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Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Nephrology

January 5th, 2017

‘You Never Think About a Living Donor Until Someone You Love Needs One’

By Linda Binner lsbinner

In need of a kidney transplant, but without a suitable donor, Matt Pierce was forced to deal with daily dialysis. Then someone he never met before stepped up to donate, and that made all the difference.

From the time he was 13 years old, Jairus “Matt” Pierce, battled kidney disease. By 2016, when he was 44, the disease had become debilitating. A shift commander for a fire department, Matt had been forced to take a light-duty assignment because of his medical condition. He required daily dialysis, and the only long-term solution was a life-saving kidney transplant.

Simply put, Matt needed a hero.

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Tags: Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


December 30th, 2016

Paired Kidney Donation Offers a Unique Way Forward for Transplant Recipient

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Kay Orr and her potential kidney donor, Jamie Rogers, were disappointed when they learned they couldn’t go through with a planned kidney transplant. But Mayo Clinic’s paired kidney donation gave them another life-saving option.

The day before Norma “Kay” Orr was scheduled for a living donor kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic, she needed one more blood test. The Palm Coast, Florida, resident was in line to receive a kidney from her niece, Jamie.

Jamie Rogers had volunteered to be a living donor when she found out in early 2016 that her aunt would need a transplant. Kay’s kidneys had scarred due to glomerulosclerosis and interstitial fibrosis.

“I have been through some tough times in my life, and Kay and her husband were always there for me. I never gave it a second thought,” says Jamie, who drove from Robbinsville, North Carolina, for the procedure, which was scheduled for July 26, 2016, at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.

“Jamie and I have always been very close,” says Kay. “As soon as she heard I needed a transplant, she said ‘I want to be the one.’ And that was great, since none of my four children could be the donor.”

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Tags: Dr Martin Mai, kidney transplant, Living donor transplant, Transplant Medicine


December 23rd, 2016

Successful Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Inspires Richard Carvajal to Reach Out

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in his 40s, Richard Carvajal looked to Mayo Clinic for expert care and treatment.

In August 2014, Richard Carvajal, then 43, was in the best shape of his life. He was excited as he left his home in Bainbridge, Georgia, to compete in his first Olympic-distance triathlon. But as he drove across Alabama on his way to the race site, he started feeling sharp abdominal pain.

“It kept getting worse and worse, and I literally crawled into a Birmingham emergency room,” Richard says.

Although doctors initially thought Richard’s pain was caused by kidney stones, it turned out to be a symptom of a much more difficult problem. Testing eventually revealed Richard had pancreatic cancer.

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Tags: Dr John Stauffer, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, pancreatic cancer, Whipple Procedure


December 15th, 2016

Cowboy Back in Saddle After Successful Treatment of Glomerulonephritis

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Diagnosis and treatment of glomerulonephritis, a serious kidney disease, has allowed Jack Rhodes to put his focus back on the activities he enjoys.

During the summer of 2016, for the first time in years, Jack Rhodes did something he doubted he’d ever do again. The 68-year-old retired rancher from central Alabama saddled up a two-year old stallion to train, exercise and ride.

Four years ago, Jack had gained 40 pounds due to fluid retention that resulted in swelling throughout his body. He suffered severe shortness of breath and was unable to walk, much less get on a horse. But thanks to an accurate diagnosis of his condition and successful treatment at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus under the care of nephrologist Nabeel Aslam, M.D., Jack’s condition has improved dramatically.

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Tags: Chronic kidney disease, Dr Nabeel Aslam, Glomerulonephritis, kidney failure, Mayo Nephrology Collaborative Group


October 26th, 2016

Colleagues Go From Sharing a Workplace to Sharing a Kidney

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Dawn Odenthal was more than willing to donate a kidney to help a colleague, Jolinda Conzemius. When Dawn Odenthal sat down for a meeting with her colleague Jolinda Conzemius in June 2014, organ donation was nowhere on her radar. The two women knew one another through their work at a company that specializes in school photography, yearbooks, church directories and other forms of memory preservation. Dawn is a regional sales director, and Jolinda is a photographer. They were meeting to talk about a project they had been assigned to work on together.

By the time they got up from the table that afternoon, however, they had started a process that would culminate in Dawn donating one of her kidneys to Jolinda for a life-altering kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic.

“I absolutely wanted to do this for her,” says Dawn. “There wasn’t a question in my mind.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: kidney transplant, Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


October 19th, 2016

Living Donor to Kidney Recipient: ‘I Feel Like the Winner in All This’

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

katiandnancy805The email from a parent at her school in May 2013 took Nancy Shaver, an elementary school principal, by surprise. It was from Kati Walker, mother of two, who was on a mission: to donate one of her kidneys to Nancy, who greatly needed one.

Kati's message announced, "I'm going to be tested to be a kidney donor." Nancy, in her characteristic unassuming manner, replied, "Oh, how nice for someone!" Kati quickly replied, "No, it's for you, silly!"

Kati knew Nancy only as the principal at her children’s school. Nancy knew Kati as a parent and active volunteer. But their email exchange launched a journey to a life-saving kidney transplant for Nancy and a bond between the two women that they attest will last a lifetime.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, kidney disease, kidney transplant, Living donor transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


September 17th, 2016

Brothers Bond Over Kidney Disease, Transplant

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

The Berry Brother share more than blood after a kidney transplant. Scott Berry is one of five children. But he and his youngest sibling, David, share a very unique bond — a kidney, to be exact. On April 12, 2016, David gave his older brother a second chance at life by donating one of his kidneys to Scott for a transplant.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Martin Mai, Florida Campus, IgA Nephropathy, kidney transplant, living donor, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


June 17th, 2016

Difficult Diagnosis Interrupts Residency, Gives Young Doctor a New View of Patient Care

By SharingMayoClinic SharingMayoClinic

Natalie Ertz-Archambault, M.D. plans to apply for fellowships in hematology and medical oncology after uncovering the cause of her illness.Successfully finishing a medical residency is a significant milestone in any physician's career. But when Natalie Ertz-Archambault, M.D., graduated in June 2016 from the Internal Medicine Residency at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus, the achievement felt particularly sweet.

"It was an incredible success for me, since I actually started my residency in 2012, completed four months, and then became too ill to work," she says. "At that time, I wasn't sure if I'd ever reach graduation."

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Tags: Arizona campus, Dr Fadi Shamoun, Dr Leslie Thomas, Dr Natalie Ertz-Archambault, Dr Richard Fowl, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Internal Medicine Residency


September 16th, 2015

New Kidney From Sister Gives Hurdler a Chance at 2016 Olympics

By Hoyt Finnamore HoytFinnamore

AriesMerritt805Heads turned when Aries Merritt walked into the lobby at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix at 5 a.m. on Sept. 1, with family and TV cameras in tow. Just four days earlier, he won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. But, on this day, facing one of his biggest hurdles, he was about to undergo a lifesaving kidney transplantRead the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona campus, kidney transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, Patient Stories


April 21st, 2015

Living Kidney Donations Save Two Lives in the Same Family Years Apart

By Paul Scotti pscotti

TammyStelly805Receiving a donor kidney from an anonymous deceased donor is a gift of life to anyone in need of a transplant.  Receiving an organ donation from a living family member is extra special, when you consider the risks and sacrifices associated with making that choice.

Tammy Stelly, a 46-year-old retired postal worker from Middleburg, Florida, experienced that special gift when her brother-in-law was found to be a compatible match and became her living kidney donor.

“I was overwhelmed that he offered to be tested as a possible match,” says Tammy. “I never imagined that we might actually be a compatible match.”

Tammy isn’t the first member of her family to have kidney disease, nor was she the first to receive a kidney transplant from a living donor who also is a family member. One of her relatives received a kidney from his daughter many years ago, and lived another 17 years before passing away due to unrelated causes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Florida Campus, kidney transplant, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center


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