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Social Media Champions Corner

Review, Select, Share

The Mayo Clinic Social Media Champion program is a chance for you to quickly share the latest inspiring stories, news, and discoveries with your friends and followers. Take part in #MonthlyMissions to give back, or simply reach those who are looking for answers in their healthcare journey.

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Successful Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Inspires Richard to Reach Out

Richard Carvajal was in the best shape of his life. He planned to compete in his first Olympic-distance triathlon in August 2014, until he began experiencing sharp abdominal pain on his way to the race. Doctors initially thought Richard had kidney stones, but it turned out to be a symptom of a much more severe condition. Richard was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, so he consulted with doctors at Mayo Clinic and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Two years later, Richard is in remission and says he recommends anyone dealing with cancer to visit Mayo Clinic.

Thyroid Awareness Month

January is Thyroid Awareness Month – how much do you know about your thyroid gland? Your thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. It produces hormones that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and weight. In short, your thyroid is pretty important. There are several diseases that can affect your thyroid, including cancer, so it’s important to talk to your physician about ways to maintain good thyroid health. 

Marine Captain Witnesses His Daughter's Birth From Thousands of Miles Away

Matt Reedy, a captain in the United States Marine Corps, was deployed overseas when his wife, Alicia, was due to deliver the couple's first child. Doug Pappin, Alicia's father and a manager in Information Technology at Mayo Clinic, convinced Alicia to have the baby at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. On Oct. 24, when Dorothy “Dottie” Lane Reedy finally made her arrival, Matt connected to the delivery room through a video calling app on his smartphone. He was able "to see the birth of his beautiful daughter, and to hear her first cry," Doug (aka "Grandpa") says. "He wasn't there to hold her, but because of technology and caring Mayo Clinic staff, everyone … brought Matt into the experience as best they could."

Why skin cancer is becoming more common among young women

Did you know that more than 30 million Americans—including 2.3 million teens—use tanning beds each year? Skin cancer continues to become more common, especially among young women, and Mayo Clinic oncologists and dermatologists say multiple studies show that indoor tanning is related to causing melanoma. So before you head to the beach this spring, think twice about tanning before your trip – and don’t forget your sunscreen!

National Folic Acid Awareness Week

It’s National Folic Acid Awareness Week – did you know it’s one of the most important supplements you can take as a mom-to-be? Consuming folic acid daily can help prevent neural tube birth defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly. Women also need a sufficient amount of folic acid even before becoming pregnant, as birth defects can develop within the first few weeks of a pregnancy. Learn more about folic acid benefits today.


After 20 Years of Seizures, Erica Enjoys Life Following Epilepsy Surgery

For much of her life, Erica Laney had frequent seizures that were caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout her brain. She describes these auras as roller coasters with a big drop followed by complete darkness. Erica suffered seizures weekly during her freshmen year of college, so she decided to transfer to a community college where she earned her nursing degree. Her seizures became so severe that Erica could no longer drive to work. Her neurologist recommended she visit Mayo Clinic to see whether alternative therapies would help control her seizures. Doctors recommended a temporal lobectomy, a procedure that removes the seizure focus. Today, Erica is seizure-free and is able to travel and experience the world with her husband and son.

National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Your resolutions may include exercising and eating right, but make sure you’re not neglecting other aspects of your health, like taking care of your eyes. January is National Glaucoma Awareness month, and almost 3 million people who are 40 and older have glaucoma, yet only half know they have it. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and it comes with no warning signs. Being proactive about your eye care is key, so start the year off right and schedule your regular eye exam.


Mayo Patient Celebrates End of Radiation Treatments with Scottish Flair

Six months after having surgery to remove the cancer from his body, Leonard Hislop was told that the cancer had returned. He suddenly was facing 30 rounds of radiation. But instead of dreading those treatments, Leonard decided he was going to embrace it. He told his care team he was planning to show up to his last appointment — where he would ring a bell signaling the end of his radiation treatment — in a formal kilt outfit. As the news spread, Dr. Johnson Thistle agreed to surprise Leonard by playing the bagpipes at his bell ringing. "It was absolutely incredible," Leonard says. "I could hardly contain my excitement and my heart rate. The bagpipes are very special to me, and so having Dr. Thistle take the time to do that for me really lit my candle."

Liver Cancer rates tripled in the past 30 years

Over the past 30 years, rates of liver cancer have tripled in the U.S. In 2016 alone, nearly 40,000 Americans were diagnosed with liver cancer. Why are rates increasing? Research suggests some possible reasons for an increase in liver cancer include obesity, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, diabetes and untreated hepatitis. Doctors recommend being proactive to reduce your risk, such as consuming less alcohol and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also important to know the symptoms of liver cancer, so you can talk with your doctor immediately as the survival rate is almost three times higher if caught in an early stage. Be proactive, know the signs and spread the word to others.

Young Adults with Disabilities Find Meaningful, Hope for a Future Through Work Project SEARCH

Jakob Erickson, who has autism spectrum disorder, was part of the first group of interns to participate in the Project SEARCH High School Transition Program. The program helps young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain the skills needed to enter the workforce. Jakob says the program has had a profound impact on his life, as his confidence levels and social skills have increased. Jakob says he loves his work, his paycheck and knowing he’s making a difference.  "One of the Mayo brothers said no job is inferior, and I've come to realize that if I didn't clean, the other people in the lab couldn't get their work done," Jakob tells us. "Even though it seems small when you're just cleaning, the cells they're studying may one day cure cancer. What I do has a domino effect."

Let your food cool. No food is worth a painful mouth burn.

We’ve all done it. Taken a bite of food that is scorching hot – and no matter what burns your tongue or mouth, it always hurts! But what actually happens when you burn your mouth? Mayo Clinic dermatologist, Dr. Alison Bruce says that mouth burns are typically first-degree burns and damage cells in the outermost layer of the skin on your tongue, roof of your mouth or the inside of your cheeks. Your mouth also doesn’t have a spongy or fatty layer underneath the skin making the burns a lot more painful. So next time you bite into a sizzling hot piece of pizza, take a swish of cold water to reduce and decrease swelling. Or just be patient and let your pizza cool off first!

Learning to Live Well with POTS Brightens Daily Life for Christine Esposito

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition with no outward symptoms, but for the thousands of teens and adults in the U.S. living with POTS, this disorder affects their autonomic nerves. Christine Esposito is one of those people. She was diagnosed in 2002 by Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Jeremy K. Cutsforth-Gregory. There is no cure for the condition, but symptoms can be managed with medications, increasing your sodium consumption and using leg compression. Patient education is also available, like Mayo Clinic’s POTS Boot Camp, a program that helps people learn to manage symptoms. Christine has been involved in this program, which has taught her how to live with POTS, including everything from posture to exercise to eating.

Instead of Another Resolution, Make a Shift Towards Healthy Living

Are you busy setting your New Year’s resolutions? Freeze. Instead of setting unrealistic goals for the month of January, practice making healthy choices every day. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is a life-changing experience for many. Receive personal attention from Mayo Clinic experts and gain the knowledge, data and expert guidance needed to succeed from this wellness destination. Cheers to a healthy and happy 2017!


Successful Brain Cancer Surgery Puts Sunshine Back in a Young Mom’s World

When Tyson Cluever learned she had an aggressive brain cancer, her first thought was her two young children. Doctors said she had between 12 to 18 months to live. But Tyson and her husband, Jon, were determined to fight the cancer with everything they had. Tyson’s team of Mayo Clinic specialists decided her best chance for a cure was awake brain surgery. It was successful - and there was no visible tumor left after the surgery. She has been cancer free since 2015 and thanks Mayo Clinic for giving her hope and the chance to beat brain cancer.

Parkinson’s affects everyone differently. Talk with others on Mayo Clinic Connect.

If you have Parkinson’s, or care for someone with the condition, there is a community of compassionate and supportive people waiting for you. On Mayo Clinic Connect, you can meet others with Parkinson’s, learn from each other about managing the condition, and share stories about living and coping with Parkinson’s. Start talking with others at today.


Essential foods to give your body the nutrients it needs

Is there such a thing as too many vitamins? Since our bodies don’t produce enough nutrients on our own, Dr. Donald Hensrud, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, says it’s important that we get additional vitamins through our diet. But adding too many vitamins and minerals won’t make you healthier. Dr. Hensrud said that vitamins work like gas in a car. “If you tank is empty, then you need to add more gas for your car to run properly – but if the tank is full, adding more gas isn’t going to make the car run any better.” So what foods should we be eating to ensure we are getting the most nutrients without overdoing it? Doctors recommend 33 foods, such as sweet potatoes, chicken, bell peppers, Greek yogurt, and more to give our bodies the nutrients it needs to live a strong, healthy life.



Learn the Signs for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter can be a very common time for symptoms of seasonal affective disorder to start kicking in, like moodiness, low energy and irritability. The lack of sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin and disrupt your sleeping patterns, as well as your internal clock, which can cause feelings of depression. But you’re not alone and brighter days are ahead! Keep track of your moods and symptoms so that you can discuss them with your doctor and find a treatment plan together.


Teen Receives Thorough, Compassionate Care Before, During and After a Heart Transplant at Mayo Clinic

Chase Fairbairn’s life was interrupted at the age of 11 in 2011. Chase suffered cardiac arrest on a soccer field. During a brief hospitalization, Chase was tested for cardiac issues, but when his test results came back normal, he was released with a diagnosis of dehydration. Chase’s heart stopped again two months later during another soccer match. His medical providers diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle is abnormal. His care team took steps to stabilize this but also informed him that he could no longer participate in strenuous activities. The idea of life without physical activity was devastating. The family limped along in their new reality for almost a year, when Chase’s mother, Lisa, was advised to visit Mayo Clinic Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Michael J. Ackerman. Lisa now says that her happy place is Mayo Clinic, because it’s where Chase was given a second chance. Not only did he receive a new heart at Mayo Clinic to replace one that was failing, but the family now relies on the ongoing care from Mayo Clinic physicians who understand Chase’s medical concerns and have pledged to do their best to keep him healthy and on the soccer field well into the future.

Living with epilepsy? Share your story on Mayo Clinic Connect

Having seizures or living with epilepsy affects people in different ways. Some people stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs. Mayo Clinic Connect is an online community where you can learn from others with epilepsy and share stories about living with epilepsy and coping with the condition. You’re not alone. Join the Connect community and introduce yourself today.

Travel Without Getting Sick

Traveling by plane, train or automobile this holiday season? Holiday travel is popular among many Americans, but how do we stay healthy during cold and flu season while on the go? Mayo Clinic recommends:

  • Washing your hands more regularly
  • Disinfecting common surface areas and toys more
  • Eating well
  • Getting enough exercise and sleep

So before you hop on your next flight, pack an extra bottle of hand sanitizer or bag of cough drops in your carry on. You might need it.