Stories – Patient Spotlight

Multiple doctors and multiple examinations could not figure out why Lauri Sieben had spent much of her life “never feeling quite right” physically. Fortunately for Lauri, that changed after her daughter Christy began working as a genetic counselor in Mayo Clinic’s Molecular Technologies Laboratory. After seeing similarities between the patient testing she was performing for the lab and the physical symptoms being experienced by her mom, Christy took a leading role in getting Lauri to undergo molecular and biochemical testing at Mayo Clinic. The results of that testing not only provided much-needed answers, but a promising path forward for Lauri.

By Cory Pedersen • February 5, 2024

On the brink of losing her battle with acute myeloid leukemia, Shannon Camlek arrived at Mayo Clinic as a last hope. Her chances didn’t look good, but with the help of specialized genetic testing, particularly FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) studies, doctors were able to detect the specific gene mutations responsible for her symptoms and disease. The test results also helped Shannon’s care team target her treatment accordingly, and finally put an end to what Shannon likens as starring in her own personal horror movie while in search of hope and healing.

By Chris Bahnsen • January 8, 2024

One summer morning, James Kypuros awoke to find his toes stiffened like claws. Then he started having falls, which culminated in losing his ability to walk or even sit up without help. Diagnosed with stiff-person syndrome, James wouldn’t find hope or relief until he was treated for glycine receptor antibody syndrome following specialized testing by Mayo Clinic.

By Chris Bahnsen • December 11, 2023

After immigrating to the United State and becoming a U.S. citizen at the age of 18, Holocaust survivor Kurt Glover-Ettrich chose to give back to his new homeland by serving a 30-year career in the U.S. military. Today, as a Mayo Clinic volunteer, Kurt is giving back in new ways for the 22 years of regular care, treatment, and laboratory testing he’s received in response to the prostate cancer diagnosis that first brought him to Mayo Clinic.

By Cory Pedersen • November 13, 2023

In August of 2021, 28-year-old Mike Knudson, a Twin Cities resident known for his vibrant and active lifestyle, set out on what he anticipated to be an adventurous hiking vacation to the picturesque Glacier National Park in Montana. Little did he know that this journey in nature would be the start of an unexpected life path.

By Nicole Holman • October 9, 2023

An avid runner and fitness buff, Mark Kocak didn’t think he needed medication for his high cholesterol and hypertension. After coming to Mayo Clinic for ceramide testing, Mark knew exercise alone would not be enough to him on a path toward greater longevity.

By Chris Bahnsen • September 11, 2023

Her father was a heavy smoker who eventually needed bypass surgery for his clogged arteries, and three of her sisters died prematurely from heart attacks. So, as Stephanie Blendermann approached the age of 65, she had good reason to think her family history would catch up with her sooner or later. That is, until she came to Mayo Clinic for ceramide testing, which helped to change the trajectory of her life.

By Chris Bahnsen • August 7, 2023

Joe Mondloch and his wife Sue have existed in a grey area of uncertainty due to the unpredictable autoimmune neurological illness Joe has lived with for the last seven years. Rare, incurable, and debilitating, the newly classified disorder can be hard to manage. But thanks to information and direction provided by a rare disease advocacy group, the Mondlochs sought care at Mayo Clinic and received much more than answers.

By Robin Huiras-Carlson • July 10, 2023

CT scans and hiatal/abdominal ultrasounds could not uncover why, whenever he ate steak, Joseph Ducaji experienced severe stomach problems, itchy hives, chills, and nausea. It took specialized testing from Mayo Clinic to unlock a little-known condition caused by a tick bite (and, no, it’s not Lyme disease).

By Chris Bahnsen • June 5, 2023

It’s been more than three years since a team of specialists and genetic testing by Mayo Clinic Laboratories helped pinpoint the cause of Alexa Lofaro’s failing health. And today, she says she continues to feel “so much better” than she did when she first came to Mayo Clinic.

By Cory Pedersen • May 1, 2023

Misdiagnosed with acromegaly, a disease marked by too much growth hormone, and plagued by a host of mysterious health problems from unnecessary medications, Kelly DuBois finally found answers after pharmacogenomic testing from Mayo Clinic Laboratories put her on a path toward healing.

By Chris Bahnsen • April 3, 2023

As someone affected by chronic liver disease, Susan Parrott knows how it feels to live in uncertainty. But every few months, the anxiety and doubt that shadow her life fade when Mayo Clinic Laboratories test results confirm her condition is in check and she can continue living life on her own terms.

By Robin Huiras-Carlson • March 6, 2023

After what looked like a blemish turned out to be angiosarcoma, a rare, life-threatening cancer of the blood vessels, Alison O'Neill was put on an aggressive treatment plan and regenerative approach to healing made possible by the pathologist who first diagnosed her cancer.

By Chris Bahnsen • February 6, 2023