From Mascara to Medicine: A Mom on a Mission

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When their daughter was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) in June 2008, the world turned upside down for cosmetics entrepreneur Victoria Jackson and infomercial pioneer Bill Guthy. The diagnosing physician told them, “you know, if this were my child, I’d be going to Mayo Clinic.” And that’s exactly what they did.

In the video below, Victoria describes their journey, including one of her first conversations with Mayo Clinic neurologist and NMO expert, Dr. Brian Weinshenker

We went to see Dr. Brian Weinshenker at Mayo Clinic, and he really was extraordinarily kind and patient. I said, “are you doing any work in this area?” And he said, “Well, yes.” I said, “Do you have a foundation and research?” He said, “I’m wanting to, and I’ve started…I’m doing some research.” And I said, “Well, you and I are going to be working together. I’ve got the checkbook and you’ve got the brains for this. We’re going to get together and do something — we’re going to find a cure for this.”

Today, the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation is dedicated to funding basic science research to find answers that will lead to the prevention, clinical trial treatment programs and a potential cure for NMO. Guthy-Jackson is currently funding several NMO studies at Mayo Clinic. For patients with NMO, the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation hosts an annual patient event and an online community called Spectrum.

Other videos of Mayo Clinic physicians discussing NMO and related topics are available as well.

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