Patient stories

  1. Cynthia Amendt

    Forever a teacher

    Whether instructing art classes or modeling for students, Cynthia Amendt has always been a teacher. When she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma — a deadly brain tumor — Cynthia thought her teaching days might be over. Then she joined a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic and now realizes she's received her most important teaching assignment [...]

  2. Jayden Gonzalez and his parents

    Toddler diagnosed with aggressive brain tumor

    Viola and Felipe Gonzalez were stunned when their youngest son's persistent flu-like symptoms were diagnosed as a brain tumor. The vomiting, holding his head while crying and unsteadiness weren't just a toddler's brush with the flu bug. A CT scan at the local pediatrician's office showed a mass the size of a quarter on Jayden's [...]

  3. Soccer Mom Strokes on the Field

    The phrase “soccer mom” might be a cliché, but for Jessica Cook of Jacksonville, Fla., it was apropos. The mom of three boys (ages 6, 10 and 13) spent hours in the car each week driving her sons from one field to another for their weekly soccer practices and games. With a family history of [...]

  4. Laurie Beach

    Rare brain tumor couldn't stop her

    When your body needs water, you feel thirsty and drink. It's a pretty simple concept, but one that no longer works for Laurie Beach. A rare brain tumor left her with adipsic diabetes insipidus, an extremely rare disease that causes the body to lose its thirst response. The tumor — a supra cellar germinoma (or [...]

  5. Cecilia Vangorp

    Multifocal motor neuropathy

    Cecilia Van Gorp woke one morning to find that she had lost movement in her right hand. "I immediately called the doctor, fearing I had had a stroke," says Van Gorp. A visit with her doctor ruled out a stroke. Several appointments with specialists and numerous tests followed, but didn't bring her any closer to [...]

  6. Garrison Keillor's "Brush with Mortality"

    Syndicated columnist and radio host Garrison Keillor shares his story of a recent stroke in his Chicago Tribune column, published today: The doctor who saw me in the ER wrote in her report: "nice 67 y.o. male, flat affect, awake, alert and appropriate." I had appeared with slurred speech and a balloon in my head, [...]

  7. Grateful Family Says Mayo Clinic Care and Ketogenic Diet Brought Their Son Back To Them

    Less than a year ago, four-year-old Max Irvine was having hundreds of seizures a day … he couldn't walk, talk or chew his food. A previously healthy and active preschooler, Max has epilepsy. The Irvines were told by one epilepsy specialist that their son would become mentally incompetent from his seizures. Thankfully, they refused to [...]

  8. Jordan Mills

    Jordan Mills: Fighting the Unseen Enemy, Part II

    Following radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic for a brain stem glioma, the tumor which had threatened Jordan Mills' life, had shrunk. Jordan's life continued full of happy events. He married his fiancée, Kelly, in June 2009, and bought his first house that October. Honorably discharged from the military, he enrolled in college and became [...]

  9. Emily Crawford

    Brain tumor surgery stops seizures

    When 9-year-old Emily Crawford began having seizures, the symptoms were subtle. "At times, Emily just wouldn't respond to anything," says her mother, Rebecca Crawford. "She would look around, fidget with her hair or buttons, or move her foot, but she didn't seem to know what was going on. She wasn't in the present." Over the [...]

  10. Ali is seizure free and still dancing

    When Ali Nowotny was just 15, she began to“blank out.” It was summer of 2006, and she was working as a waitress in her hometown of Rapid City, S.D. The episodes occurred about once a month, and left her “spaced out” for several minutes, slurred her speech and gave her headaches. Ali shrugged them off. [...]

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