Minnesota patient stories

  1. A Long Journey to a Seizure-Free Life

    In December 2014, Gregory Cascino, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic, received a photo of a former patient. Kate Seifert was standing at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, almost 20,000 feet above sea level, at the mountain’s Uhuru Peak. The photo was accompanied by a note from Seifert’s mother. “We will be forever [...]

  2. Roman’s Road to a Second Birthday

    Faced with losing their newborn son, Anna and Oleg, searched far and wide for an answer. They found it and a new birthday for their son at Mayo Clinic. After an ultrasound at 32 weeks into her pregnancy, Anna Ryabova, along with her husband, Oleg Pecherskii, faced a grim prognosis for their unborn son. "The [...]

  3. Strong Advice From a Colorectal Cancer Patient

    Mike Woellert had heard people talk about colonoscopies. He didn’t hesitate, and it may have saved his life.  Friday, March 27, marked the one-year anniversary of Michael Woellert’s colorectal cancer diagnosis. It’s a day he and his wife, Malissa, remember all too well. “I was one of the last people to be called from the [...]

  4. Battling Colon Cancer at an Unexpected Age

    The majority of people diagnosed with colon cancer are older than 50. Kelly Barnard was just 19 years old when she got an unwelcome Valentine’s Day surprise. Her stomach pain turned out to be something much more serious. Among cancer's many negative qualities is the seemingly indiscriminate way the disease manifests itself. Cancer doesn’t care what [...]

  5. Stopping the Seizures

    After brain surgery at Mayo Clinic, Xander Torres is a healthy, happy kid "My hand is wiggly." When 4-year-old Xander Torres said these words to his mother, Sarah, she had no idea the long journey they would begin. "To be honest, I didn't think much about it at first," she says. Several weeks went by [...]

  6. This Selfie Brought to You by Colon Cancer Screening

    Twelve years after her diagnosis, Jane Jacobs knows the value of finding and treating colon cancer early and is participating in Fight Colorectal Cancer's #StrongArmSelfie campaign. Jane Jacobs understands the squeamishness some people have as they consider going through tests to check for colon cancer. "No one wants to think about or talk about their [...]

  7. Gratitude, and the Voice of Experience

    Mark Pearce jokes that, "If something's going to happen, it's going to happen to me." That sentiment isn't hard to understand in someone who has had eight joint replacements (knees, hips and shoulders – some more than once), has been cardioverted 18 times to restore normal heart rhythm, and had surgery for a brain tumor. [...]

  8. Breaking Away From Pain With the Help of 'The Scrambler'

    Participating in a clinical trial gave Karen Safranek a solution to her decade-long struggle with peripheral neuropathy  Karen Safranek didn't take a worry-free step for 10 years. Severe peripheral neuropathy — a side effect of breast cancer treatment she received in 2002 — left her with constant burning, tingling, numbness and pain in both her [...]

  9. An Extension of the Heart

    Marla Burkhart’s heart was functioning at roughly 30 percent when she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency cesarean section eight weeks before the due date of her first child. After she and her husband had chosen a name for their child, she placed her faith in her heart and the support of a [...]

  10. From ‘Pick a Plot’ to Watching His Son Graduate

    Read time: 4 minutes Written by Ron Christian “Pick a plot and get your papers in order, you’ll be dead in a month.” That’s what the local neurosurgeon said. Those words served as my wake-up call. While my wife wept, I became angry. We had three very young children, and I was determined to see [...]

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