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Merrell, Life Time Fitness invite Georgians to free fitness classes

Merrell, Life Time Fitness invite Georgians to free fitness classes

(WXIA) -- Shoe and clothing brand Merrell, along with national fitness center Life Time Fitness are holding upcoming fitness classes around Atlanta, free of charge for anyone who attends. 

All classes, "Outisde Fitness Powered by Merrell," are held at various Life Time Fitness locations. As a spokesperson said, the classes are taught by certified personal trainers, and follow a boot camp format. 

Participating Life Time locations include Alpharetta, north Atlanta, Johns Creek, Peachtree Corners, Sugarloaf and Woodstock Mountain Brook. Classes are held three times per week, and run from June 1 - August 30. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser

Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser

WHO: The Lodge at BridgeMill and its fitness instructor, Jay Bird

WHAT: A Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser featuring an International Wine Tasting, Silent Auction and Art Show to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation

WHERE: The Fundraiser will be held at the Lodge at BridgeMill, located at 10451 Bells Ferry Road, Canton, Georgia

WHEN: Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm

City of Woodstock to hold LifeSouth Blood Drive

City of Woodstock to hold LifeSouth Blood Drive

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- The City of Woodstock is holding the LifeSOuth Blood Drive on Wednesday at the Woodstock City Annex.

The drive will run from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Walk-Ins are welcome. All donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid form of identification. 

Before donating blood, it is important to eat iron-rich foods and drink plenty of non-caffein beverages. 

For more information, visit LifeSouth online

Canton girl nicknames kidney after mom

Canton girl nicknames kidney after mom

CANTON, Ga. -- March 28 is Lilly Grace's birthday, and it's all made possible by Millie, the nickname she gave her kidney. 

Lilly Grace and 6-year-old sister Maggie both have a rare genetic disease called Cystinosis. Their mom pulled out a pile of paperwork to try to explain it.

"We didn't know what it was before Lilly Grace was diagnosed. Most doctors don't. We have to explain it to them," Ashley Haynes said.

The sisters are used to explaining it to other kids.

"I sort of just tell them I have a disease that makes me be sort of different," Lilly Grace said. 

"My kidney is worse than anybody else and I have to take lots of medicine," Maggie adds.

It means the lunch boxes that are color coordinated with their backpacks are really medical kits. They have multiple prescriptions they have to take every six or 12 hours.

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

Atlanta recruiting 5,000 volunteers for cancer study

ATLANTA -- Sixty years ago, 1 million men and women signed up for the first-ever Cancer Prevention Study. They filled out surveys every few years. And the information from those million Americans led to a dramatic discovery.

Doctor Alpa Patel with the American Cancer Society is the lead researcher on CPS3, the third generation of the cancer prevention studies.

MORE | Join the Cancer prevention Study 3

"The first study was actually set up to specifically address the question of whether not smoking caused lung cancer, and it provided the first evidence that in fact smoking is what was the causal fact, causal factor with the increase rise in lung cancer death rates we were seeing in men at that time," she said.

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

ATLANTA -- The YMCA of Metro Atlanta kicked off a campaign on Tuesday that will connect families in need with scholarships, allowing them to participate in YMCA programs. 

The campaign, Why It Matters takes place once a year. For 2013, board members Charlie Yates, Jr. and Carol Cookerly will co-chair the campaign as it works towards raising $2.7 million. 

"The Y has always had an annual campaign that helped meet the need for financial assistance," Cookerly said. "But, this marks the first year we are pulling together our 23 local Ys and launching a system-wide brand and effort to secure the funds we need to continue to play a pivotal role in Atlanta by helping individuals, especially children, reach their greatest potential."