• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Reaching out after pancreatic cancer

January 1, 2017

patient Richard with friend after running the raceIn August 2014, Richard Carvajal, then 43, was in the best shape of his life. He was excited as he left his home in Bainbridge, Georgia, to compete in his first Olympic-distance triathlon. But as he drove across Alabama on his way to the race site, he started feeling sharp abdominal pain.

“It kept getting worse and worse, and I literally crawled into a Birmingham emergency room,” Richard says.

Although doctors initially thought Richard’s pain was caused by kidney stones, it turned out to be a symptom of a much more difficult problem. Testing eventually revealed Richard had pancreatic cancer.

Working with a care team at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus, Richard underwent surgery and then chemotherapy to fight the disease. It worked. More than two years later, Richard is in remission. And it’s given him a new mission. Read the rest of Richard's story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.