Testing that changes lives
Patients are at the heart of all we do at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Our laboratory testing can clear the fog of an uncertain diagnosis, point to the next steps in care, and pave the way for better treatment. Our work makes a difference in people’s lives around the world every day. Here are some of their stories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
For Billy Dowell Jr., a competitive golfer, focus, determination, and course correction are essential to excelling at the sport. These skills, along with routine follow-up care and testing, are also important to navigating a life impacted by multiple chronic autoimmune conditions.
Ed Garber spent months in physical and neurological decline while a cohort of care providers and specialists searched for the root cause of his symptoms. That search for answers ended after testing by Mayo Clinic Laboratories gave them the confirmatory diagnosis they needed.