Doctors Making a Difference

Doctors can heal, give hope, console, and even inspire. Meet three patients whose lives have been forever changed by physicians and researchers at Duke.

Janet Early

In 2013, Janet Early received a cord blood transplant to treat a rare blood cancer, but the transplanted cells began attacking her body. Thanks to a medical team that included Arif Kamal, MD, a Duke palliative care specialist and medical oncologist, Janet is now managing her symptoms and has regained her quality of life.

“You want so badly to get well and be able to progress. We’ve got the pain down pretty good, now we just have to get rid of the nausea. And we will. I can’t thank Dr. Kamal enough.” – Janet Early

Read more about Janet and her doctor.

Cara Greene

The parents of Cara Greene were baffled when their once active toddler’s arms mysteriously became almost paralyzed. Fortunately, Vandana Shashi, MD, and other Duke geneticists were able to diagnose and treat Cara for a rare genetic condition using a type of genetic testing called exome sequencing.

“She really likes to stand in front of a full-length mirror and watch herself lift her arms up in the air. She looks in the mirror and gives herself a high five. The exome testing saved Cara’s life and is giving her a chance at life again.” – Cara’s mother, Kristen Greene

Read more about Cara and her doctors.

Cole Reisdorf

After being hit in the eye while playing with a modified NERF gun, Cole Reisdorf was initially treated at his local emergency room. Later his parents sought a second opinion at Duke Eye Center, where ophthalmologists, Sharon Freedman, MD, and Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD, were able to save his eye with multiple surgeries and other treatments.

“Dr. Freedman and the team laid out a clear plan of action and explained the reasoning behind every step of treatment. We felt confident that the expertise of the Duke Eye Center team would provide Cole the most favorable outcome. We are impressed with their unique combination of outstanding bedside manner and professionalism — it’s rare to find both.” – Cole’s parents, Shelley and Chris Reisdorf

Read more about Cole and his doctors.