• Cancer Patient Stories

    A Mayo Moment with a “Woman Cut in Half”

A big part of the reason for Sharing Mayo Clinic is to give Mayo patients the opportunity to share their stories of how Mayo has changed their lives. It's inspiring for employees to hear about the difference we make together as an organization and in teams, and how each of us individually contribute.

At this morning's Surgical Quality Conference, a quarterly meeting of all of the departments involved in surgery at Mayo Clinic, staff heard the story of Janis Ollson, who had a first-of-its kind pelvic spine reconstruction after cancer surgery three years ago. Thanks to a surgical team led by Dr. Michael Yaszemski, she not only survived but has returned to an active lifestyle with her husband and two children.

Here is the original Mayo Clinic Medical Edge television story we produced about Janis:

Then in September of this year, the Winnipeg Free Press did a feature on Janis, which they gave a somewhat provocative headline: Miracle mom: Mayo surgeons cut her in half, cleared out her cancer. The story was then picked up throughout Canada, including The Vancouver Sun, and also in the U.S. with Fox News and others.

Janis is now 32 years old, and this morning she joined the Surgical Quality Conference via Skype videoconference, live from her home in Canada. The staff got to watch the video from her live studio appearance on NBC's Today show. (You really need to watch that story!)

Here is a recording of the Skype conversation Dr. Yaszemski had with Janis after the Today segment was shown:

Thanks to Janis for sharing her story, and to the care team members who did such a good job with her.