Patient stories

  1. "Mayo is where I go to get well"

    Editor's note: This story was submitted by Sheila Robb, a Mayo Clinic patient from Minneapolis. I was at Mayo a couple of months ago to start planning for a new treatment. The breast cancer that had metastasized 2 ½ years ago in my lymph system responded well to the Xeloda I had been on but [...]

  2. Irma Poznecki - Far from an “ordinary” mom

    Inspiration comes in many forms - for Irma Poznecki, a 45-year-old mother of three from Anthem, Ariz., it was brownies and cupcakes. In late 2009, Irma was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news came as an obvious shock to Irma who says she has always been active and healthy. And while she may describe herself [...]

  3. 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 [...]

  4. MaryEllen’s Journey: Hope Returns (Final Episode)

    The moment finally came. But it was an uneasy one at first. MaryEllen Sheppard was about to receive her last round of chemotherapy at Mayo Clinic, with friends and family by her side. But as her loved ones and her nurses cheered her on, a wave of emotion hit this mom with nerves of steel. [...]

  5. Annemieke van der Werff

    My Mayo Story

    By Annemieke van der Werff At the end of March 2010, my husband and I returned from a wonderful trip through India. During the trip I had noticed a swollen lymph node in my left armpit. At first I didn't make much of it, but as it persisted I went to see my doctor in [...]

  6. Arizona Mom Recounts Battling Breast Cancer While Pregnant

    Joan Dymand-Hintz was in her early 40's when she became pregnant with her daughter. The happiness she and her husband Marc Hintz felt was short-lived. A week after learning she was pregnant, Joan, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based singer and mother of two sons, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Joan came to Mayo Clinic for a second [...]

  7. Breast Cancer Hits Home Three Times in One Year

    A mother and her three daughters – all diagnosed with breast cancer. Kathleen O’Brien shares her family’s history battling a disease which eventually took her mother’s life and now has struck three more times. Kathleen and her sisters, Angel and Brenda,  carry the BRCA gene which means they face a much higher risk of developing both [...]

  8. MaryEllen Sheppard

    MaryEllen’s Journey - A 5-part breast cancer video series (Episode 1)

    MaryEllen Sheppard knew something was wrong as soon as she felt a thickened patch of skin on her right breast.  She didn’t feel a lump, but knew the change was different enough to get it checked out.  A mammogram and subsequent biopsy caught her by surprise. She had breast cancer. Looking  to share her experience [...]

  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. 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 [...]

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May. 22, 2013