• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Teacher returns to class with her love of learning

March 4, 2018

Two troubling diagnoses had Erika Bauserman worried about her future. Her care team at Mayo Clinic took care of both medical problems so Erika could put her health concerns behind her.

A retired preschool teacher, Erika Bauserman, is passionate about child literacy. Since moving to St. Augustine, Florida, from Illinois in 2011, Erika spends much of her time volunteering with the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida to encourage reading among preschoolers.

"Books spark creativity and imagination," she says. "They expose kids to things they may never see or places they may never go."

"[The tumor] was squeezing my brain and would continue to grow and impact my fine motor area." — Erika Bauserman

In addition to her dedication to helping kids learn, Erika also is an avid photographer who enjoys capturing images of life around her from behind a lens. Her ability to continue pursuing these passions seemed to be in jeopardy, however, when it was discovered that Erika had carcinoid tumors on her lungs and a previously slow-growing, benign tumor began to cause problems.

Thanks to Mayo’s multidisciplinary team approach, Erika has now put those health concerns behind her and returned to the activities she loves most.

Worrisome changes

In 2005, when Erika lived in Libertyville, Illinois, her doctors found that she had a meningioma — a tumor that arises from the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Because meningiomas tend to be slow-growing, and because hers was small, wasn't causing any bothersome symptoms, and didn't appear to be cancerous, Erika's care team told her she didn't need to worry about it.

That changed dramatically, however, in 2015. By that time, Erika had moved to Florida. And in November of that year, she was being treated for a bout of pancreatitis at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus.  Read the rest of the story.

This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.