I wanted to e-introduce all of you to a remarkable man – his name is Mark Lewis. He is in the fight of his life right now. He has angio sarcoma and was told last fall that he had only 3 months to live, and guess what – he is still here and fighting. I admire and respect his unwavering strength and perseverance in the midst of his journey.
His blog has the heading “I will Live Strong, My name is Mark. I was diagnosed with Angio Sarcoma. Now I will beat it.” The link for his blog is at the bottom of this page for you to take the time to read, it’s worth it, trust me.
It takes unbelievable strength to open yourself up and let people in when you are going through times like this, I know, I wasn’t sharing my story, nor was I journaling as I continued through all of my family members dealing with cancer. In hindsight, I wish I had thought to have captured Gerry’s hopes and dreams on paper or camera, instead of just in my head.
As most of you know we are hosting our 2nd Annual GEM Golf tournament on Sept 6th and we asked for a family be sent to us who we could sponsor – and that is when we were introduced to this extraordinary man. We had the good fortune to meet Mark, his wife Alesha and their two sons, Tyson and Carter. The meeting with them was one of the most emotional and, at the same time, profound ones I have ever had. Mark and Alesha graciously shared with us their hopes and dreams and their unselfish message of hope for others. They opened up and let us in, and gave us the gift of honouring them and most importantly – taught us to never, ever give up hope.
What makes Mark’s story even more remarkable is that he (and his brother) were orphaned at a very young age. His mother died (from cancer) when he was 13 years old. He never knew his father. He went on and didn’t just establish one career for himself, but two – and both careers are very intentionally designed to help others – fireman and corrections officer. I was amazed when I heard that he found the time and devotion to do both.
And when Mark met Alesha he thought life would only get better! After all she gave him two amazing kids – and he will tell you that himself (smile)! You only need to be in their company for a few minutes to see the overwhelming love they all have for each other.
I admire and respect how determined Mark is to spend not just time with his family, but quality time. When you read his blog (mixed messages) he tells you that he was hospitalized in February this year and came home with a pain pump. He was absolutely determined to be removed from it, so he can enjoy quality time with his family. Here is part of his message
“It so hard having my boys look at me with this machine attached by my side. I am a fighter and I will get through this. I look at it as a gain.
The downfall is my Oncologist doesn’t want me off this pump. He is encouraging me to stay on it. My palliative care doctor said if I can do it he would assist me with it. He also said to me “I’m not used to this. I’m a palliative care doctor, I raise pain medication not decrease it.” Glad I can be his first. I really hope it goes smoothly.”
And Mark did it!! He weened himself off the pump and is on a pain patch – and it isn’t because he is in less pain, but because he dug deep and found the strength – wow!! Now that is true love and Unwavering Strength!
I know firsthand that Mark wants to share his message of hope with all of you, and if I can be a very small part of his continuing journey, then I am here for you, my friend!!
Here is one of his messages
“Please pass this message below to anyone you know battling cancer, where they were told they have no hope.
“There is always hope in the darkest of times. Fight as hard as you can no matter the obstacle. You will overcome and you will Livestronger!!!””