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tv   Today  NBC  October 15, 2015 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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from nbc news, this is "today" with kathie lee gifford and hoda kotb. live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> oh, to hear what goes on before -- >> the pregame. >> the pregame. it's thrifty thursday. it's thursday, october 15th. you know what today is? >> what is it? >> global hand washing day. please think about that after -- >> when you leave the restroom. >> yeah. >> we got it.
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by dee miller. we had her on our show. she was good. >> yeah. you with us? >> the camera falling apart. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> sometimes we don't know how we get on the air. okay, so we've got the actress who's very hot right now, rumor willis. as you know she's the daughter of bruce willis and demi moore. she's making a huge name for herself as an actress and a dancer. she's going to tell us about her new role on broadway. >> you won't believe what's going on behind closed doors. ambush makeover. our two fans were plucked and they're getting a once over for hot new looks. >> we're honoring a wonderful woman who's battling breast cancer but always manages to sea the light when she goes to a dark place. she's our everyone has a story winner. >> looking forward to meeting her. >> she wrote me such a beautiful letter. because i have to write the lyrics from the letter. so you need something that's lyrical, something that's poetic, you know?
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i'm looking forward to -- >> we were mesmerized in the makeup room because i don't know if you guys -- do you know how old dig ck van dyke is? he's 90. it's amazing watching him in action. look at. oh, hi, like nothing. look how it's nothing. >> well, how many pounds is it? >> that's a lot of pounds. >> you know what i love? >> what? >> remember when they said he comes so early to the gym, before it opens, so they gave him his own key. i mean, isn't that awesome? his attitude, just watching. >> i love to watch him dance. he does look fabulous. >> working -- >> i'd like to see that too. >> let's look at one of his this is an nbc news special report.
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here's lester holt. >> good morning. president obama is going to go before the cameras with a major announcement about america's longest war. he will outline another slowdown in the draw down of american troops in afghanistan. the president will say by the end of next year, 5,500 troops will remain in afghanistan. significantly more than the original target of 1,000. currently, there are 9,800 americans there, from a peak of 100,000 in 2011. nbc is at the white house. chris, how long has this been in the works? >> well, it's been in the works since march. that's when he ordered a review of what to do about the war plan in afghanistan. as recently as march, the president also said he intended to end this war, get most of the troops out by the end of his administration. obviously now, that will not happen. it's a significant shift in u.s. policy. it means he cannot keep his campaign promise to end the war, and that he will be surrounded today by his vice president, his defense secretary and the new
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chairman of the joint chiefs. lester? >> our pentagon correspondent standing by. jim, is this a reflection on the recent resurgence of the taliban in afghanistan? >> absolutely, lester. u.s. military officials say it was absolutely necessary to maintain a true presence because the afghan military, as they've proven recently, is just in no position right now to be able to take on the resurgence of taliban, al qaeda, and even isis terrorists in afghanistan. they need the u.s. help. >> here is the president now in the roosevelt room. >> good morning. last december, more than 13 years after our nation was attacked by al qaeda on 9/11, america's combat mission in afghanistan came to a responsible end. that milestone was achieved thanks to the courage and the
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skill of our military, our intelligence and civilian personnel. they served there with extraordinary skill and valor. and it's worth remembering, especially, the more than 2200 american patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in afghanistan. i visited our troops in afghanistan last year to thank them on behalf of a grateful nation. i told them they could take great pride in the progress that they helped achieve. they've struck devastating blows against the al qaeda leadership in the triable regions, delivered justice to osama bin laden, prevented terrorist attacks and saved american lives. they pushed the taliban back so that the afghan people could reclaim their communities, send their daughters to school and improve their lives. our troops trained afghan forces so they could take the lead for their own security. and protect afghans as they voted in historic elections,
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leading to the first democratic transfer of power in their country's history. today, the american forces no longer patrol afghan villages or valleys. our troops are not engaged in major group combat against the taliban. those missions now belong to afghans, who are fully responsible for securing their country. but, as i've said before, while america's combat mission in afghanistan may be over, our commitment to afghanistan and its people endures. as commander in chief, i will not allow afghanistan to be used as a safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again. our forces, therefore, remain engaged in two narrow but critical missions. training afghan forces and supporting the counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al qaeda. of course, compared to the
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100,000 troops we once had in afghanistan, today, fewer than 10,000 remain in support of these very focused missions. i meet regularly with my national security team, including commanders in afghanistan, to continually assess honestly the situation on the ground. to determine where our strategy is working and where we may need greater flexibility. i've insisted consistently that our strategy focus on the development of a sustainable afghan capacity and self-sufficiency. when we've needed additional forces to advance that goal, or we've needed to make adjustments in terms of our timetables, then we've made those adjustments. today, i want to update the american people on our efforts. since taking the lead for security earlier this year, afghan forces have continued to step up. this has been the first fighting season where afghans have
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they are fighting for their country bravely and tenaciously. afghan forces continue to hold most urban areas, and when the taliban has made gains, afghan forces, backed by coalition support, have been able to push them back. this has come at a heavy price. this year alone, thousands of afghan troops and police have lost their lives, as have afghan civilians. at the same time, afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be. they are developing critical capabilities, intelligence, logistics, aviation, command and control. meanwhile, the taliban has made gains, particularly in rural areas, and can still launch deadly attacks in cities, including kabul. most of this was predictable. we understood as we transitioned, the taliban would
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try to exploit some of our movements out of particular areas and that it would take time for afghan security forces to strengthen. pressure from pakistan has resulted more al qaeda coming into afghanistan. we've seen an emergence of an isil presence. the bottom line, in key areas of the country, the security situation is still very fragile. in some places, there's risk of deterioration. fortunately, in president ghani and chief executive abdullah, there is a national unity government that supports a strong partnership with the united states. during their visit earlier this year, president ghani and i agreed to continue our counterterrorism operation. he has asked for continued support as afghan forces grow stronger. following consultations with my entire national security team, as well as our international partners and members of
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congress, president ghani and chief executive abdullah, i'm therefore announcing the following steps, which i am convind offer the best possibility for lasting progress in afghanistan. first, i've decided to maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops in afghanistan through most of next year, 2016. their mission will not change. our troops will continue to pursue those two narrow tasks that i outlined earlier. training afghan forces and going after al qaeda. but maintaining our current posture through most of next year, rather than a more rapid draw down, will allow us to sustain our efforts to train and assist afghan forces as they grow stronger. not only during this fighting season, but into the next one. second, i've decided that
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normal embassy presence in kabul by the end of 2016, we will maintain 5,500 troops at a small number of bases, . again, the mission will not change. our troops will focus on training afghans and counterterrorism operations. but these bases will give us the presence and the reach our forces require to achieve their mission. in this sense, afghanistan is a key piece of the network of counterterrorism partnerships that we need, from south asia to africa, to deal more broadly with terror threats quickly and prevent attacks against our homeland. third, we will work with allies and partners to align the steps i'm announcing today with their own presence in afghanistan after 2016. in afghanistan, we are part of a 42-nation coalition, and our
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nato allies and partners can continue to play an indispensable role in helping afghanistan strengthen its security forces, including respect for human rights. finally, because governance and development remain the foundation for stability and progress in afghanistan, we will continue to support president ghani and the national unity government as they pursue critical reforms. new provincial governors have been appointed and president ghani is working to combat corruption, strengthen institutions and uphold rule of law. as i told president ghani and chief executive abdullah yesterday, efforts to deliver progress and justice for the afghan people will continue to have the strong support of the united states. we cannot separate the importance of governance with the issues of security. the more effective these reforms happen, the better off the
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be. we also discussed american support of an afghan-led reconciliation process. by now, it should be clear to the taliban and all who oppose afghanistan's progress, the only real way to achieve the full draw down of u.s. and foreign troops from afghanistan is through a lasting political settlement with the afghan government. like wise, sanctuaries for the taliban and other terrorists must end. next week, i'll host prime minister sharif of pakistan, and i'll urge all parties in the region to press the taliban to return to peace talks and to do their part in pursuit of the peace that afghans deserve. in closing, i want to speak directly to those whose lives are most directly affected by decisions i'm announcing today. to the afghan people, who have
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suffered so much, america's commitment to you and to a secure, stable and unified afghanistan that remains firm. our two nations have forged the strategic partnership for the long term. as you defend and build your country, today is a reminder that the united states keeps our commitments. to our men and women in uniform, i know this means that some of you will rotate back into afghanistan. with the end of our combat mission, this is not like 2010, when nearly 500 americans were killed and many more were injured. but still, afghanistan remains dangerous. 25 brave americans have given their lived there this year. i do not send you into harm's way lightly. it's the most solemn decision that i make. i know the wages of war and the wounded warriors i visit in the
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gold star families. but as your commander in chief, i believe this mission is vital to our national security interests in preventing terrorist attacks against our citizens and our nation. and to the american people, i know that many of you have grown weary of this conflict. as you are well aware, i do not support the idea of endless war, and i have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflict that is do not serve our core security interests. yet, given what's at stake in afghanistan, and the opportunity for a stable and committed ally that can partner with us in preventing the emergence of future threats, and the fact that we have an international coalition, i am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort. in the afghan government, we have a serious partner who wants
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our help. and the majority of the afghan people share our goals. we have a bilateral security agreement, to guide our cooperation. every single day, afghan forces are out there fighting and dying to protect their country. they're not looking for us to do it for them. i'm speaking of the afghan army cadet who grew up seeing bombings and attacks on innocent civilians who said, because of this, i took the decision to join the army, to try and save innocent people's lives. or the police officer training to diffuse explosives. i know it's dangerous work, he says, but i've always had a dream of wearing the uniform of afghanistan, serving my people and defending my country. or the afghan commando, a hardened veteran of many missions, who said, if i tell you the stories of my life, i might start crying.
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faster we bring peace, the faster we can bring education, and the stronger our unity will grow. only if these things happen will afghanistan be able to stand up for itself. my fellow americans, after so many years of war, afghanistan will not be a perfect place. it's a poor country that will have to work hard on its development. there will continue to be contested areas. but afghans like these are standing up for their country. if they were to fail, it would endanger the security of us all. we've made enormous investment in a stable afghanistan. afghans are making difficult but genuine progress. this modest but meaningful
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sticking to our current, narrow missions, can make a real difference. it's the right thing to do. may god bless our troops and all who keep us safe, and may god continue to bless the united states of america. >> can you tell us how disappointing this decision is? >> this decision is not disappointing. continually, my goal has been to make sure that we give every opportunity for afghanistan to succeed, while we're still making sure that we're meeting our core missions. as i've continually said, my approach is to assess the situation on the ground, figure out what's working, figure out what's not working, make adjustments where necessary. this isn't the first time the adjustments have been made. this probably won't be the last.
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fact that we have a government that is serious about trying to deliver security and the prospects of a better life for the afghan people. we have a clear majority of the afghans who want to partner with us and the international community to achieve those goals. we have a bilateral security arrangement that ensures that our troops can operate in ways that protect them, while still achieving their mission. and we've always known that we had to maintain a counterterrorism operation in that region in order to tamp down any reemergence of active al qaeda networks or other networks that might do us harm. so this is consistent with the overall vision that we've had and, frankly, we anticipated, as we were drawing down troops, that there would be times where we might need to slow things
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down or fill gaps in afghan capacity. and this is a reflection of that. it's a dangerous area. so part of what we're constantly trying to balance is making sure that afghans are out there, they're doing what they need to do, but that we are giving them a chance to succeed and that we're making sure that our force posture in the area for conducting those narrow missions we need to conduct, we can do so relatively safely. there are still risks involved, but force protection, the ability of our embassies to operate effectively, those things all factor in. so we have to constantly review these approaches. the important thing i want to emphasize though is that the nature of the mission has not changed, and the fixation of our combat role has not changed.
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civilians killed last year, that always weighs on my mind. 25 deaths are 25 too many, particularly for the families of the fallen. but understand, relative to what was involved when we were in an active combat role and actively engaged in the war in afghanistan, was a very different scenario. so here, you have a situation where we have clarity about what our mission is, we have a partner who wants to work with us. we're going to continually make adjustments to ensure that we give the best possibilities for success. and i suspect we will continue to evaluate this going forward, as will the next president. as conditions improve, we'll be in a position to make further adjustments. but i'm absolutely confident this is the right thing to do, and i'm not disappointed because my view has always been, how do
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we achieve our goals while minimizing the strain and exposure on our men and women in uniform. and make sure we are constantly encouraging and sending a message to the afghan people, this is their country and they've got to defend it. but we're going to be a steady partner for them. okay? thank you, everybody. >> president obama taking one question following the statement. essentially, the plan had been for the u.s. to draw down to 1,000 essentially embassy security personnel at the end of 2016. what the president is announcing here is that the troop level will get down to 5,500 at the end of next year and on into 2017. so a significant difference in what we had been led to believe. let's go to richard engel right now. he is our chief foreign correspondent. he's been watching along with us from istanbul. richard, give us your sense of what's happening on the ground that's driving this decision. >> reporter: well, in afghanistan, the situation is one that the government and the
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afghan security forces cannot control the country. they just lost to the taliban last month, the city of kunduz. the taliban is making in roads. now, you see isis also in afghanistan, a group that never had a presence in afghanistan. there is a concern that if the -- well, i guess you call it the former plan was carried out and u.s. troops started drawing down very soon, that the government would collapse and collapse. we would have, effectively, what was a repeat of iraq. i think, when you listen to the president's remarks today, keep thinking about iraq. when the u.s. pulled out of iraq and went down to a very small number of troops, the iraqi government collapsed. the iraqi army collapsed. now, by maintaining these 10,000 troops in afghanistan for another year, and then only drawing down to 5,000 after that, i think the president is trying to prevent afghanistan from being another failure like iraq. >> richard, help me understand
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the president talks about the end of the combat mission. that is already over. then he talks about counterterror operations. we saw the accidental bombing of a hospital in afghanistan during combat operations. what, if any, is the difference, in terms of what americans are actually engaged in there? >> reporter: u.s. troops, about 10,000, are on the ground in afghanistan now. they are not kicking down doors, not launching their own operation, but they are in harm's way. they are going with afghan forces. they are flying aircraft above afghan forces in battle. afghan forces are out front, but american troops are advising them in the rear. that is the kind of situation that will continue for the next year and beyond. that is a different situation than actual combat operations, where u.s. troops are kicking down doors and the first ones into the battle. >> all right. richard engel in istanbul for us today. again, the president making this announcement a short time ago,
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afghanistan will continue with larger numbers into 2016 and 2017. we'll have full coverage and the implications a bit later for nbc "nightly news." moments. plus, two lucky ladies love playing with your hair? coloring? curling? straightening? damaging? garnier reloads hair with strength. fructis damage eraser system repairs damage in just one use. one, shampoo and conditioner with active fruit concentrate and phyto-keratin visibly reduce damage. two, the treatment heals damage and seals in strength root to tip. hair is repaired, shinier, 3x stronger. fructis damage eraser stronger hair, stronger you. garnier
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it's the brisk and beautiful thrift thirsty thursday in new york city. >> a great day for ambush makeovers. >> two deserving women who wanted head to toe new looks. leading the pack, celebrity hairstylist to the stars louis licari, la, la, la. and all around fashion plate and mogul jill martin. >> we want to congratulate you, mr. louis. >> thank you. >> a celebration of his salon this week. a lot of your friends and supporters showed up. there's jill and the gang. and there is --
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>> sofia coppola. >> sandra lee, donna karen. >> you're busy and important. >> we had a lot of fun. it was just fun. >> everybody loves you. >> our first lovely lady is jan deyoung. she's 69 years old. from holland, michigan. she's been breast cancer free for 14 years. she currently works as a nurse at holland hospital. she's turning 70 next month. she tells us this makeover is her early gift. >> good for her. >> i know this is a month to celebrate for you and for your wife. so you're excited for this, you told me. >> that's right. we're taking a trip over here to new york to celebrate 14 years of cancer free survivor. she's doing well. >> we love that. you said to me, i was premature gray so he hasn't seen me with dark hair in over 30 years. >> about that, yes. >> long time. >> are you ready for this
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change? >> i am. >> i feel like you're going to flip out when you look in the mirror. >> i'm all ready. >> she's ready and so is ernie. ernie, please keep your blindfold off. just keep your eyes closed. you're okay. no, not yet. you're good. keep it on for just one second. here's jan before. all right, jan, here's the new you! oh, wow! all right, ernie, you ready? take off your blindfold, hon. >> who is that? >> who is that. jan, you ready to see who it is? >> i am. >> turn right around. >> oh, my. >> how chic are you? wow! you look so chic. >> thank you. >> look right here into that camera if you wouldn't mind. tell us about the hair. >> what did you do, louis? >> of course she had gray hair
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which we did in less than half an hour. and then vanessa just swept everything to the side. just give it a little flip. because it was short. we couldn't do much of a cut. she looks fabulous. >> ernie. >> she looks great. >> ernie! >> she looks great. >> jill, that coat, the whole -- >> the perfect fall ensemble. >> it's casual chic. we're doing gray hair makeovers today. two big surprises. the jacket has that insert built in from andrew mark. and then the shoes, i want to point out, are crocs. they're comfy. if you don't like to wear heels. >> january , you can join your handsome husband. >> our next lady is janet, she's 67 and she says proud of it. from new port richie, florida. she's a retired family-run business woman. she says the last time she got her hair colored was 35 years ago. >> what?
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>> yes, hoda. she and her husband are in the middle of a cross country train tour hitting all the major cities. >> wow. >> sounds fun. let's listen ton her story. >> i'm not sure but i guess you're gator fans? >> absolutely. >> go gators. >> that's actually howl we recognized you. we're so excited because you have not had dark hair in when -- >> i turned gray in my 30s. my daughter turned a teenager, my hair turned white. >> you're excited to see her? >> absolutely excited. she's more beautiful now, but she's going to be even more -- she won't be more beautiful, she'll be different. >> don't you love him? >> he thought that through. glad to have you with us. please keep your blindfold on for just a moment. let's take one last look at janet before and bring out the new janet ashton. wow! >> wow. >> i have that dress. love that dress. okay, dave, take off the
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>> holy smokes! >> oh, my god. >> this takes you back 30 years. >> you want to see what he's talking about? right in there. >> oh! >> you look adorable. just like sandra dee. adorable. okay, louis. >> thank goodness i don't have to depend on sandra to keep my business going, 35 years between appointments. what i did is of course i kept her blonde. notice, it's slightly darker at the base which gives it depth with makes it look more real. completely redid the haircut. and to make it all come together, when you're blonde, you do need makeup to add definition. >> that's a gorgeous job. look at dave. what are you thinking, dave? don't tell us what you're thinking. how do you like it? >> i love it.
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>> yeah, this is new by shoni. i love the perforations. it's just that subtle sexiness. >> dave thinks it's very sexy. >> a big round of applause. jill, nice job. good job as always. the beautiful brave woman who chose to be better instead of bitter. >> everyone has a story and we'll share hers. fit me matte and poreless foundation from maybelline new york. skin tone... texture... blurs pores and controls shine
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it is breast cancer awareness month. our newest everyone has a story winner is a brave wife and mother who's battling the disease. her name is shawna shendler. >> we're going to meet shawna and her family in just a moment but first let's listen to letter she sent to us. >> i was a 33-year-old married mother of one when i received the news i had breast cancer. it began as an occasional pain
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and an enlarged appearance on the right side. a visit to my doctor and one mammogram later and it was confirmed. the radiologist fought back tears as he explained i needed to see a surgeon as soon as possible. i met with her that evening and she stayed late to perform the biopsy in her office. a blessing. i did eight rounds of chemotherapy from april to the end of july. less than a month later, my sister got married and i was able to stand at her side as her maid of honor. another blessing. two days after that, i had a side. i am currently going through 33 radiation treatments. people often ask me how do you stay so positive. sometimes don't. there are many days when the weight of the cancer makes it impossible to stand. i also see the blessings. a good prognosis from my doctor. the kindness from friends, neighbors, even complete strangers. the unwavering support of my husband, my mother, my sister. the list goes on and on.
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i have with me each day is my 2-year-old daughter colette. she is the sweet smile i wake up to each morning. my faith has grown tremendously and i know i have not been alone in this journey. so i will continue to look for the blessings as i go through treatment and later reconstruction. i trust in the greater purpose of this pain. and i know even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. while i wait, i choose to look for the stars. >> that's the line. while i wait, i choose to look for the stars. wow. >> and here with us now is shawna along with her husband brett and their little daughter about everything. >> yes, she is. beautiful. >> thank you, guys. >> how are you feeling today? >> i'm feeling really well, actually. post-chemo. so i'm feeling a lot better. >> a lot better, yeah. >> and i've had seven radiation treatments.
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so i haven't really experienced much of the side effects from that. >> sure. >> i'm feeling really good. >> how much has this guy had to do with it? we talked about your daughter. how much has brett? >> he has been there for me every single day of this. >> you get cancer as a family, don't you? >> yeah, you do. >> and your mom is here. your mom and your sister too, right? >> my cousin and my mom are here. >> you're so young. people look at, you know, young women diagnosed with breast cancer and wonder if there's family history or anything like that? >> no. i had the genetic testing done. i tested negative. so it wasn't a genetic disease for me. >> wow. well, we love your family, by the way. your letter's amazing. the way you look at the world is so admirable. >> thank you. >> i can't wait to hear the song that david wrote. >> me too. >> and we have a special song written just for you and it's going to be performed by a
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she was with us in scandalous. elizabeth will sing for us in just a moment. why let someone else have all the fun? the sometimes haphazard, never boring fun. the why can't it smell like this all the time fun. the learning the virtue of sharing fun. why let someone else have all the fun? that's no fun.
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we are honoring our everyone has a story family. shawna, her husband brett, her daughter collette, her mother heidi and her cousin kristin are all here. >> now it's time to hear the song we wrote just for you. it's called "choosing to look for the stars." i'm so happy my friend is here to perform it, elizabeth wardland from "amazing grace." the same sun rises on me and you the same sun sets on us each day but our journeys are
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our stories are too though we'll both get through the very same way finding the beauty in the ashes finding the joy in a smile searching for purpose in the pain pausing for gratitude once in a while seeking the meaning in the suffering notice the blessings along the way seeing the healing and feeling the feeling of peace as we wait choosing to look for the stars the same moon rises on me and
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the same moonshines on us each night our journeys are different our stories are too and we'll both find peace if we look for the light finding the beauty in the ashes finding the joy in the smile searching for purpose in the pain pausing for gratitude once in a while seeking the meaning for the suffering noticing the blessings along the way seeing the healing feeling the feeling of peace as we wait
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the same sun rose today on me and you and the same moon will shine on us tonight and the same god loves us exactly as we are and he's with us as we wait choosing to look for the stars
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[ cheers and applause ] >> just beautiful. gorgeous. so if you like that, wait until you see what's in store for the family after this.
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right to the camera. [ laughter ] >> we're honoring a very special woman, shawna, here with her husband brett, her baby girl collette, who's 2 years old and only got a few hours sleep last night. they were just treated to a beautiful performance to elizabeth ward. who's starring in "amazing grace" on broadway. also composer david friedman. and instrumentalist david whiles. what did you think of your song?
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>> oh, my gosh, it was incredible. it was beautifully sung. beautifully written. it was perfect. >> it was gorgeous. it was just sung so beautifully. >> the woman can sing. >> the woman does it all. >> we want to give you guy also a little something special. we know you haven't been able to take a family vacation because of all treatments and stuff. we wanted to give you something to look forward to. the hard rock hotel san diego's giving e ing ing you a four-day stay in a deluxe suite. located in the heart of beautiful san diego. the hotel has a pool! >> what? >> yes. and a rooftop lounge spa and much, much more you can go crazy in. we hope you get to relax and have some fun times. >> oh, that sounds wonderful. >> san diego's gorgeous. a lot of fun. >> thank you so much, guys. >> you want some more papers? >> no. >> no. >> she's adorable. >> she's 2 years old and she's
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>> bye, collette. >> tomorrow, thinking about redecorating? get a high and low-end price. >> and bobby thomas is back with her little baby. >> david, what's coming up? you guys got anything? >> what's coming up? i have a new album coming out. >> next on 7 news at noon,. >> we are following breaking news. plans changing for thousands of u.s. troops serving overseas: why president obama says they are staying in afghanistan longer than expected. >> a southbridge teacher in trouble and heading to court. his alleged criminal conduct involving a student. >> a house of horrors in westport. what was found in the filth that got a couple arrested. >> ordered eviction. >> cold weather headed this way for the end of the week.
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