Patient stories

  1. Breast Cancer Hits Home Three Times in One Year

    A mother and her three daughters – all diagnosed with breast cancer. Kathleen O’Brien shares her family’s history battling a disease which eventually took her mother’s life and now has struck three more times. Kathleen and her sisters, Angel and Brenda,  carry the BRCA gene which means they face a much higher risk of developing both [...]

  2. Laurie Beach

    Rare brain tumor couldn't stop her

    When your body needs water, you feel thirsty and drink. It's a pretty simple concept, but one that no longer works for Laurie Beach. A rare brain tumor left her with adipsic diabetes insipidus, an extremely rare disease that causes the body to lose its thirst response. The tumor — a supra cellar germinoma (or [...]

  3. Michelle Ernsdorff

    Compass to Care: The Mike & Sandy Ernsdorff Childhood Cancer Foundation

    In 1974, 14-month old Michelle Ernsdorff was diagnosed with a Wilm's tumor, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Michelle's hometown pediatricians in Dubuque, Iowa, had little experience treating a child with Wilm's, so her parents, Mike and Sandy Ermsdorff, began searching for other options. They soon learned that Mayo Clinic was hosting a [...]

  4. Barbra Riley

    Triple Negative Breast Cancer - Barbra's Story

    Years of raising awareness for breast cancer could not have prepared Barbra Riley for the devastating words she heard just over a year ago - "You have breast cancer." Barbra had dedicated her time and energy to promoting breast cancer awareness through such organizations as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Coaltion of Blacks [...]

  5. A Family Member's Point of View

    By Lindsay Engelstad I was not a patient at the Mayo Clinic Hospital, but my mother was. Prior to her going into the hospital, I always hear people say “Go to the Mayo Clinic it is the best place to be if you are sick”. Yeah right, it is a hospital and all hospitals are the [...]

  6. Thanks to Mayo, My Survival and Passion for Softball Will Continue

    I will never forget the afternoon of January 31, 2011, when I was at my local health provider and received the devastating news that I had stage 4 throat cancer at the base of my tongue that had spread to my lymph nodes. My local health care provider gave me all the bad news, with [...]

  7. Adventures of a 31-year-old Pancreatic Cancer Survivor

    Dorylee Baez lives fearlessly. Whether flying down a zip line or organizing a pancreatic cancer patient group in Puerto Rico, she plunges into life with zest. The 31-year-old academic advisor at Universidad del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico, is known as someone who is tenacious, overcoming whatever obstacles get in her way to achieve and [...]

  8. Jordan Mills

    Jordan Mills: Fighting the Unseen Enemy, Part II

    Following radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic for a brain stem glioma, the tumor which had threatened Jordan Mills' life, had shrunk. Jordan's life continued full of happy events. He married his fiancée, Kelly, in June 2009, and bought his first house that October. Honorably discharged from the military, he enrolled in college and became [...]

  9. Ron Reffitt Jr and his family.

    Michigan heart patient counting blessings

    This story was submitted by Ron Reffitt Jr. In this photo, I'm holding my first grandson, Blake, born this summer to my daughter, Jennifer, behind me, and her husband, Brandon. My sons, Cody and Ron, are on the other side of me. The smile on my face says it all -- how happy and grateful [...]

  10. David Farrell

    Volunteer Firefighter threatened by Tongue Tumor

    David Farrell lives and works in the small town of Holyoke, Colorado. The 6'2" volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) had always worked out and stayed in good physical condition. He and his wife, Nicolette, have two sons, two daughters, and three grandchildren. They enjoy motorcycle road trips, camping, and going to NASCAR races. [...]

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Jul. 26, 2014