Minnesota patient stories

  1. Persevering Through Brain Cancer, Travis McGinnis Remains Upbeat and Optimistic

    Travis McGinnis was just 30 years old when an insidious cancer was discovered in his brain. It had been growing there for some time, he says — his physicians estimated between five and 10 years. Had the stage-three oligoastrocytoma not been detected when it was, Travis would have likely lost his life. As it happened, [...]

  2. After Treatment for Pituitary Tumor, Pastry Chef is Ready for Sweet Smell of Ordinary Life

    Jessie Brenholt is a certified pastry chef who would like to open a bakery one day. “If the ingredients were free, I’d give out cakes to everyone,” she says. For a while, the 23-year-old's dream seemed to be in jeopardy. After months of being sick with weight loss, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and vision problems, Jessie [...]

  3. Pain Rehabilitation Puts Brent and Nancy Berry Back in the Saddle

    During the holidays last year, Nancy and Brent Berry of Danbury, Iowa, went on a train ride with their children and grandchildren, after a two-hour car ride to get there. They’ve been horseback riding with friends. They’re laughing, running errands together, and hosting their grandchildren for overnight stays. Not long ago, they couldn't enjoy any of those activities. [...]

  4. Surgery to Get Rid of Seizures Gives Brad Lewis New Freedom

    For 14 years, Brad Lewis never knew quite what to expect when he woke up in the morning. A rare genetic disorder, tuberous sclerosis, caused a variety of health problems. But the one that disrupted his life the most was epilepsy. At one point, Brad was having as many as 80 seizures a day. “Seizures [...]

  5. Healing Baby Lucas’ Heart With His Own Cells

    Jennifer Gutman calls the day doctors diagnosed her youngest son, Lucas, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome the worst day of her life. The severe heart defect, sometimes referred to as HLHS, was uncovered during what Jennifer and her husband, Brian, thought would be a routine ultrasound. The startling news brought immediate fears for Lucas’ future. Determined to help Lucas, Jennifer’s sister-in-law, a [...]

  6. Volleyball Player Realizes Her Dream With Help From Her Mayo Clinic Team

    As senior captain of her high school volleyball team, Brooke Johnson was determined to lead her squad to the state tournament. Never mind that the team hadn’t made it there before. Or that her small school had never sent any athletic team to a state tournament. Or that Brooke had health issues that made playing [...]

  7. Refusing to Give Up After Devastating Accident, A Farmer Finds Help and Healing at Mayo Clinic

    When Gene Franke left his farm in rural Hayfield, Minnesota, driving a semi-trailer truck loaded with hay and bound for Oklahoma, he never imagined the return leg of his journey would be as a passenger in an air ambulance jet. But in September 2011, that’s exactly what happened. A serious accident left Gene paralyzed and [...]

  8. Desperate for Relief From Pain, Teen Considered Amputation. Today, He's Back on Both Feet

    When he was 16 years old, Connor Bleakley asked his father, David, if he could have his foot amputated. David thought it was probably a good idea. By that point, Connor had lived with severe pain in his foot and ankle for years. He had gone through numerous treatments to relieve the discomfort, with little [...]

  9. Remembrance Events at Mayo Clinic Give Family Time to Reflect and Share

    Carol Mannell remembers her younger sister, Kathy VanHulle, as a woman who loved meeting new people and having fun. Carol recalls how, despite being in the midst of receiving care for a serious illness when she was at Mayo Clinic, Kathy would take time to strike up conversations with people sitting next to her in [...]

  10. After a Long, Long Wait, a Transplant, Gratitude and Goodbyes

    When Randy Marlow checked into Mayo Clinic Hospital's Saint Marys Campus, he knew his hospital stay would be lengthy. He just wasn’t expecting it to last one year, seven months and 21 days. As someone who needed dual heart and liver transplants, Randy knew the probability of two suitable donor organs becoming available at the [...]

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