In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

June 30th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Going the Extra 2,027 Miles for Her Patient

By In the Loop intheloop

MicheleMaharaj805It's not uncommon for Mayo Clinic staff to go the extra mile for their patients. Michele Maharaj, however, went an extra 2,027 miles last month when she traveled from Mayo's Florida campus to the Grand Canyon for an "adventure hike" to raise money and awareness for multiple myeloma research. At her patient's request.

Bob McKenna sent an email last December about joining him on a fundraising hike he'd found on the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation website, Michele, a nurse at Mayo's Florida campus, tells us. He wanted to raise money and awareness for the cause, as a multiple myeloma patient himself. "The first one (he suggested) was to Mount Kilimanjaro, but I said, 'No, I can't do that one,'" Michele says. The second hike on Bob's list (the Grand Canyon) seemed more doable. "I said, 'I'd love to do that one, but let me think about it.'"

While Michele was contemplating, however, Bob's health deteriorated to the point where he was no longer able to do the hike. That settled it for Michele. "I told him, 'If this hike means that much to you, I'll do it,'" she says.   [...]

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June 30th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

School of Life Teaches Lessons That Help Grad Student Help Others

By In the Loop intheloop

CampOz805Around the time Eunhye Choi graduated from high school, a close family member was diagnosed with cancer. Eunhye held out hope that she would survive the diagnosis. "I believed miracles would happen," says Eunhye, who cared for her family member throughout the illness. When no miracle was forthcoming, Eunhye says she "didn't know how to cope with the grief. My life was stuck in the past for a long time."

Eventually, she moved forward. And now, Eunhye is using her experiences with grief to help other young people who have lost loved ones. As a graduate student in psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Eunhye completed a practicum with Mayo Clinic Health System's Hospice Program. She worked primarily with Camp Oz, a grief camp for kids. (You can read more about the camp in a story we published last year.)

"I decided to help grieving children," says Eunhye, who is from Korea. "In my county, there is not much help provided for grieving individuals. I want to provide more opportunities to help others out." She realized her ability to "genuinely understand the grief of other people" could be an asset to others — and to herself. "Understanding others' pain can be healing, too," she says.  [...]

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June 30th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop intheloop

"It's like trying to describe what you feel when you're standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it's like."

Jack Schmitt

June 28th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Minneapolis Composer Going ’50 Across Iceland’ to Raise Money for Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic

By In the Loop intheloop

In 2016, George Maurer will journey by bike across Iceland to raise money for cancer research in honor of Carolyn A. Held. Raising money for cancer research might seem a daunting, even intimidating, prospect. But for Minneapolis pianist and composer George Maurer, it’s as easy as riding a bike. With one small catch: Maurer’s not just riding around the block. His annual Carolyn A. Held Memorial Bike rides have taken him across the country and to the top of Pike’s Peak. This year's ride will take him all the way to Iceland. Along the way he’s raised more than $30,000 for cancer research in honor of his friend who passed away from the disease in 2012.

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Tags: Mayo Clinic Square

June 28th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Hospice Program Helps Grieving Families Create Memory Bears in Honor of Loved Ones

By In the Loop intheloop

The Mayo Clinic Health System Hospice program helped Jody Jensen and her father, Dennis, make a teddy bear at a “memory bear” workshop. Jody Jensen has many wonderful memories of her mother, Mary. One of her favorites is from a surprise 40th anniversary party for Mary and her husband, Dennis, held on “a beautiful fall day with the corn in the field” almost ready for harvest. There was “a hayride and bonfire with s’mores,” remembers Jody. “It was the best party we ever threw.” Mary must have thought so, too. In a photo taken that day “she has a big smile” and “looks genuinely happy.” And that’s just how Jody likes to remember her mother, who passed away in October 2015. “I’ve never known anyone like her,” Jody tells us. “She always made anyone who came through her door feel like family. She spent her life giving to others. She was just so good.”

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Tags: Jeanne Petroske-Atkinson, Mayo Clinic Hospice Program

June 28th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

H.G. Wells

June 23rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Jack of Hearts: Young Patient With Heart Defect ‘Making the Most’ Out of Life

By In the Loop intheloop

 

Jackson Lindquist with his doctor. One of the first things doctors told Jackson Lindquist’s parents when he was born with a complex congenital heart defect was that it shouldn’t keep him from living an active, happy life. Doctors did note, however, that the defect — tetralogy of Fallot with absent pulmonary valve — would likely keep Jackson from “becoming an Olympic-caliber athlete.”

It hasn’t, however, kept him from achieving an impressively high level of athletic success. In fact, in a recent story for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, special projects reporter Eric Lindquist (who happens to be Jackson’s father) writes that Jackson recently played in his “third consecutive” Wisconsin state high school tennis tournament and is now “gearing up” to continue his competitive tennis career in college.

It’s a reality and future that Eric and his wife, Susan, a communications specialist for Mayo Clinic, had trouble envisioning when doctors first found “something amiss with his heart” during a routine ultrasound four weeks ahead of Jackson’s due date. “That night, an ambulance took his mother to the Twin Cities so the birth could occur in a hospital with immediate access to higher level diagnostic technology than was then available in Eau Claire,” Eric writes. “I followed in a car, wondering with each mile what the future would hold for my second child.”  [...]

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Tags: Congenital Heart Defect, Dr Alison Cabalka, HLHS, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Tetraology of Fallot

June 23rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Power of Poop: Fecal Transplants Offering Innovative Treatment for Mayo Clinic Patients

By In the Loop intheloop

Stephanie Bennett with VICE reporter Thomas Morton.

Stephanie Bennett with VICE reporter Thomas Morton.

Here at In the Loop, we often cover stories making headlines, adding our own spin and some thoughts from those making news. Since Stephanie Bennett, an intern in our department, is one of the subjects in tomorrow’s episode of the TV show VICE and has a great story to tell, we figured we’d let her do all the work this time.

In September 2015, I woke up to uncontrollable nausea and constant diarrhea. After these symptoms persisted for a week, I started to worry. I felt frail, was losing weight, and had a complete loss of appetite. At the time, I was attending school at the University of Iowa, and it was hard to get back home to Chicago to see my primary care physician. So for eight weeks, I was vomiting and having abnormal bowel movements up to 10 times a day.   [...]

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Tags: C difficile, Fecal Transplant

June 23rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop intheloop

"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature."

Saint Augustine

June 21st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Researchers Use Stem Cells to Try and Heal Baby Lucas’ Heart

By In the Loop intheloop

The Gutmans decided to have stem cells from Lucas’ umbilical cord “banked” at Mayo Clinic in hopes that Lucas would be a candidate for stem cell injections to strengthen Lucas’ heart.Last July, Jennifer Gutman told Toledo, Ohio’s 13abc Action News that the day doctors diagnosed her unborn son, Lucas, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, also known as HLHS, was “the worst day of her life.” The diagnosis came during what Jennifer and her husband, Brian, thought would be a routine 22-week ultrasound. The startling news conjured up immediate fears for Lucas’ future, and painful memories for Jennifer. “My brother was also born with HLHS,” she tells us. “He passed away as an infant.”

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Tags: Dr Timothy Nelson, hypoplastic left heart syndrome

June 21st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo’s Own Ninja Warrior, Andrew Yori, Moves Ahead in Competition

By In the Loop intheloop

Andrew Yori, a Mayo Clinic lab technician/dog adoption advocate/CrossFit enthusiast/overall superhuman competed American Ninja Warrior, and he crushed the course.Back in April we introduced you to Andrew Yori, a Mayo Clinic lab technician/dog adoption advocate/CrossFit enthusiast/overall superhuman. Andrew was gearing up to compete in the Indianapolis Qualifier for American Ninja Warrior, a reality TV show that pits athletes against seemingly insurmountable obstacles like the Death Spiral, Wheels of Pain and Back Breaker. (That’s what we like to call them, anyway.) The episode featuring Andrew’s attempt aired last week, and — spoiler alert — he crushed the course. We caught up with him to learn a bit about the experience and find out what’s next on his quest for a chance to climb Mount Midoriyama.

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Tags: Andrew Yori, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

June 21st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected."

Julius Caesar

June 16th, 2016 · 1 Comment

‘And Then It’s Spring' — Husband Uses Children’s Book to Illustrate Wife’s Transplant Journey

By In the Loop intheloop

Nik Thompson took photographers of his wife Nikki’s journey to create a keepsake for their children.When her doctor sat Nikki Thompson down and told her she had myelodysplastic syndrome, the diagnosis was equal parts relief and fear. Relief, because it finally solved a months-long mystery that began with the unexplained “tiredness and fatigue” Nikki felt while pregnant with her second child. And fear, because what her doctor, Mrinal Patnaik, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic hematologist, told her was both honest and direct. “Because of the chromosomal damage I had in addition to myelodysplastic syndrome, he recommended a bone marrow transplant,” Nikki tells us. “He said it would eventually turn into leukemia if I didn’t have the transplant.”

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Tags: Dr Mrinal Patnaik, Hematology/Oncology

June 16th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Lace up and Join Mayo in Making Twin Cities Marathon a Team Event

By In the Loop intheloop

Sisters, Jennifer Meyer and Joanne Mihm, encourage all Mayo staff who will be running the Twin Cities Marathon to register for the Corporate Team Challenge. Until 2004, Jennifer Meyer wasn’t a runner. “I was walking quite a bit at the time, and it was taking too long,” Jennifer says. So she started running. A lot. Her twin sister, Joanne Mihm, talked her into signing up for a marathon in 2008, and by the time the two crossed the finish line at the Grand Rapids Marathon, Jennifer was hooked. She’s run 11 marathons so far, and isn’t planning to stop anytime soon. “Running levels the playing field,” Jennifer says. “You’re all doing the same thing. And everyone is having fun.” (Cory has his doubts.)

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Tags: Dr Edward Laskowski, Jennifer Meyer, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

June 16th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"The reason we race isn't so much to beat each other ... but to be with each other."

Christopher McDougall

June 14th, 2016 · 3 Comments

Inspired by the Care She Received, Patient Becomes Nurse

By In the Loop intheloop

Jennifer Pekor received the 2016 Inpatient/Acute Care Award at the Michael B. O'Sullivan Awards for Excellence in Clinical Nursing ceremony.For most of her life, Jennifer Pekor was "scared of a simple blood draw." That changed when she was diagnosed with end-stage cirrhosis of the liver. Suddenly blood draws, pokes and procedures came to define her life. At her worst, "I looked like the living dead," says Jennifer, who, at age 23, was told she would likely die from the disease. It was a difficult prognosis to accept. Jennifer tells us that her mother even admitted to praying that if her daughter wasn't going to get better, "God would take me home to end my suffering." At [...]

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Tags: Dr Hugo Vargas, Jennifer Pekor

June 14th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo's DIY Prenatal Program Enters Third Trimester

By In the Loop intheloop

The OB Nest participants have access to an online "care community" of other OB Nest participants and nurses. In 2012, Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology began enrolling volunteers in an experimental program called the OB Nest Project. The program's goal: Reduce the number of prenatal visits for women with uncomplicated pregnancies by giving them equipment and education to monitor their blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat at home. This approach broke new ground in a care system that hadn't seen much change "since the telephone was invented," the Star Tribune reported at the time. (Warning: This link includes a picture of Cory, whose wife, Andrea, was one of [...]

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Tags: Center for Innovation, Dr Abimbola Famuyide, Dr Roger Harms, Dr Seri Carney, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sally Rude

June 14th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop intheloop

"They may forget your name but they will never forget how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou

June 9th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Nurse Becomes Patient After Surviving 100-Foot Fall While Hiking

By In the Loop intheloop

Amber Kohnhorst survived a fall down a cliff. Her experience has given her a new perspective on her nursing job.Amber Kohnhorst loves animals and adventure. The trip she'd planned to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah promised both. She'd spend time volunteering at the shelter and do some hiking in nearby Cane Beds, Arizona. But what sounded like a perfect vacation quickly became a nightmare when the 25-year-old Mayo Clinic nurse fell 100 feet down a cliff during what was supposed to be a short hike. "I'm lucky I'm alive," Amber told KAAL-TV. (After hearing her story, we can't help but agree.)

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Tags: Amber Kohnhorst, Nursing, Rescue

June 9th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo (Clinic) and Not Getting Hit by a Gray Bus

By In the Loop intheloop

Carlos Martin del Camp is bringing attention to brain tumors and the organizations dedicated to finding brain cancer cures.On May 5, 2016, Carlos Martin del Campo found himself in Rochester, Minnesota. Some might say that Rochester is an unlikely place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but it's a good place, it turns out, for puns related to the observance. Carlos was, however, "celebrating life" and thinking about writing his story, as he says in a post called "Cinco de Mayo (Clinic): A Brain Tumor Story" published earlier this month on Medium.

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Tags: brain tumor, Cancer, neurology

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