Sharing Mayo Clinic

Stories from patients, family, friends and Mayo Clinic staff

Child’s play — at long last

Child’s play — at long last

After heart surgery, Deshawn Corbin can run, jump and swim like a kid ... for the first time Deshawn Corbin is just 15 years old. But he’s already experienced more life than most people many times his age. Deshawn was born with complex congenital heart disease that affected the way blood traveled through his body and kept him from getting enough oxygen. His teenage mother, who’d had no prenatal care, realized she would be unable to care for a child with such special needs and gave him up for adoption. On the day he was born, Deshawn became a ward of the state and had his first open heart surgery.
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Finding Coach Rudy

Finding Coach Rudy

With no cure available, a Mayo patient finds comfort in a reunion with a former teacher whose words and encouragement had a lasting impact on his life. With some help from his Mayo physician.   Tim Ruettiger, a gym teacher and wrestling coach in New Lennox, Ill., had no idea what a lasting impression he had made on one of his students, Ron Krasneck. In 1982, Krasneck was 14 years old when he first met Ruettiger, known as Coach Rudy. Krasneck was slightly built, standing just 4 feet, 6 inches tall. Born with a rare genetic condition linked to cancer, the teenager had undergone multiple orthopedic surgeries to treat bone cancer. But Coach Rudy treated Krasneck just like the rest of the students. Thirty years later, Mayo's Horacio Asbun, M.D., a surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Florida, learned about Coach Rudy's impact during a conversation back in December 2012, after Krasneck learned that surgery couldn’t cure his advanced gall bladder and liver cancer. “I couldn’t do anything for him,” says Dr. Asbun, who knew much of Krasneck’s medical journey. Diagnosed as a toddler, his disease ramped up in his late teens. At age 46, Krasneck had survived nine episodes of bone cancer, amputations of a hand and wrist, partial removal of a shoulder/scapula and removal and rebuilding of C2 and C3 vertebrae. He walked with a prosthetic leg, though it was hardly noticeable. He'd had more than 35 major surgeries.
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My story - Carmen

I was first diagnosed with Melanoma in 2004. Then in 2008 the melanoma started metastasizing quickly. After having 4 different surgeries to remove the tumors, [...]
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Sister’s Kidney for Little Brother

Sister’s Kidney for Little Brother

For his entire life, radio host James Rabe has known that one day he'd need a new kidney. A disease called Alport Syndrome slowly caused his kidneys to fail. As his condition advanced, the search for a new organ began. His big sister stepped up and gave part of herself so her little brother could live. They share their story in the video below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFO6COuAhWg While the outcomes for transplant patients who receive deceased donor organs are very good, transplants performed from living donors, like the gift given to James by his sister, can have several advantages.
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Managing my multiple myeloma

Managing my multiple myeloma

Judy Phillips found hope when hope was running out thanks to a physician willing to try new (and old) treatments, a team of "wonderful nurses," and the "steadfast support and optimism" of her husband.    Written by Judy Phillips I am a seven-year survivor of multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow. Myeloma is a relatively rare cancer, so many people who are diagnosed with it have no idea what they are being told they have. I had heard of it but didn’t remember what it was exactly. All I knew was that it was something terrible, and I didn’t want it. My husband and I promptly burst into tears when we heard the diagnosis in the doctor’s office. It was several weeks before I could stop crying. Every time I thought about the fact that I was now a cancer patient a fresh round of tears came into my eyes. Finally, when I got tired of crying -- and my husband begged me to stop -- I started focusing on what I could do to eliminate this scourge from my life. Although my first doctor, a hematologist/oncologist in Virginia, told me I had three to five years to live, I refused to believe this. I was determined to get cured. To this end, I accepted treatment with an aggressive drug that had just been approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, I was not able to tolerate the new drug -- I experienced excruciatingly painful peripheral neuropathy in my legs, making it difficult for me to even get off the couch. I was tried on another new drug but continued to have intolerable side effects. I could tell by the look on my doctor’s face that he was running out of ideas.
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Life after C. difficile

Life after C. difficile

Dianne Shea thought that the fevers, chills, vomiting, nausea and endless bouts of diarrhea from C. diff would take away her independence. But after a fecal transplant, she says, "My life began again."   Written by Dianne Shea I've been a paraplegic and a Mayo Clinic patient for more than 10 years. My legs decided to stop working over a period of just a few short months due to a spinal tumor. So I didn't think I was a stranger to adversity. Then I met a nasty little bug they call C. difficile. The name is not ironic. At first I thought I had a very violent form of the flu with fevers, chills, vomiting, nausea and (the worst by far) countless, endless bouts of diarrhea. My days were filled with nothing more than being assisted to the bathroom, cleaning up, getting back into bed, then starting all over again, weaker than before. I required around-the-clock care. I couldn't get dressed, could hardly eat anything, didn't have enough energy to do the smallest of tasks, and couldn't have any fun. Most importantly, I couldn't get through physical therapies for my legs.
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My story - Richard

I had an excellent experience at the Mayo Clinic. I was treated for HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) by Dr. Dearani of the cardiovascular section. Not only do [...]
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My story -- Diane Whittington

My story is short and sweet. About 28 years ago, in 1984-85, Dr. Ian Hay treated me for Graves Disease, over-active thyroid. I was 4 [...]
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My patient story - Naomi Evers

I am writing to thank the Mayo Clinic Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery and giving special thanks to Dr. Jeffery Britton and Dr. Fredric Meyer. [...]
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A lifetime of lessons in 20 short years

A lifetime of lessons in 20 short years

It hasn't been an easy path for Ashley Jagodzinski. To say the least. So you'll pardon Ashley and her mom (Mayo employee Erin Jagodzinski) if they're a touch enthusiastic about Ashley officially starting her college career this fall. A few things conspired to stop Ashley from getting to this point. Three open-heart surgeries by age 12 (the first, at just 6 months of age). Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. A stroke. A brain hemorrhage. Seizures. And, astoundingly, and sadly, bullies who picked on Ashley for missing school when her physical difficulties took a toll. Ashley and her family turned to Mayo Clinic often during those years. And at age 17, after suffering a stroke, seizures and a brain hemorrhage, Ashley and her family moved to Rochester to be closer to Mayo.
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Young girl becomes champion for scoliosis screening

Young girl becomes champion for scoliosis screening

It's a rare teenager who puts in overtime. Kelsey O'Leary is that teen. At age 12, Kelsey was diagnosed with scoliosis and fitted with a brace by Mayo Clinic physicians. The Rochester, Minn., girl wore the brace day and night — logging more than the recommended hours — for three years. Kelsey, now 17, and her parents, Amaria Najem O'Leary and Patrick O'Leary, credit her perseverance with a remarkable outcome. After three years of bracing, the curvature of Kelsey's spine was improved — an unusual result for a treatment that is designed to keep spinal curvature from worsening. "I was really surprised and happy about that," says Kelsey, a theater and arts aficionado. "I was always told that bracing doesn't cure scoliosis, but it did actually improve the curvature of my spine, which is very rare."  
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Little Sofia takes big steps with the help of Mehta casting

Little Sofia takes big steps with the help of Mehta casting

              ............................................................................................................................................................. After Mehta casting at [...]
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