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Surgeon and Patient Meet Years After Transplant

Dr. Steers, left, meets Tessa Hertel in person. When 20-year-old Tessa Hertel worked in the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center laboratory, coworkers would often mention the name of Dr. Jeffery Steers, an Avera Transplant Institute physician who was helping to develop a liver transplant program at Avera. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health

Cancer Patient Explains How She “Dances With NED”

At age 34, Kristen Kilmer was diagnosed with breast cancer. She received treatment near her home in Spearfish, S.D., but three years later learned the cancer had metastasized. “Being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer is devastating at any age,” said Kristen. Read More »
Cancer Care, Patient Stories · Avera Health

Dealing With It: Watertown Transplant Patient Says Team’s Attitude Lifted His

Rich Kunkel is going to Branson, Mo., for a celebration with friends this year. The Watertown father of four remembers when making a plan like that was impossible. Kunkel faced multiple myeloma in 2012, but completed a bone-marrow transplant in 2013 at the Avera Cancer Institute. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health

Shock, Fear and Blessings: A Patient’s Story on Facing Frightening News

It happened more than 10 years ago, but Fleura Wagemann remembers every detail as if it was yesterday afternoon. She then was 25, and Wagemann, like many women that age, saw taking care of her health as a back-burner issue. She admits she had a mindset that said “it can’t happen to me.” That’s when she found a lump in her right breast during a self-exam. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health

Doctor Gains Insight During His Weight-Loss Journey

My weight loss has led me to several interesting conclusions. I was taught in medical school and training that dieting could only reduce someone’s cholesterol about 15 percent. When a person’s cholesterol is over 300, 15 percent isn’t much of a change. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health
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Each Weight-Loss Journey is Unique: a Doctor’s Perspective

My journey regarding weight loss started about eight years ago. I had a heart attack, a bypass and I weighed 365 pounds. I felt helpless and hopeless. I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes, and struggled to get around. It was around that time that one of my good friends badgered me into trying an Ideal Protein diet program. Read More »
Patient Stories · Avera Health