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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Archive for December 21st, 2012

December 21st, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Ella Schultz: Thriving with Family and Medical Support

By Margaret Shepard

Ella Schultz holding catEven before 6-year-old Ella Schultz was born, she was already a miracle and had beaten many odds. Because Ella's mother, Patty, was 42 years-old when she was considering becoming a parent, and her father, Ernie, had survived cancer, neither were sure they would be able to conceive a child. Fortunately, they were able to become pregnant quickly. Patty's pregnancy was trouble-free, and when Ella was born, on Christmas Day in 2001, she appeared perfectly healthy.

"At two months of age, however, Ella began to develop tan 'cafe-au-lait' spots on her skin, which are pigmented birthmarks," says Patty. "Because these spots can sometimes signal bigger health issues, our local doctor referred us to Mayo Clinic for testing." Read the rest of this entry »

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December 21st, 2012 · Leave a Comment

For Better, For Worse

By Margaret Shepard

Andy WalchWhen Janey Walch said "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" as part of her marriage vows to her husband Andy more than six years ago, she definitely knew the implications of those words. In fact, their wedding was prompted by the discovery of a brain tumor in Andy, whose surgery was scheduled immediately following their chapel ceremony.

Originally, from Spooner, Wis., Andy was on a conference call six years ago, when he suddenly lost his ability to speak. As an attorney, he closely followed the details of a poignant Supreme Court case. "When it was my turn to present, I couldn't verbalize the information I had prepared," recalls Andy, who had been practicing law for 30 years and was planning to retire. "When I could talk again, I went upstairs and told Janey that something was wrong." Read the rest of this entry »

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