Cancer patient stories

  1. An upbeat attitude and a brisk tempo keep this musician playing

    Wain McFarlane knows how to work a problem. When hypertension caused Wain's kidneys to fail in 2006, he built dialysis into his busy schedule. And when, just months after receiving a kidney from his 26-year-old niece, Wain was diagnosed with liver cancer, he knew he and his Mayo Clinic team would deal with it, quickly. [...]

  2. Anna's Story: A Personal Approach to Cancer

    At age 30, Anna Webster was a busy single mom juggling work and caring for her 11-year-old daughter. She didn’t have time to be sick. But after passing out one evening in the spring of 2009, she spent three days in a Jacksonville, Fla., emergency room while doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. [...]

  3. John Fulton

    Beating the Odds Again: John Fulton's Islet Cancer Treatment

    The first time John Fulton was diagnosed with cancer, he was 15 years old. Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, struck twice within a couple of years. John enrolled in a clinical trial originally staged at Mayo Clinic to fight the disease and won the battle. To have remission after recurrence was unusual, a feat that [...]

  4. A Golden Dream

    After being diagnosed with cancer, Joan Hittner, along with her husband, David, created an organization to raise money to find a cure. Today, David and daughter Christine continue the work. In 2011, Joan and David Hittner opened a letter from the Mayo Clinic Department of Development. Inside was a request: Would they consider donating $25 [...]

  5. 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 [...]

  6. Patient's Cancer Journey Inspires Hope and a New Career Path

    Kristen Yukness knew what her doctor was going to say next. After a finding of bilateral deep vein thrombosis after a routine flight, Kristen had a strong feeling – based on her family history – that her condition had been caused by an underlying form of cancer.  She was right. She learned that her venous issues were [...]

  7. Gut Feeling, Being in Right Place May Have Saved Lynn Witherspoon

    When Lynn Witherspoon was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wanted to move quickly. And she wanted to move to a place she felt would give her the care she needed. So she and her husband moved from their home in North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, to be near Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. "We live in [...]

  8. Cindy

    To Life (again) as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor

    I’m walking a fine line between jubilation and anxiety. As a two-time ovarian cancer survivor, I’m nearing the anniversary of my recurrence. Although I feel fine, this type of cancer isn’t the most accommodating. My nerves always manage to creep up on my dates with the ‘gists – in my case, the oncologist and gynecologist, which [...]

  9. Rallying Around 'Jack' – Buying Time for 11-Year-Old Who Touched the Hearts of His Care Team

    He melts hearts with his infectious smile, cheerful attitude and frequent magic tricks. But the slogan on Haonan Jiang's T-shirt, which reads "Tough as Nails," is a more accurate summation of his spirit, and the fight he and his family have been waging. The 11-year-old from Beijing, China, prefers to be called "Jack." He is suffering from [...]

  10. Morgan Tyner

    Morgan Tyner: Overcoming Brain Cancer

    In the fall of 1990, Morgan Tyner experienced a moment that would change his life forever. While at work, Morgan, a newly practicing dentist, suffered a seizure. After undergoing many tests over the course of several days, he received a very serious and life threatening diagnosis – anaplastic astrocytoma – an aggressive and fast growing [...]

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