Transplant patient stories

  1. Cancer Care Inspires Kim DeBolt to Join the Mayo Clinic Team

    It was a quiet, rainy morning in 2002 at the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, Minnesota. Kim DeBolt was staying at the hospitality house while recovering from a stem cell transplant at Mayo Clinic to treat acute myelogenous leukemia. Family members were often with her at the house, but Kim was alone that [...]

  2. After a Liver Transplant, Financial Adviser Turns to Helping Others

    Owning a successful financial planning firm for 20 years taught Terrance McMahon to plan for the future and for the unexpected. On May 26, 2016, all those years of planning became critical for Terrance. That day, heart palpitations sent him to a local hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he lived. Although he thought he [...]

  3. Friend's Generosity and Successful Transplant Give Maikki Nekton a New Way of Looking at the World

    Maikki Nekton was 32 years old when she had a life-saving liver transplant, thanks to her good friend, Jenifer DeMattia, who donated a portion of her own liver to Maikki. Prior to the transplant, Maikki worked as a clinical social worker in the Maryland school system and for nonprofit organizations. Jenifer was her co-worker, and [...]

  4. Heart Transplant Puts an Active Athlete Back in Action

    Kraig Gresham was 47 years old when he received his heart transplant, but his journey to that life-changing surgery began years earlier. Kraig was born with aortic stenosis ? a birth defect that causes heart valves to narrow and obstruct blood flow. As a child he had heart problems as a result of his condition. [...]

  5. Slaying the Dragon of Pancreatic Cancer

    Thomas Hoffman of Spearfish, South Dakota,?was 56 years old, weighed 235, and had been diagnosed with prediabetes when he began to diet. As the pounds melted away, his wife became alarmed at his rapid weight loss. Then one morning, he awoke and his wife?told him he was completely yellow ? not from the sun streaming [...]

  6. Liver Transplant Gives Jacksonville Man New Hope, Twice

    There is no doubt in Richard Parker?s mind that he?s been given not one, but two new leases on life because of Mayo Clinic. Richard underwent a liver transplant in 2007 at Mayo Clinic?s Florida campus. For years after that, all was well. But then, in 2016, his transplanted liver failed, and he turned to [...]

  7. Paired Kidney Donation Opens the Door to a More Active, Independent Life for Kathy Allen

    From Kathy Allen?s point of view, paired organ donation just may be the ultimate in generosity. Deciding to donate a kidney to someone you don?t know in a paired exchange can trigger a chain of matches that gives several people the opportunity for a renewed life. ?I can?t thank the donors enough for their selflessness,? [...]

  8. 'You Never Think About a Living Donor Until Someone You Love Needs One'

    From the time he was 13 years old, Jairus ?Matt? Pierce, battled kidney disease. By 2016, when he was 44, the disease had become debilitating. A shift commander for a fire department, Matt had been forced to take a light-duty assignment because of his medical condition. He required daily dialysis, and the only long-term solution [...]

  9. Paired Kidney Donation Offers a Unique Way Forward for Transplant Recipient

    The day before Norma ?Kay? Orr was scheduled for a living donor kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic, she needed one more blood test. The Palm Coast, Florida, resident was in line to receive a kidney from her niece, Jamie. Jamie Rogers had volunteered to be a living donor when she found out in early 2016 [...]

  10. Successful Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Inspires Richard Carvajal to Reach Out

    In August 2014, Richard Carvajal, then 43, was in the best shape of his life. He was excited as he left his home in Bainbridge, Georgia, to compete in his first Olympic-distance triathlon. But as he drove across Alabama on his way to the race site, he started feeling sharp abdominal pain. ?It kept getting [...]

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