A Donor's Story: Esther

Jun 1, 2021 | Kimberly Schmidt | @kimberlyd

Esther Janes, a vibrant 19-year-old from Kiowa, Colorado, noticed one day that there was blood in her urine. When she informed her family of her finding, they took her to their hometown physician. The physician was unable to detect any kidney stones or signs of infection, but had a feeling that something else was going on and ordered additional tests. Scan results revealed the problem. Esther had a 7-centimeter tumor on her left kidney.

The Janes family was referred to another doctor in Colorado who wanted to remove the entire kidney, along with the tumor. The family wanted another opinion. They reached out to a family member who was a resident physician at Mayo Clinic. He connected them with Bradley Leibovich, M.D., in Urology for a consult. After a biopsy of Esther’s kidney, Dr. Leibovich came to the conclusion that she had an oncocytoma — a type of tumor that typically appears in men in their 60s.

Esther underwent a partial nephrectomy to remove the tumor and portion of her kidney. The original goal was to save 2/3 of the kidney, but the Mayo surgical team was able to save 90% of it. During the surgery, Esther’s family went to donate blood as a way of giving back to the place that was doing so much to help Esther.

"So many people go through similar situations - or worse - without a support system," Esther says. "I’m grateful that I have a relationship with Jesus that gave me peace, and family and friends who supported and encouraged me through everything, and a kind and helpful Mayo staff."

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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