Category Archives: patient story

Chaplain donates a kidney to a dying refugee

  BY JIM HOWE It was a note in a church bulletin that led an Upstate chaplain to donate one of her kidneys to a Bhutanese refugee. The Rev. Susan Joy Huizenga, the palliative care chaplain at Upstate since August … Continue reading

Posted in health care, international health care, kidney/renal/nephrology, organ donation/transplant, patient story, spiritual care, surgery

Firefighters share an extra bond: Kidney donor was glad to help his longtime friend

BY JIM HOWE It’s a dramatic story of sickness, friendship, sacrifice and the wonders of modern medicine. A retired firefighter with failing kidneys does not want to live on dialysis, so he goes on the waiting list for a kidney … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, health care, kidney/renal/nephrology, organ donation/transplant, patient story, surgery | Tagged

Different strokes: 3 Central New Yorkers share their health crises

BY AMBER SMITH Anyone can have a stroke. Three people who did, and who were treated recently at Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Center, share their experiences, illustrating how strokes differ. The people had different symptoms and different treatments. One is in … Continue reading

Posted in brain/neurology, emergency medicine/trauma, health care, patient story, stroke, technology | Tagged ,

A life-changing drug: Patients see improvement of cystic fibrosis symptoms

BY AMBER SMITH Brittnee Farmer, 31, is planning her wedding. She worries that the big day will be marred by her nebulizer, the machine she uses to inhale medication in a fine mist. Farmer was a preschooler when she was … Continue reading

Posted in drugs/medications/pharmacy, genetics, health care, lung/pulmonary, patient story | Tagged ,

Subtle symptoms: Her ovarian cancer required surgery and chemotherapy

BY AMBER SMITH She’s 52 and still alive, so Aimee Derbyshire feels as if she had survived a family curse. She lost a great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, aunt and sister to various cancers, each before they turned 50. Derbyshire and another sister are … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, chemotherapy, health care, patient story, surgery, women's health/gynecology | Tagged

 Living his life: He worked treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma into his college schedule

BY AMBER SMITH John Hrbac is a junior at George Washington University. He travels the East Coast with the school’s debate team. Over the summer he visited Europe. He’s studying for the law school admission test. At 21, the young … Continue reading

Posted in blood/blood-related conditions/hematology, cancer, chemotherapy, health care, immunotherapy, patient story, surgery, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics | Tagged

Noah, a young cancer patient, thinks he’s famous

The kids and the doctors you see on Upstate Medical University banners and billboards are real kids and real doctors. Meet Noah Axtell, who is now 7. Maybe you saw him on a billboard, or on a banner hanging inside … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, chemotherapy, health care, kidney/renal/nephrology, patient story, surgery, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics | Tagged , ,

Making a change: She succeeded in quitting after a cancer diagnosis

This is one of a series of articles focusing on lung cancer. When Peggy Strong, 47, of Liverpool was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, “my first reaction was to have a cigarette.” She had smoked since the age of … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, HealthLink on Air, lung/pulmonary, patient story, Smoking Cessation

Pint-sized patient: Glimpses of a girl who fought cancer — and won

PHOTOS BY MARANIE STAAB/TEXT BY JIM HOWE Kaylee Marshfield of Lakeland received unforgettable news on Feb. 1, 2018. It was her sixth birthday: She had cancer. A strange lump led to tests that detected a Wilms tumor on her left … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, chemotherapy, health care, kidney/renal/nephrology, medical imaging/radiology, patient story, surgery, Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital/pediatrics | Tagged , ,

Warmth, kindness and radiation, too

BY AMBER SMITH It had been a rough 2019 for Joan Gorton of Hamilton. Starting early in the year, the 83-year-old woman had a series of medical issues — a lingering cough, then a suspicious lump on her leg that … Continue reading

Posted in aging/geriatrics, cancer, health care, medical imaging/radiology, patient story, women's health/gynecology