Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Helping the Girls of the Congo: Part Fourteen

November 22, 2010

Phil Fischer, M.D. is one of the Mayo Clinic physicians who recently went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the video interview below, Dr. Fischer offers a personal reflection on the trip.  

He also explains the potential for future research and how those plans are already advancing.

Also, many of you have inquired as to how you can donate so we can continue to help the girls of the Congo. You can mail checks to the Mayo Clinic Department of Development at 200 1st Street SW, Siebens 9, Rochester, MN, 55905. Be sure you write “Girls of the Congo” on the memo line.

MaryEllen’s Journey: Coping with a New Reality (Episode 3)

October 18, 2010

When you last saw MaryEllen Sheppard in Episode 2, she spoke about how she was beginning to lose her hair. 

After two rounds of chemotherapy, MaryEllen said  she was beginning to lose clumps at a time. She knew the day was coming.  But the awkwardness of going bald wasn’t what was engulfing her. As her husband Chuck began to shave her head as the Melissa Etheridge song “I Run For Life” was playing in the background, the loss of hair was making the cancer diagnosis hit home even harder.

“…From the very core of me came these emotions – something about all the women, the daughters, the mothers, the grandmothers that are now going through breast cancer and have to go through chemo and then have to go through the loss of hair and potentially the loss of life – it just got to me,” recalled MaryEllen. “The tears just flowed.”

In this latest installment of Mayo Clinic’s multi-part video series, MaryEllen and her sister Eileen speak about the hair loss and  how a breast cancer diagnosis impacts a family.

Below is bonus footage of MaryEllen discussing why she decided to enroll in a clinical trial at Mayo Clinic.

Click here if you missed Episode 1

As always, please feel free to post a comment about the series or leave a message for MaryEllen after each episode.

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You’re invited: Oct. 26 community event to celebrate medical research

October 13, 2010

Community members in and around Rochester, Minn., are invited to “Community Celebration: Making a Difference Through Research” from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Phillips Hall, Siebens Building, Mayo Clinic.

Each year, the Mayo Clinic Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA) and Olmsted Medical Center hold this event to celebrate the many ways that medical research improves our communities. You’ll have an opportunity to network with others involved in research, such as volunteers and research teams. The event is free and open to the public.

Community members mingle during the social hour at last year's event.

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour (refreshments and exhibits). The main program, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., includes a welcome from Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede, as well as presentations on engaging the community in research and how nursing research improves patient care.

Registration is not required, and parking is available at no charge in Mayo ramps and surface lots.

Learn more about “Community Celebration: Making a Difference Through Research.”

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From Mascara to Medicine: A Mom on a Mission

September 2, 2010

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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Wayzata High School Making Strides Against Cancer

August 5, 2010

Top Row from left to right: Anders Bowman, Mark Harries, Chris Wilson, Oliver Haugland, Joe Meister, Andy Kleven, Chris Olmanson, Jack McCarty, Nate Heintzman, Evan Day, Landon Lozano

This past June, the Wayzata High School Track team organized a fundraiser in support of the Mayo Clinic, and in particular to raise money for their work in cancer research. There are two fathers of runners on the team who have battled cancer and have been treated at the Mayo Clinic and the team wanted to support them and people in similar situations to them by conducting a fundraiser.

The choice of fundraiser: a potentially world-record-breaking relay-marathon. The world record for one man to run a marathon is 2:03:59, a 4:43 minute per mile average for 26.2 miles. The Wayzata team attempted to break this daunting record in relay-fashion by running 26 one-mile legs and a .2 mile leg together at the end around a track.

The team dedicated the race to the two fathers of runners on the team who have battled cancer and the team raised money from members of the community to support them. The runners ended up coming a minute and a half short of the record, but all was not lost as the community was very supportive of the cause and was very willing to donate.

The Wayzata High School Track team was able to raise $7,000 for cancer research from this event and they hope that this can help make great strides in the battle against cancer.

This post was submitted by Valerie Eggers, Development Associate, Department of Development

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Why I support cancer clinical research

July 6, 2010

This entry is written  by Brittney Head, 21, an intern at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida.

As a young woman in my early 20s, I have been consumed for the past few years with living in the moment and enjoying life to the fullest, without much thought to the future. But as a recent college graduate and a newly-married Air Force wife, I started thinking about the next chapter in my life (i.e., kids) – and with that came looking into my family health history.

My grandmother has hypothyroidism; my father has high blood pressure and I had an uncle with diabetes. (He passed away due to complications from the disease.) I know that these issues can be controlled and maintained with lifestyle changes or are treatable with the proper medications, but I knew it was important to stay on top of the risk factors.

In reviewing my family tree, I hadn’t thought about cancer until I heard an interview with George Kim, M.D., a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic. As an intern in the Public Affairs Department at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, I sat in on the interview Dr. Kim gave. I listened as he talked about the numbers of people who die every year from cancer. And I was amazed when he spoke about the more than 200 clinical research trials currently available at Mayo Clinic for cancer patients. These studies address new and innovative treatments and therapies, giving people with cancer hope and a chance to contribute to the fight against cancer.  His video is below.

As I listened to Dr. Kim speak, I thought about Jim – a man though not biologically related, who is like a grandfather to me. Jim was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008. Thankfully, his cancer was surgically treated and has not returned; but others are not as lucky.

While many people may be skeptical of clinical studies, it is through these high quality patient-oriented research trials that Mayo Clinic may one day find the cure for cancer. Research offers patients hope – hope for today and for future generations. As I look to the next chapter in my life, I know that although cancer doesn’t run in my family, I may not be immune from it. But I’m glad to know there are doctors like Dr. Kim, working on research, trying to help win the fight against cancer.

For more information about the clinical trials available at Mayo Clinic, please visit the Web.

Help Advance Medicine by Joining ResearchMatch

March 10, 2010

On its journey from the laboratory to the patient, research must pass through an important checkpoint: the research volunteer. However, it’s often difficult for researchers to locate enough eligible participants for a particular study — and potential volunteers have few places to look for research opportunities.

These challenges inspired the creation of ResearchMatch , a national registry that connects you with research volunteer opportunities. This first-of-its-kind registry — developed by a consortium of institutions holding Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), including Mayo Clinic — is secure, Web-based and free.

ResearchMatch is currently accepting registrations from potential research volunteers. By joining as a ResearchMatch volunteer, you are not registering to participate in any specific study — rather, you are registering your interest to be contacted about studies that may be a good fit for you. Joining takes between 5-10 minutes.

Learn more by visiting the ResearchMatch Web site .

This post was submitted by Matt Sluzinski, communications consultant in Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN

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