING FROM OVERDOSES.

AND THROUGH OUR STUDIES WE FOUND

THAT A LOT OF UNSUSPECTING YOUNG

PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY'RE

INGESTING HEROIN ARE INJECTING

HEROIN THAT'S LACED WITH

SYNTHETIC OPIOID THAT'S CALLED

FENTANYL.

FENTANYL IS 50 TIMES AS POWERFUL

AS HEROIN IS.

THEY THINK THEY'RE INGESTING

SOMETHING THEIR BODY CAN'T TAKE

AND THAT'S WHY YOU'RE SEEING SO

MANY OVERDOSES.

SO, WE PROPOSED A BILL, WE

DROPPED A BILL THAT WILL

INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR

PEOPLE WHO SELL FENTANYL OR

HEROIN LACED WITH FENTANYL.

WE DECREASED THE AMOUNT OF

FENTANYL YOU HAVE TO POSSESS OR

SELL IN ORDER TO FACE MINIMUM

MANDATORY FEDERAL SENTENCES.

WE'VE ALSO PROPOSED IN THE BILL

TO PREVENT THE SALE OF PILL

PRESS.

A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE TAKE A

TABLET AND THEY THINK IT'S SAFE

BECAUSE THE FDA HAD APPROVED IT

AND, YOU KNOW, THEY SOLD IT OVER

THE COUNTER.

WHEN YOU'RE BUYING A PILL FROM

SOMEONE OFF THE STREET, THAT

PILL MAY HAVE BEEN MADE IN

SOMEONE'S BASEMENT THROUGH A

PILL PRESS SO YOU DON'T KNOW

WHAT'S IN IT.

SO, THERE'S NO NEED FOR AN

INDIVIDUAL WHO IS NOT A

PHARMACIST TO HAVE A PILL

PRESSER.

SO, WE'VE ALSO MADE THE SALE OF

THOSE THROUGH THE INTERNET

ILLEGAL.

>> ALL RIGHT.

CONGRESSMAN, WELL, THANK YOU SO

MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO BE

WITH US TODAY.

>> THANK YOU, RAFAEL.

♪ TRADITION, TRADITION

>> PASS OVER BEGINS NEXT WEEK.

IN HONOR OF THE HOLIDAY WE BRING

YOU A VERY SPECIAL CONVERSATION

AS PART OF OUR ONGOING LISTENING

IN SERIES.

SHE IS SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T

NORMALLY COME TO MIND AS JEWISH,

BUT GLORIA STEIN EM, FEMINIST

ICON AND POLITICAL ACTIVIST

SHARES WITH US HOW JEWISH

PERSPECTIVES AND TRADITIONS HELP

TO SHAPE HER LIFE.

SHE RECENTLY SPOKE ABOUT HER

FEMINIST SATTERIST AT THE

BROOKLYN JEWISH DAY SCHOOL.

LET'S LISTEN IN.

>> THERE WAS ALWAYS A THEME, AS

THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A THEME,

FOR EACH FEMINIST SADER.

>> YES.

>> IT WAS A CONTEMPORARY THEME.

IT'S COMING UP AND I'M SURE IT

WILL BE ABOUT THE PHARAOH.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> IT WAS ALWAYS THE KIND OF

POLITICAL THEME.

AND THEN WE WOULD DISCUSS IT

GOING AROUND THE CIRCLE.

>> DO YOU REMEMBER ANY

[ INAUDIBLE ] FROM '70s, '80s?

>> WELL, IN THE BEGINNING IT WAS

KIND OF DISCOVERING OUR

FOREMOTHERS, I WOULD SAY.

SO, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WE HAD

BEEN IN A PA TRON EMIC SITUATION

AND SOMEBODY LIKE ESTHER WHO HAD

BEEN FORBIDDEN TO MOURN HER

FATHER BECAUSE SHE WAS A

DAUGHTER.

>> TRADITION.

>> RIGHT.

SO, IT WAS REDISCOVERING, I

WOULD SAY, OUR OWN FAMILY AND

OUR OWN INTEGRATING OURSELVES

INTO THE TRADITION.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND THEN IT BECAME MORE

ACTIVIST IN THE CURRENT TIMES.

>> FASCINATING.

DID YOU AT THAT POINT THINK

ABOUT YOUR STEINEM NAME?

WAS THERE A PARTICULAR CONSCIOUS

FOR RAISING A WOMAN, EACH JEWISH

WOMAN?

>> WHAT WE WERE DOING WAS THE

OPPOSITE IN A WAY BECAUSE EACH

OF US, BECAUSE OUR NAME WE'RE IN

A PA TRON EMIC CULTURE.

WHAT WE DID FIRST WAS SIT THERE

AND SAY, I AM GLORIA, DAUGHTER

OF RUTH, DAUGHTER OF MARIE,

DAUGHTER OF -- AS FAR BACK AS WE

COULD GO.

AND OF ALL THE WOMEN WHO HAD NO

NAMES, YOU KNOW, VERY MOVING.

AND SINCE -- IT'S ALL THE SAME

CONTENT IN A WAY, BUT IT WAS

ALSO NOT MY GRANDMOTHER'S OR MY

PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER'S PART OF

THE FAMILY.

>> OH, RIGHT, YES.

>> BECAUSE WE WERE CONSCIOUSLY

RESTORING THE TRADITION OF THE

WOMEN IN OUR FAMILY.

>> SO, MOVE OVER, ELMO, BIG

BIRD, OSCAR AND GROVER.

THERE IS A NEW CHARACTER COMING

TO "SESAME STREET," AND HER NAME

IS JULIA.

SHE'S PART OF SESAME WORKSHOP'S

NEW NATIONWIDE INITIATIVE.

"SESAME STREET" AND AUTISM, SEE

AMAZING IN ALL CHILDREN.

SINCE THE YEAR 2000, THE NUMBER

OF KIDS WITH AUTISM IN THE

UNITED STATES HAS SKYROCKETED BY

ALMOST 120%.

ACCORDING TO THE CENTERS FOR

DISEASE CONTROL, TODAY ONE IN 68

CHILDREN HAS AUTISM COMPARED TO

ONE IN 150 IN 2000.

THIS MAKES AUTISM THE FASTEST

GROWING DEVELOPMENTAL

DISABILITY.

SO, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES

FACED BY AUTISTIC CHILDREN AND

THEIR FAMILIES?

AND WHAT IS "SESAME STREET'S"

NEW INITIATIVE DOING TO HELP?

JOINING ME IS THE VICE-PRESIDENT

OF FAMILY COMMUNITY AND

ENGAGEMENT JANETTE BETTENCOURT.

>> WONDERFUL TO BE HERE.

>> "SESAME STREET" HAS TACKLED,

EMBRACED SO MANY DIFFERENT

ISSUES OVER ITS MORE THAN FOUR

DECADES IN EXISTENCE HERE.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE THAT NOW IS

THE RIGHT TIME TO FOCUS ON THE

ISSUE OF AUTISM?

>> I THINK YOU MENTIONED PART OF

IT AND THAT IS THE NUMBER OF

CHILDREN IMPACTED IN THE U.S.,

ONE IN 68.

BUT MORE THAN THAT, OVER OUR

HISTORY, WHICH IS NOW "SESAME

STREET" IS REALLY GOING INTO ITS

46th SEASON, WE'VE HEARD OVER

AND OVER FROM THE AUTISM

COMMUNITY THIS AFFINITY BETWEEN

OUR MUPPETS AND CHILDREN WITH

AUTISM AND WE FELT IT WAS TIME

TO BEGIN TO TACKLE THIS AND DO

IT VERY, VERY SPECIFICALLY.

>> SO, LET'S TALK ABOUT JULIA,

ALL RIGHT.

>> YES.

>> WHO IS JULIA?

WHERE HAS SHE COME FROM AND

WHAT'S THE ROLE THAT SHE'S GOING

TO PLAY?

>> SO, JULIA IS PART OF A SUITE

OF RESOURCES THAT WE DEVELOPED,

AND THAT SUITE OF RESOURCES

INCLUDE VIDEOS REPRESENTING

CHILDREN WITH AUTISM, THEIR

PERSPECTIVE, AS WELL SIBLING

PERSPECTIVES, AND AS WELL AS

PARENT TIPS.

AND THEN WE KNEW AGAIN, BECAUSE

WE DID THIS BASED ON QUITE A BIT

OF RESEARCH, THAT IN ORDER TO DO

SOMETHING FOR THE AUTISM

COMMUNITY, REALLY HOW TO ENGAGE

IT IN A WAY IT'S WITH THE AUTISM

COMMUNITY.

SO, WE GOT A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT

OF FEEDBACK FROM ADVISORS AND

DIRECTLY FROM FAMILIES WITH

AUTISM WHO HAD CHILDREN WITH

AUTISM AS WELL AS WHAT WE CALL

THE GENERAL COMMUNITY.

AND THEY SAID, IT WOULD BE

BETTER IF YOU HAVE A MUPPET

REPRESENTING AUTISM AND SHE'S

PART OF OUR STORY BOOK.

>> HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT

GATHERING THAT INFORMATION,

CREATING THAT PARTNERSHIP WITH

THE COMMUNITY?

>> FROM THE VERY BEGINNING IT

WAS FOCUS THAT WE WERE DOING

THIS WITH THE AUTISM COMMUNITY.

SO, WE GATHERED A WIDE BREADTH

OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WHO

MAY AT TIMES HAVE DIFFERENT

PERSPECTIVES ON AUTISM ITSELF,

BUT FOR THIS IN TACKLING BETTER

UNDERSTANDING ABOUT AUTISM AND A

GREATER AWARENESS ABOUT AUTISM,

REALLY THEY CAME TOGETHER.

AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT WE

CREATED PROTOTYPES OF ALL THE

RESOURCES AND ACTUALLY WENT OUT

INTO THE COMMUNITY AND TESTED

THEM WITH FAMILIES WHO HAD

CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AS WELL AS

THOSE WHO HAD WHAT WE CALL

TYPICALLY DEVELOPING CHILDREN,

TO GET FEEDBACK BECAUSE, AGAIN,

THE PURPOSE OF THIS INITIATIVE

IS TO BRING GREATER

UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS.

>> YOU MENTIONED ABOUT --

APPARENTLY THERE IS A CONNECTION

BETWEEN AUTISTIC CHILDREN AND

THE MUPPET CHARACTERS.

WERE YOU SURPRISED?

>> NO, BECAUSE WE HAD HEARD THIS

QUITE A BIT OVER TIME.

AND I THINK IT'S THE AFFINITY

BECAUSE SOME OF THE PROGRAMMING

ITSELF AND OUR MUPPETS AGAIN,

TALK IN A SIMPLE MANNER, BUT

ALSO DEAL WITH TOPICS THAT ARE

RELEVANT TO ALL CHILDREN.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT WE'RE

TRYING TO STRESS HERE, THE

COMMONALITIES THAT AUTISTIC

CHILDREN SHARE WITH ALL

CHILDREN.

>> SO, IF PARENTS ARE WATCHING

THIS AND LISTENING TO YOU TODAY

[ INAUDIBLE ] THEY SAY, YOU KNOW

WHAT, I SHOULD GO WATCH THIS, I

SHOULD SEE THIS.

MAYBE THERE ARE A FEW PEOPLE ON

THE PLANET THAT DON'T KNOW ABOUT

"SESAME STREET."

YOU AND I WERE TALKING WE'RE

GOING INTO THE NEXT GENERATION.

WE HAVE A 12 WEEK OLD GRANDSON,

FIRST GRANDCHILD.

AND HIS MOM WATCHES "SESAME

STREET," OUR DAUGHTER.

BUT IF SOMEBODY IS WATCHING THIS

AND THEY'RE SAYING THIS SOUNDS

INTERESTING, WHAT WILL THEY BE

ABLE TO DERIVE FROM IT?

WHAT WILL THEY BE ABLE TO LEARN

THAT WILL HELP THEM?

>> WELL, FIRST, IT'S THE ACCESS

TO THE RESOURCES THEMSELVES.

THEY'RE FULLY AVAILABLE AND IT'S

SEPARATE FROM OUR PROGRAMMING.

SO, THEY'RE AVAILABLE AT "SESAME

STREET".ORG/AUTISM, AND ALSO

AVAILABLE THROUGH AN APP.

WHETHER ANYTHING, WHETHER IT'S

APPLE OR ANY OTHER SOURCE.

BUT IN THAT CONTEXT WHAT WE HOPE

ALL FAMILIES CAN TAKE AWAY, BOTH

THOSE IMPACTED BY AUTISM AND

THOSE WHAT WE CALL TOUCHED BY

AUTISM IS REALLY A GREATER

UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE

COMMONALITIES THAT ALL CHILDREN

SHARE.

AND NOT TO LOOK AT THE

DIFFERENCES, BUT RATHER THE WAY

WE SHARE, AGAIN, EXPERIENCES.

ALL CHILDREN WANT TO PLAY.

ALL CHILDREN WANT TO BE LOVED.

AND CHILDREN WITH AUTISM MAY

HAVE CERTAIN DIFFERENCES.

THEY MAY NOT LOOK YOU DIRECTLY

IN THE EYE OR THEY MAY HAVE SOME

SENSITIVITIES.

BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY

DON'T WANT TO BE A FRIEND AND

THEY DON'T WANT TO BE INCLUDED.

>> WELL, IT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S

GOING TO BE ANOTHER MARVELOUS

CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF

"SESAME STREET."

JANNETTE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

SPENDING TIME WITH US AND WE

LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING TO KNOW

JULIA.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> BE WELL.

IF YOU ARE A PARENT OF AN

AUTISTIC CHILD, YOU CAN LOG INTO

OUR WEBSITE, "METROFOCUS".ORG

FOR INFORMATION ON WEAR TO FIND

HELP AND HOW YOU CAN HELP

OTHERS.

>> IF BROOKLYN'S PROSPECT PARK

SEEMGZ A BILL PURPLE THIS

WEEKEND, IT'S A GOOD REASON.

THIS SATURDAY IS PURPLE STRIDE

NEW YORK CITY.

RUN AND WALK SUPPORTING THE WALK

AGAINST PANCREATIC CANCER.

IT IS A DISEASE THAT IS

ESPECIALLY DEADLY, CLAIMING THE

LIVES OF EVERYONE FROM APPLE

CO-FOUNDER STEVE JOBS TO ACTOR

ALAN RIP MAN.

SUSAN, GOOD FRIEND OF MINE,

AUTISM SPEAKS AND LONG TIME

PATRON OF PBS.

IN FACT, THE FIVE YEAR SURVIVAL

RATE OF THIS DISEASE IS JUST

UNDER 10%.

MAKE IT THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE

OF CANCER DEATHS IN THE COUNTRY.

TONIGHT WE WANT YOU TO MEET ONE

OF THE SURVIVORS.

FRANCO WON HIS BATTLE WITH THE

DISEASE AFTER SURGERY AND MONTHS

OF TREATMENT AND HAS BEEN CANCER

FREE SINCE 2009.

HE IS JOINED BY JULIE FLESCHMAN

WHO IS THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF

THE PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION

NETWORK WHICH IS ORGANIZING THIS

WEEKEND'S EVENT.

IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE, BOTH

OF YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I WANT TO TALK TO YOU IN JUST

A SECOND ABOUT YOUR STRUGGLE

HERE.

BUT, JULIE, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT

HOW AND WHY YOU GOT INVOLVED IN

THIS.

>> SO, 18 YEARS AGO MY FATHER

WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PANCREATIC

CANCER.

HE WAS 52 YEARS OLD.

AND HE ONLY LIVED FOR FOUR

MONTHS AFTER HIS DIAGNOSIS.

I WAS MAD.

I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW,

WHY WE WERE GIVEN NO OPTIONS,

WHY WE WERE GIVEN NO HOPE.

AND THAT THERE WAS NOTHING BEING

DONE ABOUT THIS DISEASE.

AND, SO, LUCKILY FOR ME, I

JOINED THE PANCREATIC CANCER

ACTION NETWORK AS THEIR FIRST

EMPLOYEE 17 YEARS AGO.

>> IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS

WHERE WHEN YOU HEAR THAT

SOMEBODY HAS PANCREATIC CANCER,

YOUR REACTION IS ALMOST ALWAYS,

OH, THAT'S TERRIBLE.

AND WE MENTIONED IN THE

INTRODUCTION, LESS THAN 10% THE

SURVIVAL RATE.

YOU TALKED ABOUT YOUR OWN

FATHER, JUST MONTHS AFTER

DIAGNOSIS.

WHY IS THAT?

>> SO, PANCREATIC CANCER IS

TOUGH BECAUSE OF WHERE YOUR

PANCREAS IS LOCATED.

IT'S DEEP IN YOUR ABDOMINAL

CAVITY SO THERE IS NO EARLY

DETECTION METHOD FOR PANCREATIC

CANCER.

USUALLY BY THE TIME IT'S

DIAGNOSED, IT'S LATE STAGE.

IT'S ALREADY METASTASIZED OR

SPREAD TO OTHER ORGANS AND IT'S

DIFFICULT TO TREAT AT THAT

POINT.

SO THAT'S CERTAINLY -- EARLY

DETECTION WOULD BE A KEY.

AND THERE HADN'T BEEN ENOUGH

RESEARCH.

THE PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION

NETWORK RAISES MONEY TO FUND

MORE RESEARCH AND GET MORE

SCIENTISTS FOCUSED ON THIS

DISEASE.

>> LET ME COME TO YOU.

YOU'RE VERY ACTIVE, YOU WERE

RUNNING MARATHONS.

>> YES.

>> HOW DID YOU, THEN, FIND OUT

YOU WERE SUFFERING FROM

PANCREATIC CANCER?

>> FOR ME IT WAS HALLOWEEN OF

2008.

IT WAS TWO DAYS BEFORE MY 42nd

BIRTHDAY AND TWO DAYS BEFORE THE

NEW YORK MARATHON.

AND I, AS YOU MENTIONED, I HAD

BEEN AN AVID RUNNER, BUT I

NOTICED THAT MY TRAINING WAS A

LITTLE BIT OFF.

AND I KNEW SOMETHING WAS UP WHEN

MY URINE WAS DARK.

AND I WAS STARTING TO GET A

LITTLE JAUNDICE.

SO AFTER A SERIES OF TESTS AND

IT'S NOT THIS, THANK GOD IT'S

NOT THAT, THANK GOD, ON

HALLOWEEN I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH

PANCREATIC CANCER.

>> WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN

THEY FIRST TOLD YOU THAT?

>> ABSOLUTE DISBELIEF.

I MEAN, HERE I AM, I'M 42 YEARS

OLD, I'M IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE.

I HAD TWO-YEAR OLD TWINS AT HOME

AND WAS PLANNING ON -- WE WERE

GOING TO GO TRICK OR TREATING

FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.

AND HERE I AM DIAGNOSED WITH

PANCREATIC CANCER.

LUCKILY FOR ME I WAS A CANDIDATE

FOR A WHIPPLE PROCEDURE WHICH IS

A SURGERY THEY ARE ABLE TO DO TO

REMOVE THE TUMOR.

AND AFTER RECOVERING FROM THAT

SURGERY AND SIX MONTHS OF CHEMO

AND RADIATION, I WAS -- I HAD

BEEN GOOD EVER SINCE.

NO COMPLICATIONS.

>> NO COMPLICATIONS.

>> EXCELLENT HEALTH AND I RAN

THE NEW YORK MARATHON THAT

FOLLOWING NOVEMBER.

>> GOOD FOR YOU.

SO, YOU'RE ONE OF THE GREAT

SUCCESS STORIES.

>> YEAH.

>> AS WE KNOW, THERE ARE NOT AS

MANY GREAT SUCCESS STORIES AS

WE'D LIKE TO SEE HERE.

LEGALITY ME COME BACK TO YOU FOR

A SECOND, JULIE.

IN TERMS OF PROGRESS, LET'S

START WITH RESEARCH.

ARE WE GETTING SOMEWHERE IN

TERMS OF THE RESEARCH BEING DONE

EARLIER, AT LEAST DIAGNOSIS AND

BETTER PROGNOSES?

>> THERE IS A LOT OF RESEARCH IN

EARLY DETECTION.

OBVIOUSLY IN THE AREA OF

TREATMENT.

WE'VE GOTTEN -- THERE'S A LOT OF

INTERESTING WORK, I THINK, BEING

DONE.

WE UNDERSTAND BETTER ABOUT THE

BASIC BIOLOGY OF PANCREATIC

CANCER THAT ALLOWS US TO THINK

OF BETTER WAYS TO TREAT IT.

AND THERE ARE A LOT OF CLINICAL

TRIALS GOING ON.

SO, THERE ARE LOTS OF OPTIONS

FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DIAGNOSED

WITH PANCREATIC CANCER.

TO GET ON A CLINICAL TRIAL,

MAYBE THE BEST OPTION FOR THEM,

BUT THAT WILL ALSO HELP US TO

GET NEW IMPROVED TREATMENTS FOR

THIS DISEASE IN THE LONG TERM.

>> SO, SOMEBODY COMES TO YOU AND

THEY SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, I JUST

GOT A DIAGNOSIS, PANCREATIC

CANCER, AND IT SCARES ME TO

DEATH.

BUT I UNDERSTAND YOU DID IT, YOU

GOT THROUGH IT.

I SEE THE NUMBERS THAT ARE

CERTAINLY DISTRESSING.

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THAT PERSON?

>> YEAH, SO, YOU KNOW,

INFORMATION IS POWER.

YOU NEED TO FIND OUT WHAT'S

AVAILABLE TO YOU IN TERMS OF

TREATMENT.

YOU NEED TO GET YOURSELF TO A

DOCTOR OR A HOSPITAL THAT HAS

EXPERIENCE WITH THE DISEASE.

THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT.

SOME DOCTORS MAY NOT COME ACROSS

THIS, YOU KNOW, EVER MAYBE.

>> THIS IS AN AREA WHERE

EXPERIENCE IS REALLY ESSENTIAL.

>> YEAH, IT'S RARE IN A SENSE,

BUT WHEN IT STRIKES --

>> LAST QUESTION FOR YOU, JULIA.

IS THERE CAUSE FOR HOPE?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON AND,

YOU KNOW, I THINK THIS WEEKEND'S

PURPLE STRIDE EVENT TAKING PLACE

IS SUCH A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT.

OF PEOPLE COMING TOGETHER, THERE

IS ABSOLUTELY A SENSE OF

URGENCY.

WE NEED TO RAISE MORE FUNDING.

WE NEED TO GET PATIENTS AND

FAMILIES TO THE RIGHT PLACE SO

THEY CAN GET HELP.

BUT THERE IS A LOT OF ACTIVITY

GOING ON.

AND THE PAN CAN COMMUNITY IS A

WONDERFUL COMMUNITY TO BE A PART

OF.

AND I THINK ONE FINAL THING,

PATIENTS SHOULD REMEMBER THAT

STATISTICS ARE JUST STATISTICS.

>> RIGHT.

>> RIGHT?

AND THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS

DIFFERENT.

>> WHY SHOULD I NOT BE THAT ONE?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> GREAT WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING.

SO GLAD TO SEE YOU BACK AND

RUNNING AGAIN.

>> YEAH.

>> AND DOING WELL AND FOLKS WILL

GET OUT THERE THIS WEEKEND.

BUT THANKS BOTH OF YOU, FRANCO,

JULIE, FOR SPENDING TIME WITH

US.

>> THANK YOU.

>> YOU BE WELL.

YOU BE WELL.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> NOTE FOR YOU WATCHING AT

HOME, FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS

WEEKEND'S EVENT AND THE FIGHT

AGAINST PANCREATIC CANCER.

HEAD OVER TO OUR WEBSITE,

"METROFOCUS".ORG.

>> FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS

PROVIDED BY --