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Children's Health

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Q&A With Royal Pains' Mark Feuerstein

The actor talks about his TV doctor role, the real doctors who saved his daughter's life, and his parenting philosophy.

Has Addie's heart condition changed your family healthy habits in any way?

I don't think so. We're an active, healthy-eating family. We have been trying to get her to gain weight, so, as opposed to all the self-reliance we're trying to inculcate in our children, we've also been shoving food down her gullet for months. I think now we can back off and let her determine how much she wants to eat at a given meal.

What's the one incurable disease you most wish could be solved?

Heart disease. Congenital heart defects are the No. 1 birth defect. But cancer has been devastating to many friends and family so I would say I wish they could find a cure for both cancerandheart disease.

Not to mention HIV/AIDS, which is even more devastating on a global level. So many people are suffering and dying from so many incurable diseases it's very difficult to pick just one. And lest we forget: influenza, lupus, polio, Ebola, the common cold, and asthma.

You work in the Hamptons, a vacation paradise. Where do you and your family go to get away from it all?

We went to Legoland as a family and that was fun. But this summer my wife and the kids will join us here in New York and we will rent a house in Bridgehampton. The kids will go to a camp and the beach every day and their grandparents will be around. It will be heaven.

If you had to give up one of the five senses -- sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch -- which one would you pick?

I would say smell, but they're all so precious. I love the smell of my wife, my children, flowers, food. My mother unexpectedly lost her sense of smell for a period of time, and it was hard on her, but she's gained some of it back now, and I'm so happy because she's the one who taught me how to "smell the roses."

If you weren't an actor, what other career path might you have taken?

I'd have been a lawyer like my brother, my father, and most of my uncles. It's in the blood. But I took the path less traveled and oh! the difference to me. It's been a blast.

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