We met as undergraduates at Texas Tech University, just two ambitious, fresh-faced kids ready to take on the world as well as a whopping amount of student loan debt.
After graduation, we moved to New Hampshire to earn his-and-hers advanced degrees at Dartmouth College. Will attended medical school, while Kristin went to graduate school in Psychological and Brain Sciences. During those years, we also got married and started our family with one of those babies that is allergic to sleep. Our exhaustion frequently led to problems like word-finding difficulties as we struggled to come up with the word for syrup, ultimately landing on “pancake sauce.”
One day, during his 3rd year of medical school, 27-year-old Will discovered that his testicle was trying to grow another testicle. Realizing testicles don’t spontaneously divide, Will went to the doctor and was quickly diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had surgery to remove it, and all was well.
However, we underestimated Will’s penchant for growing tumors. At the age of 30, now an ophthalmology resident at the University of Iowa with two small children, Will discovered a lump in his other testicle. He had joined the lucky 1-2% of testicular cancer survivors who get cancer in both testicles.
This time was a lot harder because it came with substantial life changes, like infertility and a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy. But again, surgery removed the cancer, and we moved on with our new normal. Will finished his residency, and we moved to Portland, Oregon, where he started a job as an ophthalmologist. Kristin began working in marketing and communications, and we settled down to raise our young children.
Then, on May 11, 2020, Will gave Kristin the worst Mother’s Day gift ever when he had a cardiac arrest in his sleep at age 34. Armed with love, superhuman strength, and a desire to not raise two kids on her own, Kristin called 911 and performed 10 minutes of CPR until paramedics arrived. Thankfully, he survived and made a full recovery.
Now, we transform that big, smelly pile of garbage into laughter, education, and advocacy. Will creates medical-themed comedy shorts for an audience of over 3 million across social media as “Dr. Glaucomflecken.” Kristin (better known as “Lady Glaucomflecken”) teaches healthcare workers about the patient and family experience and advocates for caregivers and “co-survivors,” CPR and AED use, and sudden cardiac arrest survivorship. Together and individually, we use our social media presence, impactful writing, creative endeavors, and multimedia keynote speaking to promote humanity, and a healthy sense of humor, in healthcare.
Meet Dr. Glaucomflecken
Meet Lady Glaucomflecken
300 million views
2 million followers
70 million likes
Will: 650,000 followers
Kristin: 70,000 followers