Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Archive for October, 2012

October 25th, 2012

What Volunteering at Mayo Clinic Means to Me

By Makala Arce MakalaJohnson

Picture of Volunteer AlisonMany experiences in my life have impacted the way I look at the world and all of the different people around me. I have realized that the world is so much bigger than just me and my family. Working together with each of our strengths and weaknesses can bring about extraordinary hope and progress. A few of my volunteer experiences have especially stood out in this respect.

I first joined Mayo Clinic Young Volunteers near the end of my freshman year of high school. I thought it would be exciting to be involved with the famous, prestigious organization of Mayo Clinic, which gives so much hope and good care to its patients. While it is amazing to be a part of this nonprofit organization, I am also surprised by how Mayo Clinic has become a part of me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Alison Miller, volunteer

October 24th, 2012

Inflammatory Breast Cancer – Suzy’s Story

By Susana Shephard susanashephard

Suzy Underhill's life took an unexpected turn less than a year ago when she discovered a large lump under her breast. She immediately went to see her gynecologist who recommended that she consult with a specialist. Suzy's good friend had told her to schedule an appointment at Mayo Clinic and soon after she consulted with specialists at the Breast Clinic.

After several tests her physician at Mayo Clinic delivered the grim diagnosis, inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and fasting growing cancer requiring immediate treatment. Suzy shares with us her journey battling her disease and how the exceptional care provided by her Mayo team along with her supportive family and positive outlook helped to get her through her treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: American Indians, Arizona, Breast Cancer, Cancer, chemotherapy, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, mastectomy, Matthew Clark PhD, patient story, Suzy Underhill

October 23rd, 2012

Two Hip Replacements and One Happy Patient

By Makala Arce MakalaJohnson

Picture of Samantha and dog

My name is Samantha Blythe, and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is a five-star medical facility in my book. Out of all the specialty clinics and hospitals that I’ve been to in my childhood and adult years, none of them match up to the quality of care that the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota gives to their patients.

I had been there for the hip dysplasia in my right hip in 2000, and Dr. Dan Berry, who is the best hip specialist who works with Dr. Trousdale, decided to do the hip replacement surgery. I cried happy tears when he looked at me, and said, “Can you stay longer?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr. Daniel Berry, Dr. Robert Trousdale, hip dysplasia, hip replacement, Matthew Clark PhD, Samantha Blythe

October 17th, 2012

Male Breast Cancer – Henry’s Story

By Susana Shephard susanashephard

Henry and Claudia

Henry and Claudia Corral

Henry Corral had always enjoyed a full life in Arizona - staying fit, spending time with his family and working in the high tech industry.  In March of 2011, his life turned upside down. He received a diagnosis that few men expect to hear – breast cancer.

The incidence of male breast cancer is rare and less than 1% of all breast carcinomas occur in men. Henry had no idea that his symptoms could be a sign of breast cancer but fortunately he listened to his body.  He sought the advice of his local physician who referred him to Mayo Clinic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Henry Corral, hormone therapy, male breast cancer, mastectomy, Matthew Clark PhD, oncology

October 11th, 2012

Blood Donations Help Keep Young Man Alive

By Makala Arce MakalaJohnson

Picture of Doug Frye"I am a brain tumor survivor who spent 10 weeks at the wonderful Mayo Clinic. During this time, I had many bleeding complications. The doctors had to give me blood products on multiple occasions. Simply put, without those blood donations, I would not be alive today. Since my return home (Kansas), the Red Cross has graciously held 2 blood drives in my honor. It feels great to contribute to a cause that likely helped saved my life. The Mayo Clinic and Red Cross are both very near and dear to my heart. Honestly, I cannot say enough about the staff and facilities that Mayo Clinic has to offer. I am forever grateful." -Doug Frye

---Every six minutes, Mayo Clinic patients like Doug Frye require blood or blood products. Because blood cannot be manufactured, our patients depend on the generosity of volunteer blood donors who donate at Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center and the American Red Cross. Blood is needed to help save the lives of surgical patients, accident and trauma victims, organ transplant recipients, and patients with cancer and other diseases. One unit of blood can save up to three lives. Mayo Clinic applauds Doug's efforts to encourage others to help save lives by donating blood. Mayo Clinic invites you to donate blood to help assure that blood is available for a friend, loved one or another patient. For more information contact Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center at 507-284-4475, or go to

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Tags: blood, Blood Donation, Blood Donor Center, brain tumor, Doug Frye, red cross

October 10th, 2012

Breast Cancer Hits Home Three Times in One Year

By Susana Shephard susanashephard

A mother and her three daughters – all diagnosed with breast cancer. Kathleen O’Brien shares her family’s history battling a disease which eventually took her mother’s life and now has struck three more times. Kathleen and her sisters, Angel and Brenda,  carry the BRCA gene which means they face a much higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer compared with the general population.

Three sisters battle breast cancer

Three sisters battle breast cancer

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Tags: American Indians, Arizona, BRCA, BRCA gene, Breast Cancer, Cancer, chemotherapy, Kathleen O'Brien, mammogram, Matthew Clark PhD, patient story

October 9th, 2012

A Family Doctor’s View of Mayo Clinic

By Makala Arce MakalaJohnson

"First onboard and seated on the aisle, I watched my fellow passengers as they slowly filled the small regional jet. I was struck by how many of them limped, used walking devices, lugged oxygen tanks, or had skin conditions. It took me a moment to comprehend why. Then it came to me – we were headed to Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. We were pilgrims making our way to the American equivalent of Lourdes, seeking clarity and cure.

The thought of our collective destination suddenly caused me some anxiety. I was headed to Mayo for a different purpose. I had been invited to speak on global perspectives on primary care reform and innovation. This was a task I had accomplished successfully hundreds of times in dozens of countries. My anxiety arose from uncharacteristic doubts that I may not be up to the assignment. Who was I to offer insights and advice at the medical Mecca to which politicians, royalty, and the wealthy flocked for treatment?

I need not have worried. The evening of my arrival, I shared a delightful dinner with old friends like Rob Nesse and several other Mayo family physicians and residents. Their warm welcome set the tone that was to typify my visit. During my 24 hours in Rochester, I began to understand the reasons for Mayo’s success and mystique. While the Mayo system is very large with lots of intelligent people and considerable resources, I have been to other institutions with similar attributes. What makes Mayo special is that it has nurtured a culture of collaboration that few other multi-specialty polyclinics have achieved. There was an atmosphere of openness, humility, and shared vision that I have observed rarely in other academic health centers. Mayo has created a sense of team centered on the needs and experiences of the patient."

Read the rest of the blog post from World Organization of Family Doctors President Richard Roberts here.

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Tags: Matthew Clark PhD, president, Richard Roberts, WONCA, World Organization of Family Doctors

October 8th, 2012

Mayo’s first mother-daughter physician duo hopes they’re first of many

By Makala Arce MakalaJohnson

Picture of Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, M.D., and Dietlind Wahner-Roedler, M.D.

While they have a number of father-son counterparts, Dietlind Wahner-Roedler, M.D., General Internal Medicine, and her daughter, Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, M.D., Medical Oncology, are Mayo Clinic’s first mother-daughter physician duo. "I think it shows the moving trend of more women going into medicine," says Dr. Wahner Hendrickson.

When Dr. Wahner-Roedler started her residency at Mayo in 1969, and when she was hired on staff afterward, she was one of just three women in physician roles at Mayo Clinic. Her example inspired her daughter's choice to become a doctor.

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Tags: daughter, Dr. Andrea Wahner Hendrickson, Dr. Dietlind Wahner-Roedler, Matthew Clark PhD, mother

October 2nd, 2012

The Pink Paper that Reads “We Can Cure It”

By Jason Pratt jasonpratt

Female outside of Mayo Clinic in Florida holding a copy of The Florida Times-Union's "Breast Cancer 2012: We Can Cure It" special section.Mayo Clinic was prominently featured in The Florida Times-Union's eight-page special section “Breast Cancer 2012 – We Can Cure It” in their September 30, 2012 newspaper which focuses on how today's medical advances are helping breast cancer survival rates hit an all-time high.

This pink-covered section of Jacksonville's local daily newspaper features commentary by and photos of several Mayo Clinic physicians and other breast cancer experts on such topics as breast cancer prevention, breast cancer detection, breast cancer genomics and breast cancer surgery.

[Read the four Mayo Clinic mentioned stories by following each of the headlines below]

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Tags: Breast Caner, Florida, MayoClinicFL, News, woman

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