Patient stories

  1. 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.

    #TheDonna Series: A Certified Cheerer and First Aid Captain

    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 [...]

  2. MaryEllen’s Journey: Searching For Genetic Clues (Episode 4)

    From the moment MaryEllen Sheppard was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, she wondered how she developed cancer. Her ancestors, she said, tended to live long, healthy lives. And other than a cousin, she wasn’t aware of anyone else in her family who had breast cancer. As her battle against the disease began, MaryEllen’s thoughts [...]

  3. Celebrating a 5-year milestone after breast cancer diagnosis

    Pansy Parker of Goodyear, Ariz., has been celebrating her cancer-free “five-year-mark” with a little partying and a lot of faith. “I just thank God so much for the five-year benchmark,” said the ebullient 73-year-old, who threw a party and invited her Mayo treatment team to celebrate her five-year survivorship. “For patients, the five-year mark is [...]

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

    #TheDonna Series: For Mothers and Others

    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 [...]

  5. Barbra Riley

    Triple Negative Breast Cancer - Barbra's Story

    Years of raising awareness for breast cancer could not have prepared Barbra Riley for the devastating words she heard just over a year ago - "You have breast cancer." Barbra had dedicated her time and energy to promoting breast cancer awareness through such organizations as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Coaltion of Blacks [...]

  6. (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.

    #TheDonna Series: 4 Divas and a Dude

    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 [...]

  7. Mayo Clinic corporate dragon boat team Synchronicity

    Mayo Clinic breast cancer survivors/employees take to the water to spread breast cancer awareness

    Toni Kay Mangskau makes a living helping patients from around the world learn about the latest cancer research.                                                   Mangskau, 45, a clinical trials referral coordinator at Mayo Clinic’s Cancer Education Center in Rochester, Minn., never imagined she would one day be a patient possibly facing cancer herself. Numbed by the news of being diagnosed with [...]

  8. Sharon Francis

    Fortunately for Sharon, life had become one big headache

    Anyone who's ever met Sharon Francis knows her laugh. It's always present, like a trademark accessory. Even when she isn't able to laugh with life, she can laugh at it because against all odds, Sharon is a survivor. Consider her beginnings: When Sharon was only 20 and a single mother with three children, her own [...]

  9. To Test or Not to Test - Genetics, That Is

    So I wonder if anyone else spent part of Tuesday, May 14, 2013, pondering what they would do. Would they take the test to learn if they were at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer? What if it came back positive? What decision would they make – to keep their breasts and uterus or [...]

  10. Male Breast Cancer: A Patient’s Story

    When Craig McMillan found a lump in his left breast while showering in September 2004, he didn’t think much of it. The 59-year-old insurance agent from Quincy, Fla., assumed it was a harmless, fatty cyst like others he had had. But the decision to mention it to his family physician during his annual physical may [...]

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