Arizona patient stories

  1. 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 [...]

  2. 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 [...]

  3. George and Anna Riley

    Not Your Traditional Wedding Anniversary: Husband Donates Kidney to Wife of 30 Years

    Pearls top the list as the suggested 30th wedding anniversary gift. Still, some devoted husbands may opt to purchase their bride of three decades a special spa day – or an exotic trip to sip a cool drink by an ocean. In the case of George and Anna Riley, Bloomfield, N.M., their beverage of choice [...]

  4. Ricky Rinehart

    Cancer Survivor Bikes the Desert to Deliver Donation

    To celebrate his “first birthday” after treatment for esophageal cancer, Ricky Rinehart, 54, rode his bike to Mayo Clinic — 213 miles across the desert from his home in Yuma to Phoenix, Ariz. Thirteen friends, family and co-workers joined him for the two-day ride last October. They delivered more than $10,000 in donations for cancer [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  6. MaryEllen’s Journey: Searching For Genetic Clues (Episode 4)

    From the moment MaryEllen Sheppard was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, she wondered how she developed cancer. Her ancestors, she said, tended to live long, healthy lives. And other than a cousin, she wasn’t aware of anyone else in her family who had breast cancer. As her battle against the disease began, MaryEllen’s thoughts [...]

  7. Coping with a Rare Disorder: Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome

    David Hirschy of Prescott, Arizona, has worn many hats — from record producer to chef to silversmith. In fact, his love of food made him think something was wrong a few years ago when he lost his sense of taste. He began to have other symptoms, too, which led him to Mayo Clinic in Arizona where [...]

  8. Patricia Wagner

    Living With Myelofibrosis (Part 4 of a 4 part-series)

    By Patricia Wagner In this final entry, I’ll be sharing as one patient to another the complementary practices which have enhanced my total health. I am most grateful to the M.D.s who treat me, as I’m sure most of you are. I do not look to them for everything, however. I personally have benefited from [...]

  9. MaryEllen’s Journey: Chemotherapy Begins (Episode 2)

    Like many women facing breast cancer, MaryEllen Sheppard had concerns over how she would feel after her chemotherapy treatments. Would she be able to go to work? Would the chemotherapy leave her feeling ill and exhausted? How long would it be until she inevitably lost her hair? When you last saw MaryEllen in Episode 1,  [...]

  10. Jill Camirand: Off and Running

    Jill Camirand likes to keep moving. When she finished college in New Hampshire the first thing she did was get on a train and go. She didn’t have a particular destination in mind, she just wanted to see where it would take her. Now some 10 years later Jill lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is [...]

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