Patient stories

  1. 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 [...]

  2. Jackson Hoeger

    Jackson Hoeger: Family and Medical Staff Journey Together to Reach Positive Outcome

    It was November 2004 when Jennifer Hoeger, mother of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, kindergartener Jackson Hoeger, first began to notice a change in her son's health and behavior. "Initially, we thought he had strep throat," says Jennifer. "At the same time, Jackson's teacher noticed a dramatic change in his handwriting, and his well-behaved and happy demeanor [...]

  3. Myasthenia gravis - Early detection and right treatment

    James (Jim) Miller wasn't sure if it was just part of the normal aging process or if retirement wasn't agreeing with him. Whatever the reason, it became nearly exhausting for him just to eat. A native of River Falls, Wis., Jim had recently retired from his job in health care administration when his jaws suddenly [...]

  4. Andy Walch

    For Better, For Worse

    When Janey Walch said "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" as part of her marriage vows to her husband Andy more than six years ago, she definitely knew the implications of those words. In fact, their wedding was prompted by the discovery of a brain tumor in Andy, whose surgery was [...]

  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. Jeff Hughes and family

    Deep Brain Stimulation Gets Police Detective Back on the Job

    The pain was unbearable, and the questions even worse. Every month of 2005, Detective Jeffery Hughes of the Madison, WI, Police Department experienced 55 to 60 headaches, each lasting several hours. The headaches brought him to his knees in pain, but it was the recurring question from his daughter that hurt even more: "Mommy, why [...]

  7. 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 [...]

  8. Christmas Miracle: Woman sings opera with new teeth and jaw

    After this opera singer noticed something on her chin and asked her dentist to take an x-ray, they found an ossifying fibroma that had taken over all of her lower jaw. Susan Taborn needed to have her entire lower jaw and most of her bottom teeth removed. Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons used her fibula [...]

  9. Wendy Cook

    Teamwork helps nurse find relief from rare tumor

    Wendy Cook was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis as a child, which has caused many small tumors to grow on various nerves throughout her life. Only one required surgery and none caused her significant pain. But that changed when she began experiencing pain in her right buttock. Eventually, the pain became so intense that she scheduled an [...]

  10. 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 [...]

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