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Grateful Patient: Dr. Eugene Woltering and Mark Patton

Mark Patton was only 11-years-old when he was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumors so advanced that his doctors were forced to remove his right lung.

eugene-woltering-and-mark-patton

Ten years later, doctors found that he was not cured, as his whole family had come to believe. In fact, Mark had what was considered ‘innumerable’ (literally too many to count) tumors, ranging in size from a few inches to as small as a grain of sand.

I would do anything for Dr. Woltering; he changed all of our lives.

-Karen Patton, Mark’s mother

Mark’s life was clearly on the line. Desperate to find care, Mark’s godmother, a registered nurse and nurse practitioner, reached out to Dr. Eugene Woltering, the world renowned expert in neuroendocrine tumors, at  LSU Health New Orleans. Dr. Woltering personally responds to each and every request, and Mark’s godmother’s request was no different. After meeting briefly at a conference in Portland, the Patton family flew from Carlsbad, CA to New Orleans for treatment. After a 16-hour operation to remove 82 individual tumors in his liver alone and more than 20 others throughout his body, Mark came out of surgery forever grateful to Dr. Woltering and his team.

Today, Mark is 37 and married to his wife and “champion,” Elizabeth. Together they have three children. They live in Carlsbad where Mark works in production for Callaway Golf.

“Finding Dr. Woltering saved my life. He is a person who cares. He’s a nurturer,” says Mark.  More than ten years later, Mark is still in regular touch with the surgeon who has become a part of his family. Mark still visits New Orleans once a year for his physical with Dr. Woltering, making sure he schedules his appointment so that he can attend a Saints game with members of the neuroendocrine team.

Just as the color pink has become the signature color for breast cancer awareness, zebra print has become the representative “color” for neuroendocrine cancer.

Pictured (left to right) – Eugene A. Woltering, MD; Mark Patton; Elizabeth Patton; J. Philip Boudreaux, MD. Just as the color pink has become the signature color for breast cancer awareness, zebra print has become the representative “color” for neuroendocrine cancer.