Patient Stories

Claire Pace spent many long days caring for her son Adrian at the hospital, and decided to help other parents in similar situations by offering a small sense of comfort and normalcy. So she opened a weekly tea room, and for 18 years has been helping parents relax and take their minds off their troubles.
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It was the summer of 2008, I was 64 and we had just purchased a tiny lake cottage on Kayuta Lake between Ithaca and Watkins Glen, NY. I was beleaguered by consistent diarrhea and had the water rechecked to see if the well water was contaminated which was not the case. A colonoscopy in the Fall showed nothing and I was told to eat more fiber. That Winter I developed floating clay colored stools. An internet search found two possible explanations — Celiac Disease and Pancreatic Cancer. My grandmother had died of the latter but I hoped for the former. Since I had a total thyroidectomy 4 years earlier for thyroid cancer I deluded myself that I couldn't be unfortunate enough to have another cancer and pancreatic cancer at that.
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Hear the story of Johan and Tariq Sookoo, two young children who were diagnosed with heart failure and who both needed heart transplants to save their lives.
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Daniel & Elizabeth Ezra with their son, Leo
For Daniel Ezra, March 3, 2012 suddenly turned from a tender night of sharing with his pregnant wife how much they loved each other to every husband and expectant father's worst nightmare.
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"Today I can say I am living the life I dreamed, and I am living a life I love. I can't even begin to express the difference and contribution Dr. Bessler and his staff has made in my life. He has given me the opportunity to take charge of my life and dare to live it to the fullest!" "Thank You, Dr. Bessler, for your skilled mind, hands and your loving heart!
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"My gastric banding experience has been one of the best decisions of my life. I would do it over and over again." — Eric "I am so happy I had gastric banding surgery. It has given me back my life, and hope. I never thought I would look normal again. I love it." — Patricia
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"Airplane seats aren't uncomfortable any more, and I love my new muscle."
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After several weeks of abdominal pain last summer, I visited my primary care physician. He ran a few tests, suspecting that my pain may have been related to previous issues, and I went home. By the time I went back two weeks later, I had developed some back pain. He promptly focused on the pancreas since it was located between the stomach and the spine where my pain was concentrated. He ordered a CT scan which showed "something" on the pancreas. Two MRI's later, my doctor, together with a gastroenterologist, showed us a mass at the head of the pancreas. Knowing that pancreatic cancer is a killer, I was overcome with panic.
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In an effort to increase the number of organ donors in New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed "Lauren's Law" on October 4, 2012. This would not have been possible, however without one of the youngest advocates for organ donation and the namesake of the law: twelve-year-old Lauren Shields.
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