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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Archive for January, 2013

January 29th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

#TheDonna Series: A Certified Cheerer and First Aid Captain

By Jason Pratt

Volunteer Shawn Gallup, member of Mayo Clinic’s nursing team

Volunteer Shawn Gallup, member of Mayo Clinic’s nursing team

Thousands are preparing to lace up their sneakers for the sixth annual 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer on Sunday, Feb. 17, and in doing so, supporting ongoing research at Mayo Clinic related to breast cancer. But it takes a lot of people to ensure the success of the marathon. Shawn Gallup, a member of Mayo Clinic’s nursing team, has pretty much done it all for the annual event. He’s been a certified cheerer, a first aid station captain, and a major part of the medical and critical care team. This year, though he’s not sure of what role he’ll have but he will be plenty busy before the event. As the new Chest Pain Coordinator on the Florida campus, he’ll be spending lots of time at the runner’s expo, Friday and Saturday at the Prime Osborne Convention Center, educating the community on cardiac disease. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: events, Florida, marathon, MayoClinicFL, TheDonna, TheDonnaSeries


January 25th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Physician Documents his Cancer Survival, Grateful to Mayo Clinic

By Makala Johnson

Dr. J. Campbell with bookI am Dr. J. Kemper Campbell, an ophthalmologist from Lincoln, Nebraska. I noted a small asymptomatic mass on the right side of my neck in December 2006. When needle biopsy established it to be a poorly differentiated metastatic cancer of unknown origin, I asked a colleague for a referral to the institution best equipped to diagnose throat cancer, and Dr. Kerry Olsen of the Department of ENT at the Rochester Mayo Clinic was suggested.

Dr. Olsen during his initial examination felt that the primary cancer would be found in the right tonsil and a modified radical neck dissection confirmed his impression, Although Dr. Olsen felt that the cancer had been completely removed by the surgery, further neck irradiation was recommended to be certain that no viable cancer cells remained.

After five years of careful followup at the Mayo Clinic, I was told that I had been cured. Most throat cancers are survivable if diagnosed early and treated aggressively. Previously associated with tobacco and alcohol use, squamous cell cancers of the oropharynx are now becoming more prevalent in younger individuals exposed to human papillovirus infections. Certainly no lump found in the throat region should be ignored.

To celebrate the five years between my diagnosis and cure, I published a book of poetry documenting the physical and mental stresses undergone by anyone diagnosed with cancer. The book, High Five, A Cancer Survivor's Poetic Journey, is available through Amazon and resulted because of the excellent caregivers at the Mayo Clinic.

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Tags: Dr. J. Kemper Campbell, Dr. Kerry Olsen, ENT, Metastatic Cancer, neck, Surgery, throat cancer


January 24th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

#TheDonna Series: Running for Aunt Donna

By Jason Pratt

Ashley's Aunt Donna

Ashley's Aunt Donna

Thousands are preparing to lace up their sneakers for the sixth annual 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer on Sunday, February 17, 2013, and in doing so, supporting ongoing research (PDF) at Mayo Clinic related to breast cancer.

Ashley Crofton is one of them. Although she works in Mayo Clinic’s Department of Transplant, she is committed to the Donna marathon and is preparing to run her second half marathon on Feb. 17. She participates each year for her Aunt Donna - no relation to Donna Deegan – who Crofton says is the strongest woman she ever met. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: events, Florida, marathon, MayoClinicFL, Running, TheDonna, TheDonnaSeries


January 17th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Thoroughness is credited by Canadian for early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

By Makala Johnson

John HendersonJohn Henderson of British Columbia is a details man: a Chartered Accountant for whom accuracy and thoroughness are paramount. So while health care is excellent in Canada, about 15 years ago Mr. Henderson, now 62, decided his routine check-ups were not as thorough as they should be for a man approaching 50.

"Every time I thought about where I could go to get a really excellent and detailed complete physical, the name 'Mayo Clinic' kept coming to mind," Mr. Henderson recalls. "I don't know why... I'd never met anyone who went there. I must have read about it as a top institution in the U.S." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Canada, early diagnosis, Executive Health Program, John Henderson, Mayo Clinic, Prostate Cancer


January 15th, 2013 · 8 Comments

Unraveling the Mystery of Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome

By Makala Johnson

Imagine listening in real time to the thump, thump of your own heartbeat, the rush of your blood pulsing through your veins, and even the slightest twitch of your eyes - all in surround sound.  Those are but a few of the symptoms that Wendy Tapper was experiencing when she arrived at the Mayo Clinic in May of 2012.

The Journey to Mayo

Wendy TapperOutgoing and energetic Wendy, of Kansas City, Mo., enjoyed a career as a producer and publicist.  Bringing people and ideas together was second nature to Wendy and aided in her determination to find the answers in her own health care.

For three years prior to coming to Mayo Clinic in spring 2012, Wendy went from doctor to doctor and endured batteries of tests, scans, appointments and misdiagnoses.  Her rare condition ultimately revealed by Mayo physicians was masked in part by two distinct illnesses - breast cancer and a stroke. 

While those illnesses and the treatments Wendy was receiving are life-altering, they were compounded with the escalation of an underlying third and separate issue.  It was the escalation of her symptoms of dizziness, hearing loss and a drastically diminishing quality of life that brought Wendy to Mayo Clinic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Balance, Dr. Charles Beatty, Dr. Daniel Blum, ear, hearing, otorhinolaryngology, Round Window Occlusion, Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome, Surgery, Wendy Tapper


January 3rd, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Lymphoma Patient Receives Gift of Life from Bone Marrow

By CSMMayo

Ron Wilson with his sons Jerry and Dan during the holidays

Twelve years ago, Ron Wilson woke up with a swollen neck and knew something was very wrong. After visiting his doctor, he learned that his blood counts were off the charts. Consultation with an oncologist revealed shocking news – Ron was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) & Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a non-curable but treatable form of blood cancer.

For the next 10 years, Ron fought the disease with multiple cycles of chemotherapy. His disease went through cycles of remission and relapse, including an especially severe bout more than two years ago when Ron was told he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Ron and his family were stunned. Until this point, they had been told they had nothing to worry about as long as his blood counts were kept under control. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: BMT, cancer, Florida, Hematology, Leukemia, MayoClinicFL, oncology