Patient Stories: Aria


Blood cancers not only affect the individuals diagnosed, but also their families, emotionally and financially. Aria’s story exemplifies this.

She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and young son. Her husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and found out about Med City Foundation through a Mayo Clinic social worker. Med City Foundation provided Aria’s family with emotional and financial support through gas and grocery gift cards. Although her husband was the only one that had to endure the physical discomfort of the treatments, they all had the emotional and financial strain.

Aria and her family had to relocate to Rochester for 10 weeks during the time of her husband’s treatment in order to stay within a half hour of the hospital (a requirement the medical team insisted upon). The relocation had a large impact on her and her family, causing Aria to be the primary caregiver of her husband and their son, who turned eight years old during this time. Their son had to leave his home, friends, school, and activities to spend every day in a medical setting, which concerned Aria and her husband tremendously. In addition to being the caregiver, Aria had to take on the role of home schooling their son. Also, her step-daughter, currently attending graduate school, had to travel to see them, and she was not able to spend much time with her family as she also had obligations to school and work.

In addition to the emotional strain, there was also a financial burden. Aria and her husband both had to leave their jobs in Minneapolis because of the diagnosis. Med City Foundation was able to alleviate some of these financial worries by providing the family with grocery and gas gift cards, as well as including them in the holiday gift program, which provides families with Christmas gifts and is made possible because of generous donors. This program meant a lot to the family especially for their son because it showed that someone cared.  

Although it is difficult to give blanket advice due to different situations of every patient, Aria offered, “I would maybe encourage people to remember that this is only a chapter of your life and hopefully you’ll be going home and getting back to what you enjoy soon.”


Patient Stories: Aria

Students Share Stories of Patients and Those Supporting Patients

About twice a year my mom, and fellow board member, approaches me to work with students at the University of Minnesota-Rochester through their Co-Lab class. This unique class partners students with local organizations to complete projects throughout a semester. In previously, groups have helped me to create a community guide for patients and their family members as well as developing the blueprint for a volunteer program.

When mom approached me around Christmas to participate in the upcoming term I said “NO!” I didn’t have time to devote to the students and was juggling amount a million other things. However, in true “mom” form, she continued to pursue it and eventually I gave in. She had an idea that was interesting and so I thought we should give it a try.

Fast forward several months and I am sitting down with four young women, brainstorming on this great project idea. What they were planning on doing was creating a volume of blog posts, not just to talk about Med City Foundation, but about the patients, their families, and the experience of being in Rochester for care. They decided they also wanted to talk to other organizations to hear how they were serving patients.

The end result? Amazing. I am not generally a woman of few words, but I don’t have much more to say than that.

Meet McKenzie, Julie, Maggie, and Kristie. Over the next several months, their interviews will be shared on this blog so that you too can experience these patient’s lives and those trying so hard to support them.


UMR students















Students Share Stories of Patients and Those Supporting Patients