Patient stories

  1. Dan Olson

    A heart transplant put him back in the race

    As a marathon runner and long-distance cyclist, Dan Olson thought his athletic lifestyle ensured a healthy body. But in 2002, at age 38, Dan was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle. "I couldn't believe it," he says. "I kept thinking, 'I'm in good shape. It can't really be that [...]

  2. Mother Gives Daughter the Gift of Life … Twice

    At 27 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Amber Sylvester went to Mayo Clinic with her husband, Mike, for an ultrasound test and received news that no parent wants to hear. One of the babies was in trouble. She had enlarged kidneys, no amniotic fluid around her body, and fluid in her abdomen. She would [...]

  3. Transplant Diary and a Father's Day Heart

    When Clint Frederick learned that he needed a heart transplant, he naturally wondered what the road ahead would look like. So he searched for a book that described the process from a patient’s perspective. His search came up short. But it planted seed. Perhaps he'd change things for other patients. "After I was approved for [...]

  4. Waiting... for a second chance at life

    This post was written by Trevor Bougill, an intern at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida. **** Over the past few weeks, the media has been full of reports about renowned musician Gregg Allman of the Southern Rock group, The Allman Brothers Band, who received a life-saving liver transplant at Mayo Clinic. While I’m not a [...]

  5. David

    My Stem Cells

    During the summer of 2011, my husband, David, underwent a series of tests which revealed extremely high levels of a certain protein in his blood.  As a result, we were referred to the Hematology Department at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, for further evaluation and diagnosis.  We were seen in September, 2011, and a bone marrow [...]

  6. Professional Outdoorsman Lives Life to the Fullest After Liver Transplant

    Being diagnosed with bile duct cancer that eventually necessitated a liver transplant wasn't enough to keep Steve Woodford down for long. A South African native living in Utah, Steve is professional skydiving instructor, backpacker and canyon guide in Zion National Park. He has always lived on the edge with his active outdoors lifestyle. Getting sick [...]

  7. Lung Cancer Patient Survives With Help of Novel Procedure, Celebrates Next Generation of Innovation

    Raegan Cury didn’t worry at first when she developed a cough in early 2002 that wouldn’t go away. She was a healthy young woman, athletic, a former gymnast, and her initial chest X-ray showed what looked like pneumonia. Even her husband, a pulmonologist, wasn't too worried, until she received a surprising diagnosis. “I never thought [...]

  8. Bone Marrow Transplant Is Answer for Mom of Seven Battling Aplastic Anemia

    When her doctors suspected Kristen Soley had aplastic anemia, a rare condition in which the body stops making enough new blood cells, she says something told her to call Mayo Clinic. Aplastic anemia carries with it a high risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding. It can develop at any age and can occur suddenly. In [...]

  9. 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 [...]

  10. 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 [...]

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