• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Falcon visit is good medicine for cancer patient

March 14, 2017

A few weeks ago, Allison Hesse received an unusual request from a nurse on the oncology unit she manages at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus Rochester campus. The nurse told Hesse about one of her patients, an avid bird watcher. Like many birders, this patient kept a life list of the birds she'd seen. Not yet on that list: a peregrine falcon. The patient was fascinated by Mayo Clinic's Peregrine Falcon Program, the nurse told Hesse, and had been closely watching a feed of Mayo's falcon cam during her month-long hospital stay. Would it be possible, the nurse wondered, to arrange for the patient to see a falcon in person? Hesse said she'd see what she could do.

She began by sending an email to Tom Behrens, the longtime manager of Mayo's falcon program, to explain the situation. Behrens responded quickly and told Hesse the request came at the perfect time. A representative from the Midwest Peregrine Society was planning a trip to Rochester, and Behrens said he'd ask if she could bring a falcon along to meet the patient. She agreed, and the plan for a visit took flight. Read the rest of Allison's story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.