Hope Stories

When a medical condition impacts the brain or spine, patients and their families naturally experience a wide range of emotions. But along with feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear, hope frequently can coexist. Our patients have taught us that while success is not universal when the brain or spine is affected, it is often within reach. The following "Hope Stories," told with the permission of our patients, present satisfactory solutions to challenging neurological situations.  As you are reading, please remember that every patient is unique. Results of neurological care are not always the same.



Mayfield Spine Athletes


Rusty's story

Thoracic disc herniation

"Life had been going along normally," says Rusty, a U.S. Army veteran and former paratrooper who designs railroad tracks and operating plans for a living. "Then one day I just started getting a little numbness in my thighs and feet. It wasn't too bad, but it kept progressing, and in January of 2017 I started having a lot more problems. My left leg wouldn't do what I wanted it to do."

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Rusty's Story



Billi at Walk Ahead

Billi Nicol's story

brain tumor advocacy

"Not everyone is in a position to do what I'm doing," Billi says. "I am a part of this family of survivors. God helped me move physically through it and do something about it rather than sit and dwell on it. I realized if I could take control of it, it wouldn't take control of me." ~ Billi

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Mayfield Spine Athlete

Most of us don’t give much thought to the spine – an engineering wonder of disk-buffered vertebrae that allows us to twist, bend, and lift. "For most people the spine is an invisible component of their lives – until it goes bad," says William Tobler, MD, a Mayfield neurosurgeon. "But once it goes bad, it’s a lifestyle-changer."

If you are undergoing treatment for a back problem, are facing surgery, or are simply fortunate enough to have a healthy back, now is the perfect time to start thinking like a "spine athlete,"  Dr. Tobler says. "Just as a professional athlete trains constantly, spine athletes benefit by becoming disciplined with regard to their conditioning and healthy living."

Need some inspiration?

Here are the stories of some of our spine athletes.
If you are a current or former Mayfield Spine Athlete yourself, and if you’d like to share your story, please contact us.







Brewster's story >>
Diagnosis: Herniated lumbar disc

read joshua's story
Joshua's story >>
Diagnosis: Chiari I malformation


Merrill's story >>
Diagnosis: Foraminal stenosis


Chris's story >>
Diagnosis: Disc
degeneration & herniation


Laura's story
>>
Diagnosis: Fractured vertebrae

Mary Chris
Mary Chris's story
>>
Diagnosis: Lumbar instability and coronal deformity at L2-3


Gary's story >>
Diagnosis: Herniated discs


Marialice's story
>>
Diagnosis: Herniated lumbar disc