• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: From health care advisor to transplant patient to Mayo Clinic employee

July 28, 2019

Piper Nieters Su had spent years in Washington, D.C., working with institutions like Mayo Clinic on health care policy reform. Piper's relationship with Mayo Clinic changed dramatically, however, after she was diagnosed with a rare liver disease.

The comments from her spouse were made out of love, but they were given when Piper Nieters Su didn't have time for them. "My husband made one or two passing comments that my eyes looked yellow," Piper says. "It was during the holidays, so I didn't really pay much attention to him. As we tend to do, I just sort of ignored it."

Then in January 2017, Piper — a longtime Washington, D.C., lawyer and health care policy advisor — was meeting with another lawyer when her husband's remarks were echoed by her colleague. "He’s also a physician and made a concerned comment that I was starting to look jaundiced and that I might want to see somebody about it,” Piper says.

After that, Piper scheduled an appointment with her primary care physician in Washington, D.C. "Following that appointment, they pretty quickly figured out I had primary sclerosing cholangitis, which is a fairly rare liver disease that, in my case, was progressing relatively quickly," Piper says. "Most patients can have it for 10 or 20 years before it does much damage, but mine was moving more quickly."

Read the rest of Piper's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.