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Search to Resume for Missing Best Man; Judge to Question Train Driver; Pope Thrills on First Overseas Trip In Brazil; Fighting ALS

Aired July 28, 2013 - 08:00   ET



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Parts of North Carolina under water as flooding overtakes towns and roads. First responders race to rescue those stranded and now a state of emergency is in effect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just can't end like this.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A tragic development in the search for a bride who disappeared in a boating accident. Today, the boat driver is facing charges.

HARLOW: And on the last day of his trip to Brazil, massive crowds gather in Rio for the pope's mass: his mission and his message.


MALVEAUX: Good morning, everyone. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

HARLOW: And I'm Poppy Harlow. It is 8:00. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

MALVEAUX: Sadly we begin this hour with tragedy. This is on the Hudson River. The search now continues for the one man who is still missing, a best man in a wedding that would have happened just two weeks from now.

HARLOW: But sadly, the bride-to-be, Lindsey Stewart, just 30 years old, she was killed when that boat hit a barge. Now the driver is facing vehicular manslaughter charges.

Our Alina Cho is live for us this morning in New York following the story.

Good morning to you, Alina.

You've been on this since it happened yesterday. What do we know about the remaining search for the young man who's missing still?

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, that search is expected to resume at about 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. So, just about two hours from now.

We're talking about the best man in the wedding. His name is Mark Lennon. He and the bride to be were ejected from this boat when it crashed into a barge on Friday night near the base of the bridge behind me.

Meanwhile, we should tell you that the groom was among the four survivors. He was actually knocked unconscious when the accident happened. When he came to, he called 911. At last check he's in fair condition at an area hospital, but he and the other three people who were injured in this accident are expected to survive.

MALVEAUX: Alina, do we know anything about the charges that the driver is going to face?

CHO: We do. We do. Vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault, these charges are being leveled against a 35-year-old man from New York, a friend of the couple who was on the boat driving the boat, authorities say, while intoxicated. He was actually arraigned from his hospital bed yesterday, and is now, Suzanne and Poppy, being held on $250,000 bond.

HARLOW: What a complete, complete tragedy. Alina, thank you. Appreciate it.

MALVEAUX: Such a sad story.

Another accident as well, this one in Indianapolis. This was a bus filled with teenagers. They were returning from a camp church. This is in Michigan, and it crashed on Saturday.

They were almost home, actually, when the disaster struck. Three people were killed. At least 9 injured.

Now, the bus slammed into a concrete barrier and flipped over. You see the pictures there. Witnesses say the bus did not slow down when it entered an exit ramp. This was on Interstate 465.

Rescuers say that the driver told them that his brakes went out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw this bus going so fast, and I thought, gosh, that guy is going fast. The light had turned green for the southbound traffic, and then the bus just flew into my vision right away and flipped just in an instant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bus was flipped over. There were people crawling out of the bus. There were people who were severely injured, people who were dead, people who were hurt.


MALVEAUX: And people who were driving along, they jumped out of their cars to help. One was a doctor who had just gotten off his shift at St. Vincent's hospital, thank goodness, another was a nurse.

And a Spanish judge today is expected to question the driver in last week's deadly crash of that high speed train. Police have now accused Francisco Jose Garzon of reckless homicide.

Now, the judge wants to speak with him before deciding on the formal charges.

HARLOW: And our Karl Penhaul is outside the courthouse.

Karl, you have been following this since it happened on Wednesday. At this point, when it comes to the judge and leveling these charges, how far away may we be from that?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No more than six hours. Now, the reason for that is that, once the train driver was formally detained by police, then there's a period of three days under the Spanish legal system, and he has to be formally charged by a judge within that period of time.

Now, yes, as you say, the police have now accused him of reckless homicide, but when I spoke to a spokesman for the judge, she says, well, yes, the police can basically say what they like, but it is the judge that has to decide. So, certainly, each side formally staking out their territory in this case, but certainly what the judge is going to want to do is talk to the train driver, first and foremost, and we know from police that so far he's not been too cooperative.

Of course, partly some of that could be to do with his medical condition. He was also fairly banged up in that accident and was only taken from hospital to police headquarters yesterday. The judge also is going to want to look at these allegations, some of them made by government ministers, that the train was going excessively fast.]

But in addition to that, he's going to be looking at other factors such as technical factors, really looking at the overall situation to see whether he also levels formal charges of some kind of homicide at the train driver as well, Suzanne and Poppy.

HARLOW: Karl, just when it comes to the victims, we know that 78 died, but many, dozens more, still in the hospital today?

PENHAUL: Yes, still there are. We understand that there are probably still around 60 people in the hospital. We were told about a third of those were in critical condition.

In fact, later on today, we're trying to visit a couple. The husband, in fact, was on that train with his wife. He came away with a broken arm. His wife is still in a coma, and there are many situations like that.

Also today, we saw a husband from Venezuela who was wheeling away the suitcase that was handed back to him of his wife. His wife had been on that train with the two children. They fortunately all walked away from this, but many, many stories of that nature.

HARLOW: All right. Karl, appreciate the reporting, thank you.

MALVEAUX: We're also watching this. Pope Francis just landing -- this is Copacabana Beach just moments ago. You see him there in the pope mobile greeting the masses there. He arrived by helicopter.

There are millions and millions of people on that beach who have been waiting to see him for this glorious, glorious mass and this occasion. This, of course, the pinnacle, if you will, of a week of being in Brazil on that trip and all of the excitement and the security as well.

HARLOW: Right. The security surrounding him. That is what they're calling the pope mobile. He just got off the helicopter.

Again, these are live pictures we're bringing you from Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach, where the pope is getting ready to begin his mass.

Our Miguel Marquez is live there. He told us we could expect up to 4 million people. They have just filled the beach there. It looks like the pope is going to be speaking from a big stage in a fort, and he will be surrounded by onlookers, many people who have made a big trip to be there to see him. It is going to be a historic day.

We're going to have much more on this story for you at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

All right. They don't need the rain, but western North Carolina could actually get more rain today. There has been severe flooding in Catawba County northwest of Charlotte.

MALVEAUX: And, you know, the rain seemed to fall in buckets yesterday. It was amazing, quickly whipping up flash floods, though. There were emergency crews that say they carried out at least 10 swift water rescues -- actually had to do those rescues, fish people from their homes, their cars. You're taking a look at some of those pictures.

We want to bring our meteorologist Jennifer Delgado in.

It was amazing, Jen, that we didn't even see injuries. We didn't even hear about injuries. It looks pretty severe.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It certainly was severe. And flash flooding is the number one related weather killer. Luckily, residents didn't become a fatality. You see all the rain that came down. Look at these totals out there.

And some of these location, six to ten inches of rainfall, it fell in areas including Virginia, all the way down to areas like South Carolina. But, certainly, the area just to the northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, was hit the hardest, and you saw the area there with the roadways turning into streams and creeks.

Now, we look at the radar right now, yes, we have some rain out there, but for areas, including parts of North Carolina, it's fairly quiet on the western coast. Areas of rainfall hugging the eastern coastline down towards Florida and up towards areas, including New York City. You're going to be seeing rain moving in there as we go through the morning hours.

Here's your forecast for today. The good news is it's going to be nice and cool through areas, including the upper Midwest, the Ohio Valley, and then some rain showers in the Four Corners. Now, we saw the video coming out of North Carolina, but the problem is we could see a very similar scene coming out of the plains tomorrow over the next 48 hours. We're expecting four to six inches of rainfall, and that includes areas, including central parts of Kansas, Kansas City, you can see for areas even into Iowa. You can see three to five inches of rainfall. They already have flood watches in place because they're expecting such a tremendous amount of rainfall, and even as we go later into the week, more rain could be heading back into that area.

But as I said, it's not all bad news today. Sunday, your day is looking nice, especially for areas like Chicago, high temperature 69 degrees. You'll see some rain showers around there. St. Louis, you're our hot spot for today because you'll have 80 degrees for a high.

Lots of sunshine out there. For Detroit, 69, 75. Notice these temperatures are going to be below than average for the next couple of days, more fall-like as opposed to summer-like conditions out there, guys.

HARLOW: We'll take it. It's been hot for a while.

All right. Jennifer, thank you.

DELGADO: That always help.

HARLOW: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Another shake-up in Anthony Weiner's run for New York City mayor. "The New York Times" is reporting this morning his campaign manager has quit. "The Times" reports the man running his campaign no longer wished to oversee it. The move comes after Weiner admitted to exchanging more sexually explicit messages and photos with women online.

MALVEAUX: And popular show morning host David "Kidd" Kraddick has died. A disc jockey since high school. His radio show aired in nearly 100 cities.

According to his management company, he passed away at a golf tournament to raise money for a children's charity that he founded. That was really his passion. His cause of death was not known. David "Kidd" Kraddick, just 53 years old.

HARLOW: Well, she had a starring role on the world stage for two decades in politics. Now, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the subject of a new television mini series.

MALVEAUX: President Obama back on the offensive, his new attempt to get something done before Congress leaves for vacation.


HARLOW: All right. NBC announcing a new mini series coming to a television near you soon, "Hillary," the mini series. NBC is producing a four-part program on the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state. The network didn't say whether it will be strictly factual or any extra drama added in.

We do know that actress Diane Lane will portray Clinton in the mini series. You may know her from the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" and other films. The mini series will open in the White House in 1998, the year when President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky went public.

MALVEAUX: And President Obama, he's got a business week ahead of him as Congress is now preparing to leave Washington to go for August recess. But the president and some of his tough lieutenants, they're picking up the pace, holding events, meeting with lawmaker. They're going in a near-campaign mode.

And Lisa Desjardins, of course, she knows that very well, following him.

Let's start off with the timing for, Lisa, because he's got a couple of battles he's got to win and prepare for with Congress, the debt ceiling one of them, and the budget as well. How is he doing this?

LISA DESJARDINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Huge battles. Right now the timing is key because a lot of people think the first year after a president's election is often when the presidents have the most muscle and maybe even the most ability, and, of course, next year, we've got congressional elections, and after that, I hate to even mention it, we'll start talking about 2016.

So, the first year after an election, with all the issues hanging over him, may be the window for President Obama, but it sure is closing. So he's moving fast. In fact, he's moving right now this week.

Let's take a look at the schedule starting with today.


DESJARDINS: Treasury Secretary Lew will be on four talk shows. You know, Suzanne, that's a pretty good bunch. That includes our "STATE OF THE UNION" coming up at 9:00 Eastern. He's going to be pushing the top line Obama message on economy and the jobs.

Let's move to Tuesday. President Obama will be saddling up. He'll fly to Chattanooga, Tennessee, again talking jobs. He'll be at an Amazon center talking to employees there.

Then, the president comes back to Washington the next day, where he will actually make an uncommon visit to Capitol Hill. He was last up with us at the Capitol in March. This time he'll meet with house and senate Democrats, huddling with his allies, essentially.

And why all this, this week? One reason, I know you know, Suzanne, Thursday and Friday, the house and senate are scheduled to take off. They will leave D.C. and begin their august recess. So this an aggressive push from a president before Congress leaves, focusing on jobs. But one more thing, Suzanne, also, it's all not just in person. He had an interview with "The New York Times" published yesterday, 40- minute long interview, "The New York Times" says, also talking immigration, and as you mentioned, deficit and debt ceiling also are on his mind.

MALVEAUX: It's almost like he's in campaign mode when you think about it, when you look at his schedule there.

One of the things, I guess -- there's always this back and forth whether or not Congress should stay in Washington, get things done, whether or not they need to go home to their constituents. Is there anybody who's calling for them to work through the August break?

DESJARDINS: Yes, yes. And what's interesting is it's a Republican who's asking Republican leaders in the House to stay. This is Republican Scott Rigell of Virginia Beach. He says, hey, we're heading township a huge fiscal crisis at the end of September, when, again, government will face its funding bills and needs to pass more money for funding.

There he is right there. He says Congress needs to stay in session. He's calling on House leaders to stay to try to come up with those appropriations bills. He says they have too much work to do to be leaving town.

One other note: Republicans in the House, they do have their own kind of campaign going, Suzanne. It's also a familiar one. This week, we're going to be hearing a lot from House Republicans on Obamacare, why they think that's a problem for the economy.

So, here we, are not even a year after the last election, and already it's a campaign on the economy ramping up as they get ready for Congress to hit cities and towns across the country in August.

MALVEAUX: Nothing like a deadline to get them to move a little bit, but as you mentioned, 2016, they're already moving ahead.

Thanks, Lisa.

DESJARDINS: I don't want to think about it yet.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you.

HARLOW: All right. Coming up, she was one of Hollywood's up and comers, but things have changed dramatically for Amanda Bynes. Coming up next, the very real fears for her mental state.



AMANDA BYNES, ACTRESS: I've got to tell you, I don't know if I'll be able to take it for the rest of my life. It is -- you know, it's very stressful. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intense, right?

BYNES: It is really intense. And I think as long as I'm -- you know, I don't know. I guess, as long as I'm surrounded by positive people, it will be OK. As I get older, I definitely want to have a family and step away.


HARLOW: Well, that was former teen star Amanda Bynes nearly six years ago, talking about fame and stress and the pressure of fame.

I want to show you Amanda Bynes today. Right now, the 27-year-old former nickelodeon star is in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital. She was detained after she was accused of lighting a gas can on fire in someone's driveway. Police also say she also lit her own pants on fire in the process. This after three cases in New York and a pending dui case in California. It is a sad situation what is happening to Amanda Bynes.

We wanted to talk to an expert about it. Earlier, I spoke with psychologist, Dr. Charles Sophy.


DR. CHARLES SOPHY, PSYCHIATRIST: She really needs help. What the cause of the problem is why she's being held against her own will, because she's not able to make the judgment to stay in the hospital and do the testing to come up with the right diagnosis. So, something's going on that, she's not able to commit to the treatment. So, they've got to hold her.

HARLOW: You know, it's interesting. Her parents are seeking temporary conservatorship over her assets and affairs. This is similar to what happened to Britney Spears in terms of that conservatorship being taken. Do you think this is a proper thing to do in a situation like this?

SOPHY: It's definitely something that can be effective, and if it's done by people, specifically family members that have the best intentions and the best interest of the patient or whoever's on that psychiatric hold.

If they're demonstrating an inability to be competent, either financially or in their own decisions for their own well-being or both, someone has to take over. So, yes, it's always a good thing if it's done from the right place by the right people.

HARLOW: You have a roster of celebrity patients that you've worked with, including Paris Hilton and others. You know, Amanda Bynes talked to our own A.J. Hammer about the stress, the stress of the spotlight.

How much does this add to difficulties when you're facing something already, it being in the spotlight? SOPHY: It adds a tremendous amount of stress, especially when you're young, as she was saying on that interview. She is under a lot of stress.

This is a lot -- this is a whole new world for them. It's new. They're around a lot of people. Their trust issues come up. They don't know where to turn. They don't know anything about their old life and who they were. So, tons of stress with the work schedule, but much less with the money, the pressures, and new people in their life.


SOPHY: Also, you have to remember -- she's at a very vital age when any mental illness can really show its first sign in any young person, male or female.

HARLOW: I want to read you something, a young woman who claims to be a former friend of Bynes this week told "The New York Daily News" about some of these bizarre appearances we've seen from Amanda Bynes, and I want to read you part of what she said and what she's quoted at in the "Daily News."

"When she says in the public that it wasn't her, it must be an imposter. I don't think she's even aware or remembers going out in those outfits, and so, she genuinely believes it's not her."

What does that indicate to you?

SOPHY: It's definitely not her making something off. It's her true belief, it's what she perceives it to be and that's her reality.

Why it's that way is really what needs to be looked at and why she's on hold right now. Is it mental illness showing its first sign, is it drug abuse, is it exhaustion? Those are the kinds of things that are being looked at now and examined so the treatment can begin.

HARLOW: I also want to talk about San Diego Mayor Bob Filner facing multiple sexual harassment allegations. He made an announcement, not that he's stepping down from his post, but that he's going to go into two weeks of pretty intense -- what he calls -- behavioral therapy.

What does that mean? What does therapy like that look like?

SOPHY: Well, therapy like that looks like you're inside -- you're living with either a group of people going through the same type of behavior, the same kind of issue, but the therapy is really looking at what's going on again underneath and what's driving that behavior. Is it anxiety? Is it a mental illness? Is it substance abuse? Is it stress?

But whatever it is, you've got to be able to connect the dots so you can put the things in place to be able to stop the behavior because it's the behavior that's making you feel good, but underneath it is the real issue.

HARLOW: Is two weeks typical?

SOPHY: Two weeks intensive inside is typical. But really, 30 to 40 to 60 days is really the best inpatient treatment. But two weeks intense inpatient is pretty good start.

HARLOW: Dr. Charles Sophy, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

SOPHY: Thank you.


MALVEAUX: He is being called the slum pope, Pope Francis. We're going to take a look at live pictures. He's in Rio de Janeiro there, Copacabana Beach.

These are live pictures in the pope mobile. You can see the crowds. Amazing excitement around his visit, as well as security.

I'm going to want to talk with the Catholic priest about why Pope Francis visited one of Rio's poorest and most violent neighborhoods and what he is calling on the rest of us to do to help our neediest neighbors? That up next.


MALVEAUX: Bottom of the hour. Welcome back everyone. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Poppy Harlow. Here are five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

MALVEAUX: Number one, in Indianapolis today investigators will comb a bus for clues to a deadly crash. Three people were killed when the bus flipped over on an Interstate exit ramp. Rescuers say the driver told witnesses his brakes failed. Now the bus was carrying teenagers from a church camp.

HARLOW: Number two, the search for a missing boater will resume shortly on the Hudson River. Rescue crews are looking for Mark Lennon. He was one of two people ejected from a speed boat after it crashed into a barge on Friday night. Tragically, the other missing person in the accident was killed. You see her right there. Police officers found the body of bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart on Saturday.

MALVEAUX: Number three, neither side is backing down in Egypt. Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy clashed with the military-backed government. The latest fighting has left a reported 72 people dead. Morsy's supporters insist police opened fire on them while government officials deny that.

Now they claim that protesters attacked and wounded police.

HARLOW: Number four, Secretary of State John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is home this morning after spending three weeks in the hospital. That follows a seizure that she had. The family did not release other details but says she will return to the hospital periodically for some outpatient treatments. We are glad she is doing all right.

MALVEAUX: And number five, fond memories today for former Congresswoman Lindy Boggs. She died yesterday at age 97. Boggs served 18 years in Congress, taking the seat held by her husband after he died in a plane crash. She was the first woman to represent Louisiana in Congress.

HARLOW: In today's "Faces of Faith", Pope Francis, his trip to Brazil. The Pope is preparing to celebrate mass this morning in front of millions of people. There you see live pictures of him in the Pope mobile headed to give his remarks, his mass -- just a remarkable, remarkable scene. It's the culmination of a week-long trip to Rio that has seen Francis put his message of serving the poor into action.

He visited a favela, or slum in Rio, he met with prisoners, he went to a hospital for drug addicts. He also challenged the wealthy and the powerful to do more for the poor. He called on young people to shake up the church. What a trip.

Let me bring in Father Beck. Father Edward Beck joins us now. He's a CNN faith and religion commentator, joining us now from New York. Good morning. Thank you for coming in.

REV. EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Poppy. It's my pleasure to be with you.

HARLOW: We're going to keep some of these live pictures up also while we talk because they're remarkable. Talk to me about this trip. This is the first sort of big public appearance for the Pope outside of Rome. What does this show about his character?

BECK: Well first of all, it exceeded all expectations. People were saying maybe a million people at the most would come. Last night we had three million people. This is for a man who is so simple and yet so profound. I think what people see is he plays well on the large stage, just like John Paul II did and yet he also plays well with individuals -- not plays well, he wants to engage individuals.

He goes into their houses. He said when he was in the barrio, I'd love to go to every house and have a little cafecito.


BECK: But I can't do that, so I'm going to go to this house. I mean very personable. And he's making a remarkable impression.

HARLOW: I want to read a quote from something that he said on Thursday because this really stood out for me. Part of what he said -- "No amount of peace building will be able to last nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margin, or excludes part of itself." He's talking about the poor and he's talking about them not getting enough attention or help, really putting political pressure on leaders there. What is your take on that? It's a message we've heard from him all week there. BECK: Yes and that is the challenging message for this Pope. He is saying, unless you work for justice, then you're not living the gospel. And you wealthy, you the government, you have to do more for those who have not. And so he's definitely speaking against the authority and the status quo.

Not only that, Poppy, but he's also speaking against his own bishops. And he was yesterday in a cathedral with the bishops, and he said to a thousand of them, get out of the sacristies, get out of your buildings go to the fringes. Why are you losing the Catholics to Evangelical Christians? Because they're serving the needs better than you are, you need to do it.

So it's very, very interesting how he's challenging not only the status quo in the government but also his own church.

HARLOW: And as we show these live pictures of the Pope and the Pope mobile headed to make this massive mass that we're going to hear. You see his security detail running alongside him. And they've had a hard time keeping up with him this week. He's been treated like a rock star, mobs of supporters around him in the Pope mobile, security concerns.

But I wonder what you think about the fact that he is willing to take these security risks to get out there and literally be among, with, next to the people?

BECK: I think the value of what he's doing, in his mind, is worth the risk. Even when that crowd surrounded that little car, his first day when the driver took the wrong turn, he didn't roll up the window. He rolled down the window. He let people reach him. He needs to be close to his people.

So if something bad happens, I think he says to himself, so be it. I'm 76. I go out like a martyr, but this is more important to me. And I think he's showing it by just breaking protocol, walking where he wants to walk. This is a man who is not going to be managed by PR or by his handlers, that's for sure.


BECK: He's his own man and you're seeing him take some risks, but in his mind, I think he's saying it's worth those risks.

HARLOW: So he chose to make his first trip overseas to South America. And I wonder we don't know where exactly he's going to make his next big public trip. But where do you think it's most important for him to visit next?

BECK: Well, of course, being in the United States, I would love to have him come to this country because we too are struggling as a Catholic Church in this country. Now I'm not sure he'll go here just yet, but he may want to speak to here, one of the richest countries in the world and say what are you doing for your own poor? You who have all of these resources, what are you doing? What is the church doing here? He's saying to the -- to the church so interestingly, stop being so intellectual, so highfalutin. And again some saw this as maybe a dig at Benedict. Because he said the intellectualism is not reaching your people, what's going to reach your people is meeting their needs, talking about love, talking about mercy, doing what Jesus would do. So it was very interesting.

It's revolutionary. What he said yesterday in that speech to the bishops and to three million people, I think was revolutionary. We have yet to unpack those words from yesterday.

HARLOW: Yes it has been fascinating to watch, really remarkable. I appreciate your insight this morning, Father. Thanks so much for coming in.

BECK: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: Pastor Rick Warren returned to the pulpit at his Saddleback Church this weekend. He is speaking for the first time since he and his wife lost their son to suicide in April. His emotional sermon was called "How to get through what you're going through". 20,000 people reportedly attended the service.

It is mysterious and frustrating. ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It ravages the body but not the mind. Former football player Steve Gleason, he is battling ALS. He is a big promoter of using technology to improve patients' quality of life. He can tweet, amazingly, just by blinking his eyes. We're going to share his inspiring story up next.


MALVEAUX: It is mysterious, frustrating and frightening, little is known about it. We are shedding light and going in depth on a killer disease called ALS. It stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It kills more than 100,000 people every year. It is fast moving and taking away peoples abilities to control their muscles causing patients to quickly lose their ability to speak, swallow, breathe or move.

The disease hits close to home for me. My mother was diagnosed with ALS a year and a half ago. Although the disease now forces her to breathe through a machine she's in good spirits and gets around in a motorized wheelchair and is enjoying the family.

But technology is improving ALS patients quality of life in many ways. One of those people is former NFL player Steve Gleason. With a tap of a toe or the blink of an eye Gleason and others are redefining what it means to be alive.

Here is his story.


MALVEAUX (voice-over): It was the play that brought back the city of New Orleans; Saints' Steve Gleason blocking the punt that would send his "Who dat" nation to victory.

The win was especially sweet because it was the Saints first home game in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina. In that moment, Steve Gleason, the handsome 5 foot 11, rock solid, 212 pound safety instantly became a New Orleans hero.

But five years later in January of 2011 at age 33, Gleason got the shocking news. He was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, a fatal condition that would soon paralyze him and rob him of his abilities to speak, eat or breathe.

DR. JEFF ROTHSTEIN, ALS SPECIALIST: It's a disease where the cells in your brain and spinal cord, the cells that control our muscles slowly degenerate. They die.

MALVEAUX: When I met Steve and his wife, Michel, at their New Orleans home in March, I was struck by just how young and how beautiful they are -- their playful relationship and his flirtatious smile.

MICHEL GLEASON, WIFE OF STEVE GLEASON: He was just like this big he- man strong guy, and he's still strong in certain places but it's a huge contrast.

MALVEAUX: Two years into the disease, Steve is paralyzed, and uses his synthetic voice to speak for him.


MALVEAUX: Steve recently was thrust into the spotlight after three Atlanta radio deejays mocked him using a fake automated voice as his own.






UNIDENTIFIED RADIO HOST: Smother me. Do me a favor.


MALVEAUX: The deejays were fired and apologized to Steve later. Steve issued a statement saying, "Received and accepted. We have all made mistakes in this life. How we learn from our mistakes is the measure of who we are."

Steve says he's changed, too.

STEVE GLEASON: My capacity to love and to allow myself to be loved has been exponentially increased since my diagnosis.

MALVEAUX: When Steve first got the diagnosis, he and Michel were faced with a critical decision, whether or not to have a child.

MICHEL GLEASON: In reality, I don't think, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into or what he was getting himself into -- let's be honest. But I still believe that it's the best decision we've ever made as a couple.

MALVEAUX: When Rivers was born, Steve also knew he'd soon lose his ability to speak, so he started recording bedtime stories that he plays for Rivers today.

STEVE GLEASON: Papa Pea would fling little pea off a spoon.

MALVEAUX: The other big decision Steve and Michel made was to go public with the disease.

STEVE GLEASON: This is the first time I've been in front of any cameras since we went public in September, so obviously I don't know how to move or talk quite the way I used to.

MALVEAUX: Launching the No White Flags campaign. At the Super Bowl in 2012, he teamed up with one of his mentors, former Ravens linebacker, O.J. Brigantz, who also has ALS. Steve recruited star NFL players and coaches to create this dramatic PSA.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't move your fingers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your mind keeps working but your body doesn't respond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soon you can't hug your mother or pick up your child.


MALVEAUX: While he doesn't believe the head injuries in his football career led to the disease, researchers are looking into the possibility they may be linked.

But Steve is focused on promoting technology to improve the quality of life for those with ALS. He's raised millions of dollars to build a state-of-the-art facility in New Orleans for ALS patients.

MICHEL GLEASON: You know, control the A.C., turn on lights and then start working on their computers.

MALVEAUX: It's outfitted with eye-tracking technology like that in his home to give residents the ability to control everything around them.

But even with all this, Michel says they have their difficult days, most recently as they prepared for a dinner date.

MICHEL GLEASON: He's in the suit, just pissed-mad at the world, actually, drove into our office and drove himself into the closet and got stuck and started crying. So I started crying, called my mom and said we're not going to come. So she started crying. Ten minutes later after we both sobbed, we said look we're going to do this.

MALVEAUX: And they are doing it. Steve marked his one-year anniversary with ALS with a skydive. He also sponsors adventure trips for other ALS patience, recently trekking up Machu Pichu and canoeing down the Missouri River.

Steve says most people live as if they'll never die and that's why he's living life to the fullest.


MALVEAUX: I love those guys. This disease does not get the attention and resources like other illnesses because it is considered rare. And that is in part because ALS patients die too quickly to be counted. If you'd like to read more about ALS and how you can help push for a cure, go to and Thank you for your attention.


HARLOW: CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley coming your way at the top of the hour.

MALVEAUX: Hey, good morning, Candy. Good to see you as always. I understand you have an exclusive. Tell us about it.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: Senator Dianne Feinstein will be among those with us. She, of course, is chairman of the senate intelligence committee so lots always to ask her. What she thinks the U.S. ought to do in its continued push to get Edward Snowden out of the Russian airport and back to the U.S.; what she feels about what the relationship would be if the U.S. goes ahead and grants -- I'm sorry -- if Russia goes ahead and grants asylum to Snowden.

But also, you know, you've seen those pictures on the streets of Egypt. This is dangerous stuff. This is certainly the biggest U.S. ally in the Middle East, and we saw Secretary of State Kerry come out and say, everybody needs to pull this back from the brink. We want to talk to her about that as well.

MALVEAUX: All right, Candy, can't wait for that. Keep us posted and obviously, there's going to be a lot to talk about on the show as well.

HARLOW: It will be a great show. Keep it here for "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley. It starts right, in about seven minutes, top of the hour, 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Thanks, Candy.

An eight-year-old boy takes on a would-be thief. This is dramatic -- great video. We're going to show it to you next. Find out who's the victor in this feel good story straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HARLOW: A new viral video for you -- here's what happened when four house cats met their new roommate. It's a stuffed bobcat. The new guy's not going anywhere. He looks kind of scary, but he's not real.


HARLOW: They carefully studied the interloper until one kitty gets a little bit too close -- and they're gone. They're gone. I love that.

MALVEAUX: Check these guys out. This is march of the penguins at the San Francisco Zoo. It's a celebration of the chicks. Look at them getting older there.

HARLOW: Adorable.

MALVEAUX: Moving to their new home on Penguin Island. They're adorable. Definitely a treat for the crowd you see them all just staring and laughing and smiling. This is the first time the annual event has been open now to the public -- cuties.

HARLOW: I love penguins.

All right. It is time for --

Malveaux: Time for "The Good Stuff", the part of the show where we talk about all the good things that are out there going on.

HARLOW: In this first story, a shining example of the heroism from our officers in uniform. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two vehicles engulfed in flames. They got one trapped inside. Hey, get out of the car right now.


MALVEAUX: Dramatic video of Orange County sheriff's deputies pulling a man out of a burning minivan -- this is just seconds before it went up in flames. The driver had crashed into a pole and still had his foot on the accelerator and his hand on the horn while he was looking around. Officers initially couldn't even tell if he was a threat. They went in anyway. They pulled this guy to safety.

Turns out the 49-year-old driver, he had suffered a medical emergency, possibly going into diabetic shock, before he crashed. Those deputies certainly saved his life -- amazing story.

HARLOW: Wow. That is great.

And wait until you see what eight-year-old Omare Friedman (ph) did -- this is a fun story. First though check out this surveillance video from a convenience store in North Carolina. Here's Omare in the corner of the screen. Here's a man up to no good. Watch as he pockets two beers from the fridge. He thinks he's gotten away with it, but, no, little Omare confronts the man -- confronts the man, follows him as the guy leaves the store, tells the cashier. Eventually, that would be thief forced to come back into the store, put the beers back, fess up.

For his bravery, Omare was honored by the police chief in the town. What does Omare want to be when he grows up? What do you think?

MALVEAUX: I think he wants to be a police officer.

HARLOW: He certainly does.

All right. That will do it for us today. Thanks so much for spending your Sunday morning with us.

MALVEAUX: Yes. Of course, nice to spend time with you as well.

HARLOW: Good to be with you.

MALVEAUX: "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley starts now.