Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Posts (21)

Dec 2, 2014 · Still in Wild Water: 150 Years of Healing

StillInWildWater-Gallery-CoverPhoto

The sesquicentennial year for both the American Civil War and Mayo Clinic is coming to a close, and before it does, we’d like to use art to show how these two have connections that started over 150 years ago.
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was once referred to as “still in wild water” for his calm and deft handling of the war effort. More than 150 years ago, President Lincoln appointed Dr. William Worrall Mayo as a Union Army exempting surgeon. Dr. Mayo assessed soldiers just like those depicted in the small, ambrotype and tintype photographs on exhibit in the Robert D. and Isabelle T. Davis Gallery at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Dr. Mayo’s role as examining surgeon and his enduring philosophy of humanitarianism, cemented his contributions to the rehabilitation of the nation as a whole by helping his fellow citizens – some of whom could have been soldiers possibly in the same regiments as the soldiers depicted in the photographs on display – to heal, reintegrate and reunify.
“Since Mayo Clinic’s beginnings 150 years ago, the Mayo community has valued the restorative effects of the arts and the role of humanities in strengthening patient care. Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie believed that restoring the mind and spirit is an important part of making the body well; and that art and science together play a role in the healing process. Our goal is to create an uplifting and calming environment that inspires hope and comfort our patients, staff and visitors,” explains Chrys Yates, program coordinator for the Mayo Clinic Lyndra P. Daniel Center for Humanities in Medicine in Florida.

Complementing the small portraits are large scale contemporary photographs of Civil War battlefields by Eliot Dudik, which helps us recognize the past while looking ahead to the future. Dudik creates his 20” x 50” and 40” x 100” photographs using a century old 8×20 inch view camera, also known as a banquet camera in the early 20th century for its use in photographing large groups of people. He manufactured a custom jig for the camera that allows him to expose two sheets of 8×10 color film whiten the camera at the same time, later bringing the two halves back together digitally. Not only are his images visually representative of the split in the nation 150 years ago and to some extant still visible today, but Dudik’s process reinforces this separation and reunification.

“Something I always consider when deciding on what to exhibit in the Davis Gallery is whether the artwork will engage and enlighten our patients, visitors and staff about an event or program that pertains Mayo Clinic. In this case, the exhibition celebrates Mayo’s Sesquicentennial and the founding of Mayo Clinic,” says Yates.
VIEW more photos of this exhibition, by visiting the related Flickr photo album.

When asked what would you like for our community to get out of this exhibition, Chrys Yates replies with, “My hope is that patients will connect and engage with the art when they view this very beautiful exhibition, and gain new insight and appreciation for Mayo’s heritage.”

This exhibition, which honors the Sesquicentennial of Mayo Clinic ~ 150 Years of Serving Humanity, is made possible by the generous support of Richard Look and Henry W. Randle, M.D.


Connect with Mayo Clinic’s Humanities in Medicine via:

Mar 18, 2014 · A New Chapter: Life After My Liver and Kidney Transplant

Written by Elaine Ginn, transplant patient at Mayo Clinic in Florida

Elaine Ginn with her book, PatchworkAs I sit here at the Mayo Clinic lab on the Florida campus waiting to be called for a lab draw of a dozen or so tubes of my blood, my mind returns four years to the time before my liver and kidney transplant surgery. I can’t say I had given up, as that just isn’t in my nature, but I had become so ill that I could imagine myself slipping into oblivion and perhaps not minding.

It was December, about five months before the transplant, and my two local grandchildren had come over to spend the night and help me decorate the Christmas tree. Isabel, who had just turned four, would carefully take each ornament from its storage box and exclaim, “Gramma, isn’t this the most beautiful  ‘ordament’ you have ever seen?” Then she would carefully place it on my condo-sized fir, about as tall as Isabel herself. She would admire her work and ask Javier, her charming 8-year-old brother, if he didn’t also think it was beautiful. He would nod his head briefly, preferring to focus on the TV, where “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” was commanding his attention.

After she had loaded the tiny tree with more beautiful ‘ordaments’ than it should have held, I finally tucked the two of them into their makeshift beds, with the proverbial “visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.” I made my way to kitchen to clean up the cocoa mugs and the dishes from dinner. While standing at the sink with my hands in dishwater, my little curly headed princess walked out to the kitchen and hugged my legs, murmuring something I could not make out over the running water. I turned off the faucet, dried my hands, knelt down to her level and asked her to repeat what she had said.  My heart melted as her soft little voice repeated, “You are my most love, Gramma. You are my most love.” If ever there was a reason to live, this was it. If 2009 was to be my last Christmas, it would be enjoyed with a very full heart.

The blessings these new organs have brought are immeasurable. In addition to thousands more hugs from Javier and Isabel during the last four years, I have been able to visit their cousins near Seattle several times (for lots of hugs and kisses), as well. As grateful as I am for the opportunity to be a present and adoring grandmother, hopefully making a significant impact in the lives of my children and their children, I am also looking to make the most of this time in other ways, as well. I awaken each day with the conscious realization that these hours are a gift to be used with wisdom and joy, and most of all, love.

Since my transplant surgery, I have written a book about my experiences (Patchwork) and am working on its sequel. I also started a publishing company with a mission of bringing positive, uplifting, informative and humorous books to the public. Reviving a long-dormant speaking career, I am launching a new fulfilling chapter in my life.

None of this would have happened without the miracle of transplantation and the amazing and generous gift of these organs from a person and family I will likely never meet. And so, my gratitude and honor go out to all those who are donors and their families. The skills and kindness of the physicians and nurses and all the other staff members at Mayo Clinic are also prominent in my awareness. I have been so blessed with my glorious health and want to extend these blessings to as many others as I can. My humble pledge is to continue to pay it forward to the best of my ability during the bonus years I have been granted.

——-
Editor’s note: For those interested in raising awareness for the importance of organ donation, the 10th Annual Katie Ride for Life will be taking place on April 12, 2014 in Amelia Island, FL. Funds raised, help to promote organ and tissue donation and deliver important educational programs to high school freshman and sophomores. Mayo Clinic is the presenting sponsor for this event and has close to 200 riders and walkers that participate each year on Team Mayo Clinic, and would love for you to join the ride.

Feb 15, 2013 · #TheDonna Series: 4 Divas and a Dude

(left to right) Claudette Goode, Margaret Russell, Leel Williams, Karla Phipps and Karol Rojas approach the finish line of the 2012 26.2 with Donna race in Jacksonville, FL.

(left to right) Claudette Goode, Margaret Russell, Leel Williams, Karla Phipps and Karol Rojas approach the finish line of the 2012 26.2 with Donna race in Jacksonville, FL.
(view more photos at on our Flickr page.)

The sixth annual 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer is less than two days away and many of the 10,000-plus participants are anything but seasoned athletes. Take Karol Rajos, a Mayo Clinic employee, who wanted to find a way to honor her Aunt Esther, a breast cancer survivor, and her grandmother Ninita, who passed away from the disease. The annual marathon held each February seemed like a good outlet. So in 2011, Rajos ran her first half marathon.

In 2012, she joined forces with her son, Leel Williams, fellow co-workers Margaret “Peggy” Russell and Claudette Goode, and former Mayo employee Karla Phipps, to become a relay team known as 4 Divas and a Dude. And on Feb. 17, the quintet intends to once again lace up their sneakers and run – but this time, they will all tackle the half marathon.

For Rajos, the experience has been heartfelt. Last year her aunt travelled from her native Nicaragua, just to watch Rajos run in the event.

“It was amazing for her to see she that was not alone – there were so many other women going through the same thing,” Rajos says.

[more of our #TheDonna Series]

“And running with my son has been one of the greatest experiences in my life,” she adds. “He was the fourth leg and I was the fifth. But when Leel reached me, he said, ‘I’m not going to let you run this alone,’ and then he ran the rest of the way with me.”

Rajos and her teammates are not shy about sharing their experience with others, encouraging colleagues and friends participate in the annual event.

There is still time to sign up. Visit the marathon website for more details.

Story compiled by public affairs interns Jeff Schneider and Monique Damm

Editor’s Note: This is the final story in a series of four stories about the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. The 26.2 with Donna is the only marathon in the country where all of the race proceeds and donated funds go to breast cancer research and care for those with the disease. Mayo Clinic receives 70 percent of the funds. Almost $1.9 million has been contributed to Mayo Clinic in the past five years. 

Related Departments

Related Diseases

We shared this story on our Facebook and Twitter

Feb 5, 2013 · #TheDonna Series: For Mothers and Others

After chemotherapy and radiation (from left to right) Erin Holman (neice), Kathy Kennely, Bradley Kennelly (son), Gladys Donovan

After chemotherapy and radiation (from left to right)
Erin Holman (neice), Kathy Kennely, Bradley Kennelly (son), Gladys Donovan

While one would expect members of Mayo Clinic’s department of neurology to support community events, you’d probably assume it would be related to things like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s or Lou Gerhig’s disease (also known as ALS). But breast cancer? Indeed.

It seems as if everyone knows someone who is affected by the disease and Mayo Clinic neurologists Elliot Dimberg, M.D. and Kathleen Kennelly, M.D., Ph.D. and several of their colleagues, are no exception.

While Dr. Dimberg’s practice clearly does not focus on breast cancer patients, research opportunities are important to the neurologist, who says he’s lacing up his sneakers on for a third time to participate in the 26.2 with Donna in part because of the great relationship between the organization and Mayo Clinic. He cites the marathon’s contributions to help spur bench research. “I love being a part of something that directly benefits both the clinic and the local community,” he says.

But his reasons for running on Feb. 17 go beyond the research and support. Breast cancer runs in Dr. Dimberg’s family, so he sees the marathon as an outlet to honor their fight. But it’s also an opportunity to promote women’s health. “I participate because I think it is truly great how much the marathon promotes the overall health of women and empowers them and their families to make a difference.”

Dr. Kennelly, whose mother was treated for breast cancer by oncologist Edith Perez, M.D., half of the brain trust behind the marathon, agrees.

“This is a wonderful family gathering for us to celebrate mom, who passed away a few years ago. The whole event is a blast, the atmosphere is amazing,” she says.

After 2012 half-marathon (from left to right) Carol Roberts (neighbor), Tom Donovan (brother), Mike Swanick (brother-in-law), Barbra Donavon-Swanick (sister), Kathy Kennelly

After 2012 half-marathon (from left to right)
Carol Roberts (neighbor), Tom Donovan (brother), Mike Swanick (brother-in-law), Barbra Donavon-Swanick (sister), Kathy Kennelly

In 2012, to celebrate the 5th year of the event, Dr. Kennelly and her family decided to participate more fully in honor of their mother, who passed away a few years ago. Five of her six siblings, two of their spouses and at least half dozen of the numerous children completed the half marathon. This year, the group has formed two relay teams and the more athletic of the bunch are doing the half or the full. “But really, you don’t have to be a runner, anyone can participate.”

Amelia Johnston and Carol Johnston

Amelia Johnston and Carol Johnston

Many other neurology department coworkers also participate, including those who are admittedly not veteran athletes. Amelia Piazza-Johnston, who supports research related to ALS, got involved despite having not run before. Piazza-Johnston, who lost her mother to breast cancer in 2010, was encouraged to channel her grief by training for the Donna event.

“After the first [time], I realized I could do it, and training with the other women gives a great sense of camaraderie,” she says.

This will be Johnston’s third half marathon, and this year, she convinced another coworker, Pamela Desaro to run alongside her. “Truly, I believe, anyone can do it.”

There is still time to register if you wish to join in. Visit the marathon website for more details.

Story compiled by public affairs interns Jeff Schneider and Monique Damm

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of four stories about the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. The 26.2 with Donna is the only marathon in the country where all of the race proceeds and donated funds go to breast cancer research and care for those with the disease. Mayo Clinic receives 70 percent of the funds. Almost $1.9 million has been contributed to Mayo Clinic in the past five years. 

Related Departments

Related Diseases

We shared this story on our facebook and twitter

Jan 29, 2013 · #TheDonna Series: A Certified Cheerer and First Aid Captain

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. So what made Gallup want to volunteer? “You mean aside from my boss,” he asks jokingly.

“I look at the marathon as a great opportunity to give back to the community for an incredibly good cause,” Gallup says. “It’s great being able to help support the runners alongside other health care professionals who are all incredibly talented and gifted.”

Shawn Gallup (back right) with other volunteers from Mayo Clinic

Shawn Gallup (back right) with other volunteers from Mayo Clinic

[view the photos from last year’s 26.2 with Donna]

From blisters to hyperthermia, Gallup has helped treat various injuries in his four years’ helping out with the marathon. Each year has brought many different challenges to the participants and bystanders, and usually those challenges stem from uncontrollable factors, like weather. The best advice Gallup has for those running on Sunday, Feb. 17, is “mostly grounded in how they prepare themselves for the race through good training and adequate nutrition and hydration prior to and during the race.” Gallup reminds his fellow colleagues that there are many volunteer opportunities that do not require medical training. You can learn more online.

Story compiled by public affairs interns Jeff Schneider and Monique Damm

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of four stories about the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. The 26.2 with Donna is the only marathon in the country where all of the race proceeds and donated funds go to breast cancer research and care for those with the disease. Mayo Clinic receives 70 percent of the funds. Almost $1.9 million has been contributed to Mayo Clinic in the past five years. 

Related Departments

We shared this story on our facebook and twitter

Jan 24, 2013 · #TheDonna Series: Running for Aunt Donna

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.In 1989, Crofton’s Aunt Donna was diagnosed with colon cancer. After a long battle, she prevailed but her fight was far from over. In 2000, she was diagnosed with cancer again. This time, though, it was non-Hodkins lymphoma of the stomach. After another difficult battle, she won again. But then, eleven years later, Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctors believe that all cancers were unrelated.

[view the photos from last year’s 26.2 with Donna]

Today, Donna is 72 and living in Illinois, feeling healthier than ever, Crofton says. “She goes to the gym every day and walks about 35-40 miles each week. And if she can walk that many miles every week, than I can certainly run a half marathon once a year.”

Ashley Crofton

Ashley Crofton

Crofton wears a special pink jersey with her Aunt’s name as well as that of a coworker Pat, who is also a breast cancer survivor.

“It is important to me to stand by my loved ones and friends to honor them by getting involved in events helps to spread awareness and make a difference in the community,” she says.

It’s not too late to join Crofton. “Just participate no matter what you do. Whether you walk, run or volunteer, just show your support to end breast cancer.”

Visit the marathon website for more information about registration or volunteering.

Story compiled by public affairs interns Jeff Schneider and Monique Damm

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of four stories about the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. The 26.2 with Donna is the only marathon in the country where all of the race proceeds and donated funds go to breast cancer research and care for those with the disease. Mayo Clinic receives 70 percent of the funds. Almost $1.9 million has been contributed to Mayo Clinic in the past five years.

Related Diseases

Related Departments

We shared this story on our facebook and twitter.

Oct 2, 2012 · The Pink Paper that Reads "We Can Cure It"

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]

 Physician Stephanie Hines M.D. with Mayo Clinic says taking overall control of your health can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
“Solid Advice, but No Magic Bullet for Keeping Breast Cancer at Bay”
There is no surefire way to prevent breast cancer, the experts say, no magic bullet to keep it at bay. But there are steps women can take to minimize their risk. And if they get the disease, there are things they can do to keep it from becoming life-threatening.
Continue reading this story…

Physician Michelle McDonough M.D. of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville sits next to one of the newest mammography machines, which allow the staff to take biopsies.
“Early Detection Vital in Breast Cancer Battle”
Marion Lord is a testament to the importance of detecting breast cancer at an early stage. The Jacksonville resident said hers was caught when it was 6 millimeters, or slightly smaller than a garden pea.
Continue reading this story…

Maegan Roberts, a certified genetic counselor at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
“Family History Can Play a Role”
Scientists have known for a long time that genetics play a role in cancer risk and that isolating and treating mutated cells that cause cancer may revolutionize the way cancer is treated on a patient-by-patient basis.
Continue reading this story…(pdf)

Dianne Wagner, 46, of Jacksonville Beach, opted for a lumpectomy for her treatment, in which just the cancer and some surrounding tissue are removed, rather than the entire breast.
“Early Detection Makes Lumpectomies a Viable Option”
Years ago, when a woman developed breast cancer, she faced the prospect of losing her breast, a lifesaving necessity. Today she has another option — the removal of just the cancer and a bit of tissue around it, preserving the rest of her breast.
Continue reading this story…

See more Breast Cancer 2012 stories at Jacksonville.com/BreastCancer2012

We shared this blog post on Mayo Clinic’s Facebook and twitter accounts.
Shortened URL to this post: http://mayocl.in/pinkpaper

Sep 14, 2012 · Apple Says Mayo Clinic is Using the iPad to Deliver Better Patient Care

MayoClinic_AppleKeynote_091212

Tim Cook mentioning Mayo Clinic’s app at the 9:39 mark of his keynote.

On Wednesday, in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage in front of a crowd of tech-hungry journalists, bloggers, tweeters and photographers who were sharing with the world every word of the nearly two-hour keynote. Aside from the big iPhone 5 announcement, Apple highlighted ways various businesses are using their mobile products.

Talking about companies that are creating their own apps for both iPhone and iPad, Tim says “…or this one from Mayo Clinic, which helps thousands of doctors deliver better patient care” within of the first 10 minutes of Wednesday’s keynote.

The app that he was referring to and the one you see on the iPad in this photo is called SynthesisMobile. Mayo physicians use this app each day on iPads and iPhones to access patients’ electronic medical records (EMR), dictate clinical notes, view lab results and do many other patient-related tasks. Mayo Clinic developed this application because physicians wanted a mobile, easier and faster way to access patient information. The iPad and the SynthesisMobile app helped saved a man’s life at Mayo Clinic’s Health Living Center earlier this year.

Mayo Clinic Patient App

In March 2012 Mayo Clinic launched the Mayo Clinic Patient app, designed to help patients with a quick and accurate way of accessing their personal health information, online appointments, lab results and more. You can download this free app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch from the Apple App Store. Watch this video to learn more about this useful app.
—-
We shared this story on Mayo Clinic’s Facebook and Twitter.

Contact Us · Privacy Policy