Patient stories

  1. Jill Morton playing tennis

    Jill Morton: Going for the Gold

    Eight years ago, Jill Morton was dying. A family history of kidney disease had finally caught up with her. Her kidneys were failing, and her body was shutting down. "I was really afraid," she says. For two long years, Morton, of Boca Raton, Fla., lived with that fear -- her name on the transplant list [...]

  2. Coming full circle: Sharing a message of hope

    Ardell Lien had always dreamed of one day sailing around the world. But when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, the retired military man from Caledonia, Minn., thought his sailing days were behind him. "I was down to 150 pounds," says Ardell, "and everyone in town knew I was on my way out. I [...]

  3. A Marathon of Another Kind: Kidney Dialysis for 13 Months

    It was the summer of 2008, and Nichole Rushton was primed and ready to run 26.2 miles – a marathon – something she had accomplished with relative ease twice before. At age 28, she well could have invented the concept of “multitasking,” keeping physically active, raising two kids and being a devoted wife to her husband, [...]

  4. Hasan Hosein

    Father, son travel 3,000 miles for a kidney transplant

    Hasan Hosein was playing a competitive game of cricket when he began to feel unwell. But the 17-year-old from Trinidad, one of the most southern islands of the Caribbean, dismissed his weakness and headache, attributing his symptoms to the effects of traditional fasting for Ramadan. "During this month, I typically feel weak during the day [...]

  5. Liver transplant gives man a new lease on life

    Julie and Marshall Curtis credit a steady stream of miracles — and Mayo Clinic — with saving Marshall's life. A series of miracles. That's how Marshall Curtis describes the care he received at Mayo Clinic. Marshall came to Mayo after being diagnosed with cirrhosis, the result of a rare genetic disorder. He was gravely ill, [...]

  6. Cindy

    Saving Lives by Recruiting Marrow Donors

    Carolyn “Ceci” Christenson, age 18, of Gilbert, Ariz., has already survived a rare, life-threatening blood disorder and become a high-powered recruiter for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). Her experience inspires Christenson to speak out for patients whose hope for a cure resembles a high-stakes lottery. In December 2011, she appeared on CBS’s “The Early [...]

  7. New Heart instead of a Honeymoon

    Instead of honeymooning in Ireland, Adam Janusz and his wife, Saori, took a journey of the heart. Janusz, then 32, was diagnosed with a rare heart ailment, requiring ventricular assist devices (VAD) to keep his heart pumping. Eventually, he’d need a heart transplant. The couple’s odyssey started when they’d been married for less than two [...]

  8. Gift from Daughter to Dad: a Liver Donation

    Chuck Lewensten ran a successful business, hunted in Africa and played tennis with his fiancé, Jill. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis changed all that. By the summer of 2010, the disease had ravaged Lewensten’s liver, leaving him homebound and dependent on his family for care. Instead of hunting trips, Lewensten’s travels took him only to the emergency room. [...]

  9. Melissa Blevins and Risa Simon

    New friendship cemented with kidney donation

    Melissa Blevins, administrator for the Transplant Center and Living Donor Programs at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Arizona, knew that one day she’d be an organ donor. Her epiphany occurred 15 years ago. She was working as nurse transplant coordinator and, one night, two pediatric patients died. “One needed a transplant. The parents of the other [...]

  10. Boo Maddox

    Boo Maddox takes on H1N1, dialysis, and complications on his way to a successful kidney transplant

    A year ago, the Robert Maddox family from Boyce, La., would never have imagined attending the 50th Anniversary of Kidney Transplantation celebration event at Mayo Clinic this month. A year ago, their 9-year-old son Robert, who goes by the nickname "Boo," was struggling to survive, and a transplant seemed impossible. After a devastating bout of H1N1 (swine [...]

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