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Susan Brandzel

Susan Brandzel

Susan has been a health research professional for more than 20 years, both in the United States and in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is an extrovert who feels lucky to have found a career in which she gets paid to talk to people. Susan is firmly committed to using her training and experience in behavioral science and public health to help people obtain health care that makes them feel physically and emotionally better.
Steering through CLL Together: A Couple Chooses Providers, Procedures and Clinical Trials

When Jay Sperling went to have pre-operative bloodwork done for a minor knee surgery, he hadn’t anticipated the results. His white blood cell count was abnormally high. He didn’t have any infections (which can often cause the white cell count to go up),…
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Real Talk About HIV

Real Talk About HIV

Along with the serious health effects of life with HIV, it also carries a very heavy emotional burden, in part because of the stigma that is still associated with the disease. We hosted a panel of HIV-positive activists and advocates including Marvin Anderson,…
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Real Talk About Lung Cancer and Stigma

According to the American Cancer Society, more people die of lung cancer each year than of breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. And stigma may be a contributing factor. People are ashamed to tell others that they are having possible lung cancer symptoms…
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Real Talk About Lung Cancer and Stigma

One in 10 women around the world suffer from endometriosis, an often-painful and debilitating gynecologic condition, which involves inflammation and tissue adhesions in the abdominal cavity. We interviewed endometriosis patient and advocate, Heidi Berthoud about her multi-decade experience navigating this condition. Heidi, who…
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Patience and Perseverance: Living for Decades with Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is a condition of the central nervous system that interferes with messages between the brain and the body. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that at least 400,000 in the U.S. have MS. For unknown reasons, people who live in northern…
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A Tough Pill to Swallow: Taking Aromatase Inhibitors to Prevent a Second Breast Cancer

Getting the Diagnosis that No One Wants Judy started getting mammograms yearly when she was forty. Because she has dense breast tissue, her doctor decided that she should also have an ultrasound each year since dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to…
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“Your son has achondroplasia.” When Heather Wahl Saylor went into labor in 1993, she had no idea that she was giving birth to a child with achondroplasia, a common form of dwarfism. In fact, it wasn’t until the hospital staff handed her the…
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We’re Sorry, Your Son Has Leukemia

Not Just Another Cold The first decade of the 21st century was pretty rotten for Chris and her family. They experienced multiple losses of loved ones – some young, some old, none easy. They were also a two-career family with three children under…
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IgA Nephropathy is not a common condition. About 1 in 100,000 people in the United States develops this serious kidney condition each year. For unknown reasons,  men get it at about twice as often as women, and while it is sometimes found during…
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What a Pain – How the “Opioid Crisis” Impacts a Migraine Sufferer

It might start with a throb behind your eye. Or maybe you see an aura; a bright spot or some other change in your vision. Perhaps you just get nauseated suddenly. Sometimes bright lights or sounds become all-of-a-sudden intolerable. Migraine headaches are experienced…
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