Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
JEN: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?
@kdubois: I found the Connect link in a Mayo Clinic Pain Management email I received in early 2016.
JEN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@kdubois: Mayo Clinic saved my life, and I'd like to help provide other people with the opportunity I was fortunate enough to experience. Knowing that Connect is a Mayo Clinic site makes me feel safe to share.
JEN: What groups do you participate in?
@kdubois: I participate in many groups. Most of my role as a Connect volunteer mentor is based in the Digestive Health group. Due to my experience with drug intolerances and pharmacogenomics, I am frequently tagged in posts within a variety of Connect groups. Additionally, I have experience with kidney issues, sleep disorders, endocrinology and chronic pain/fibromyalgia, among others.
JEN: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?
@kdubois: Fellow Connect volunteer mentor @kariulrich and I really bonded after meeting in person in May 2017, and we were stunned to learn about how many medical conditions we share. We talked extensively during the days we met. She suggested that my family might have some medical issues that I had heard about and suspected, but for which I hadn’t taken any action. Based on @kariulrich's thoughts and prompting, I did take action and scheduled my daughter for a comprehensive evaluation at Mayo Clinic.
JEN: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@kdubois: What has surprised me the most about Connect is how many people out there are suffering and continually challenged when it comes to finding diagnoses and resolutions to their medical issues. I lived that same life for 12 long years, and I just don’t want to see other people go through what I went through.
JEN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@kdubois: I seek out opportunities that will distract me from thinking about my ongoing medical challenges. For instance, I help my daughter’s robotics team, and I also work on crafts with my friends on a regular basis. I also enjoy baking and cooking with my daughters; my 15-year-old makes the best hollandaise sauce I have ever tasted!
JEN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@kdubois: The thing I enjoy the most is mentoring my daughter’s robotics team. It’s an amazing program, and I love the fact that these kids choose to spend their free time hanging out at school with teachers and industry experts building robots, programming software and writing essays every year in hopes of making it to championships. And during the off-season, they perform many, many demonstrations and volunteer activities around our community.
JEN: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?
@kdubois: Always try to do the right thing and pay it forward.
JEN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
@kdubois: I would say Reese Witherspoon, because she started a production company that focuses on strong female characters with interesting stories, and my story is certainly interesting!
JEN: Puppies or kittens?