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Mark Hoverson Stage 4 Cancer

$409,660 of $500,000 goal

Raised by 3,476 people in 9 months
Hi, my name is Mark Hoverson.

I’m 39 years old. For the past 15 years, I’ve been married to my college sweetheart, Shannon, while we’ve raised our 4 children (Isaac- 14, Grace- 12, Rush- 11, Micah 10).

Although Shannon and I lived in a mobile home and qualified for welfare the first 5 years of our marriage…huffing and puffing to pay the monthly bills. All along, I had a secret dream of creating a thriving business that helped people live their life to the fullest.

So in 2008, I went to the public library (because we couldn’t afford internet access or a computer), and launched an internet business with about $90 to my name.

Much to my surprise, the business took off.

I quickly dedicated myself completely and totally to coaching entrepreneurs how to start and thrive businesses themselves. And the message grew quickly, spreading to 10’s of thousands of clients from all over the world in just a few years.

My amazing clients provided our family an equally amazing life. We have been able to journey the world, take great family vacations, and truly engage in the thrill of raising our children.

But 4 years ago, something weird happened.

Let me explain…

While wrestling with one of my kids, something felt strange in my stomach and suddenly, I couldn’t breathe.

I was raced to the E.R…I remember moving in and out of consciousness for several minutes. I nearly died on the stretcher.

Once I was finally stabilized, my wife and I were in our own hospital room. And I remember lamenting to her, “Jeez, I hope I don’t have a kidney stone or something like that because I don’t have 3 days to waste on this stuff.”

Sidebar: throughout my entire life, I rarely got sick. The flu would storm through our house and everyone, (even the dog! <—not kidding) would be puking. But I’d go around to everyone’s bed and give them a kiss goodnight. The kids had a little saying around the house: Dad doesn’t get sick. Period. 

But anyway, back to my wife and I***A Doctor came to our hospital room and said, “I’m not sure how to tell you this…but you have hundreds of tumors on your liver and a massive tumor on your pancreas. There are also some other suspicious spots too.”

I was speechless, and mumbled the question, “You mean, I have cancer?”

“More tests are required, but I’m afraid so…and it’s very advanced” he said gravely.

It was like Mike Tyson in his prime gave me a full knockout punch.

I felt dizzy. 

Disorientated. 

I thought about the kids. 

One of my dreams was to walk my daughter Grace down the aisle at her wedding and toast my sons at their graduations and so much more. I thought about my parents. Friends. I thought about my bride being alone with the kids. I thought of all the unfinished dream projects in my heart. I just felt like all the spirit was taken out of me.

But it was the first day, we didn’t have much info yet, and I was still optimistic. I thought to myself, “People can live for decades with cancer nowadays.”

Within a day or so the official diagnosis arrived, I had “neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer.” <—exactly what Steve Jobs had.

There are fewer than 1000 cases of it per year, and 5-year survival rates are 1%.

Determined to live fully, I asked my Harvard-trained doctor, who specialized in this rare form of cancer, “Okay, what do the 1% do to survive?”

He replied, without batting an eye, “Those people were misdiagnosed. They never had what you have. No one lives with this disease. I’m sorry.”

I was coldly given my 2-4 months to live.

I had a small $500K life insurance policy (we had been meaning to increase the size of that policy for over 5 years but ‘life kept getting in the way I guess’). 

The Life Insurance quickly paid out what is a called an “accelerated death benefit” <—when a team of doctors determine there is 0% chance the patient will live beyond 6 months, some policies will pay the majority of the death benefit to help ease the family’s pain through the last few months. 

With that nice chunk of money, we went on a mission to heal me.

We aggressively looked for a cure, doing traditional chemo, experimental “out of pocket” radiation treatments that cost upwards of $100K. Also, we traveled across the world to famous healers. We even took seed money to launch “KingsLife” Insurance brokerage to help prevent families from being caught unprepared like we were.

Meanwhile, as my energy came and went…and came and went…and came and went…my ability to produce income dropped drastically.

I had such little energy to give, everything in my life suffered. 

But we kept fighting. Month after month.

We would visit the Doctor and they’d say, “Well, you probably have 2-4 months to live.” <—the last four years of Doctor’s visits feel like groundhogs day because they also repeat like a broken-record “you probably have 2-4 months to live…possibly less.”

Nonetheless, we stay resilient. I’ve been in and out of hospice 3 times. My body keeps reviving itself. It wants to live. I can feel it. One time my hemoglobin count was down to 3 (average men my age are around 13-17) and they gave me 24 hours to live. But somehow I bounced out of that with a full body blood transfusion.

But the scary rollercoaster continued, just a short while ago (on Nov. 26th 2017), I had a couple tumors in my back eat away a couple vertebra and I woke up paralyzed from the waist down. 

Upon waking up, they raced me to the E.R. for two emergency spine surgeries. The slicing and cutting through my spine and back muscles brought excruciating nerve pain I didn’t know was even possible. 

So as I type this, I’m learning how to walk again, put on shoes, shorts, and function.

A chorus of Doctor’s have united again in sharing with me that it’s unlikely my body will be able to rebound from this surgery on top of my Stage 4 diagnosis…and again, that I probably have 2-4 months to live. They recommend hospice again.

But…that’s where a group of my friends and clients enter the picture. They called me and said, “You’ve been able to beat this for 4 years, and you can keep doing it. We want to throw you the ultimate gofundme fundraiser!”

This GoFundMe has two primary purposes:

#1- To help alleviate constant rain of medical bills and expenses this disease brings.

#2- To set up Shannon and the children so they can continue to advance the Hoverson Brands you created.

Personally, for the last 4 years, I’ve been very resistant to asking anyone for any help. In many ways, I was ashamed to ask because I knew many years ago that we should have upped our life insurance to at least $5M…but my procrastination prevented it from getting done. And being known as a man who has a little bit of wisdom, the amount of folly in not making that a priority for my family has caused me great regret. 

But my mother’s wise advise was not to dwell on my mistakes, but rather take everything to God in prayer and trust <—Thank God for a Mother’s Wisdom!

As I mention in the video above, it’s emasculating to not be able to provide for one’s family (at least that’s how I feel). 

However, I want to make sure that our family is taken care of and I want to show my children that even in this dark “valley of the shadow of death”, bright and brilliant hope still exists for our family and that anything is possible.

Even breaking the Go Fund Me Record! <—which I can only thank our launch team of over 35 friends and clients for putting this vision in front of us!

To finish, a dear friend called me earlier today and told me the real reason he is standing tall to champion this gofundme. 

He said, 

“Mark, you’ve been able to defy death over and over using the same strategies you teach others to overcome challenges in their life.”

He moves on…“This movement is about believing that no matter what the circumstances you find yourself in: whether you are given a scary cancer diagnosis, or wake up unexpectedly paralyzed…there are ways to overcome everything and keep fighting through with will-power, prayer, community, and God.”

My friend’s words stirred my soul. And I hope they resonate with yours too.

Please consider making a donation of any size today. It means the world to me, my wife, and our children. Thank you.

Mark and Shannon Hoverson
Isaac, Grace, Rush and Micah
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Facebook update from November 17, 2018:


"Women's friendships are like a renewable source of power." - Jane Fonda

Today Mark's 3 months since Mark's passing

It is interesting to look back at the last three months.

To look at my kids emotions, my emotions and our family's emotions.

Month 1 - Daily tears, sensitivity towards one another, somewhat of a quiet unspoken family teamwork of such going on.

Month 2 - Maybe reality setting in a little? Bickering amongst siblings becoming more frequent. I am attempting to stay calm and let them let it out as maybe this is their way of letting out their grief.

Month 3 - Good days and bad days. Anger seems to jump from one kid to the next and you don't know which day whose space you are going to be walking on eggshells with.

This is behind the scenes real talk.

My role has changed as their mom.

My time for them has now been thinned out during this season. I don't tend to them and their needs like I could before.

I cry, I pray, I feel like a failure.

***With Brave Wings She Flies***

This is where the below picture of me and
my girlfriends comes into play.

Out of the Blue, girls who I have not seen in 18 years
reached out to me asking if I would like to rally and have some "Girl Time".

I barely got done reading the text message and was looking at a mutual spot for us all to connect as one was from Seattle, WA, one from Michigan, and one from Vermont.

***Healing Amongst the Pain***

The timing could NOT have been more perfect.

Tears of joy and thankfulness are running down my cheeks as I write this.

As we all took turns sharing about our lives for the past 18 years, there was healing amongst the pain.

.

.

" Sometimes, we just want to know that we are not alone"

.

.

The entire weekend as we ate, shopped, danced, played bean bag toss and sat around a fire pit...

We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we listened, we encouraged, we just were... in the moment of each other.

We LOVED.

Mark Hoverson used to say that your closest friends will be those that you have prayed together with, worked with and played together with.

Us 4 girls have done all of that together.

And even though it had been 18 years since we had seen each other, I couldn't have felt closer and felt more loved.

Deborah Beer, Corrie Hodge and Renee Miles...

I LOVE YOU.

THANK YOU for letting me know that I am not alone.

I have gained a renewed strength in knowing that I am in a season and with all seasons, a new season will come.

A brighter season.

"Women's friendships are like a renewable source of power." - Jane Fonda
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---November 8, 2018 Facebook Update Post---
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HAPPY (almost 16th) ANNIVERSARY, #LOVEBEAST

-Our first anniversary since your passing-

*****With Brave Wings She Flies*****

Tears streaming down my eyes, my headphones on and piano guys on spotify helping bring words as I type.

16 years ago today I said "I DO" and I washed your feet.

"One lady said it took her back 50 years." haha.

I washed your feet as a symbol that I would serve you. Not in a weird submission, I will do anything you say and that's that.

It was my 'being' telling you that I desired you. All of you.

My body wanted to feed you sexually.

My my mind wanted to encourage you with words and feed you with wisdom by reading books over you.

My spirit wanted to let you know that you were my hero and that the way you husbanded and fathered was more than I could of asked for or imagined.

You are my HERO.

Today, as a wave crashed into me while I visited you at your grave site, I let it take me. I embraced it.

With an empty graveyard and snow on the ground, I bent over screamily crying not liking that we are not together this day. Our day.

Give me one moment.

Breathe.

Take a sip of your Long Island Ice Tea, Shannon. It is Mark's drink of choice.

Breathe.

Wipe the tears, I am in an airport.

Ok.

I dont write this to have a pity party. I write this to bring HONOR to the man I said "I DO" to 16 years ago.

THANK YOU, Mark Hoverson....

THANK YOU for choosing me to be your bride.

(The story of how we got together is kind of fun, I am in the process of writing a book about "US", even if to have as a journal for my kids.)

THANK YOU for Loving me sexually, we had a great love life and I cherish that.

THANK YOU for giving me 4 of the most beautiful children who remind me of you everyday. Some of it brings a smile and some makes me say grrrrr, inside. But I love all of it.

THANK YOU for never quitting. In anything.

You have had some bumps in life in your mind, in your work journey and in your health journey. Through it all, you charged on and didn't quit though it crossed your mind. It was never an option. You taught me that we can choose strength, we can choose to move forward despite what life looks like or feels like.

THANK YOU for rebuking me. I hated it at the time. But I would not be who I am today without those rebukes. You knew me better than anyone. You knew I could handle it. You did it because you loved me.

THANK YOU for adventuring with me. So many memories that we have because you took the leap of faith and invested over $500k into a travel company back in 2008. That company has brought us all over and created some of my most cherished memories with you and our family.

THANK YOU for creating traditions with our family. You taught and started snow skiing in our family. This will be our first winter skiing without you but we will ski a run as a family and dedicate it to you, my love.

THANK YOU for loving Jesus. The bible says to teach them (the children) in the ways they should go and when they are older they will follow. You have given our children a firm foundation in the faith of Jesus Christ. Even if I don't carry on as strong as you, I know in the end they will be fine because of the strong foundation that you have given them.

THANK YOU for never being boring. Your love for knowledge and new ideas and new adventures kept me on my toes. Sometimes more than I wanted to be, but, it was never boring.

THANK YOU for teaching and guiding others. All those years of being able to listen and watch you talk to others in trying situations has helped me personally in life and given me an outlook so different than my earlier years.

THANK YOU for letting me be me. I am a bit free spirited and untamed but you loved me none the less. I think that is partially what you liked most about me.

You are one of a kind Mr. Mark Hoverson. #lovebeast

I am so glad you were born and that our paths crossed.

As you have told me.

We were not just soulmates in the end, we are forever soulmates. It is rare to find a connection that we have.

We always come back to each other.

Until I see you again, know that you have impacted me like no other human has and I will continue to serve you to the best of my ability.

You are my Hero.

I Love you.

*****With Brave Wings She Flies*****

Now it is time to catch my connecting flight to Austin, TX to meet some girlfriends that I haven't seen since I was 20. These girls actually met Mark and I when we were in a bible school (YWAM) together at age 18. Some of them thought Mark and I were one of the married couples because of how comfortable and close we were as friends.

Fun fact: Mark and I were some of the few who had cars during this school, so we would sneak off for a movie more than others. I remember even as his friend desiring to serve him. Back then Mark had a checkbook wallet (showing our age now), and I remember holding it for him during the movie so that he would not lose or forget it at the theatre. (Remember how bulky those things were?)

***********************************************************

Mark created an info product called "SOLOMON EROTICA" describing how we kept our marriage alive through the ups and downs.

I just watched it two nights ago, it made me laugh and cry at the same time.

We had a lot of good times together.

************************************************************

To follow through with the washing of his feet at our wedding, I said my last goodbye to Mark in the hospital by washing his entire body with lotion and essential oils.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Cheers to the future, Cheers to Love, Cheers to friends, Cheers to growth, Cheers to not being bored, Cheers to knowledge, Cheers to wealth, Cheers to US.


-Shanny
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---November 4, 2018 Facebook Update post---
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*****With Brave Wings She Flies*****

August 24th, 2018. - Mark's funeral.

The funeral home Coordinator looks at me and nods, giving me the signal that it is time to gather the kids and head down the aisle to the front of the church.

Deep breath in....gather the kids.

Lots of people, I am doing ok.

Isaac nudges me with is elbow and tilts his head to the right....I look over...

His ENTIRE football team came to Mark's funeral with their jerseys on.

- This was not mandatory.

#Respect

#Team

#honor

#support

Isaac and I were both blown away, over 25 kids and the coaches came to show their respects and to support their teammate, Isaac Hoverson.

Still brings tears to my eyes as I remember the feeling of seeing them as I walked down the aisle to the front of the church.

The story does not end there.

In the picture below you see two parts.

The bottom picture is Isaac and I after his last game.

The top picture is Mark Hoverson playing in a High School game his Senior year.

******The Football Team Story Continued******

Isaac's Coach proceeded to find Mark's old high school coach to find out if they still had Mark's original jersey that he used to play in.

THEY DID!

They presented Isaac with his dad's football jersey that he had worn during the games, ( I am wearing it in the picture below and I wore it to all of Isaac's games.) along with a couple newspaper clippings where Mark is seen wearing the jersey.

#classy

#team

#respect

#honor

******I write with grateful tears******

PS. - A little funny sidenote story about Isaac having the number 32.

Isaac had asked Mark what number he was in high school so that he could ask for the same number.

Mark said 32 or 34......

He was #33. Classic Mark. ;)

-Shannon
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---October 20th, 2018 Facebook Update Post---
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.*****With Brave Wings She Flies****

These Pictures.... These pictures are more than just pictures.

There is a story, one that runs deep within my soul and was recently brought back to the surface of my heart.

These pictures represents to me that we have eyes watching us, even when we may think we are alone.

This story involves Isaac Hoverson and it just makes my heart pitter patter so please read til the end to understand the full view of the pictures.

***************THE STORY************

October 17th marks 2 months since the passing of Mark Hoverson.

Ed Sheeran happen to be playing in Fargo, ND on October 17, 2018. Last minute, I went.

Ed Sheeran has been a part of Mark and I's music since 2014 and one of his songs called, " Thinking out Loud" we would sing and dance to often.

Let me quote some of the song as it makes "Our Story" that much more impactful.

(The song)--Thinking Out Loud--

When your legs don't work like they used to before
And I can't Sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And Darling, I will be loving you 'til we're 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I'm thinking 'bout how people fell in love in
mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me --I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So, honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

When my hair's all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don't remember my name
When my hands don't play the strings the same way
(mmm)
I know you still love me the same

Cause, honey, your soul could never grow old, it's
Evergreen (MARK WOULD WHISPER THIS TO ME OFTEN)
And, baby, your smile's forever in my mind and memory
I'm thinking about how people fall in love in
mysterious ways
Maybe its all part of a plan

--Thinking Out Loud--

****The Pictures in the Story****

This night when the pictures were taken, Mark and I had gotten into an argument just before heading out on a date night out.

We almost didn't go because because it was a little heated and it's just not fun to go out when there is that awkward silence.

Well, a few moments passed and Mark and I decided we would be able to recover and make it fun despite the heat, lol.

**We went out on our date, had a marvelous time and returned home late**

We returned home to what you are seeing in these pictures.

---Our kitchen table filled with drawings from our kids of Mark and I in love.

---Glasses of wine

---A vase of fresh flowers

But what you don't see in the picture is my favorite part.

---Isaac Hoverson (12 years old at the time) had put on REPEAT on the radio, "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran.

He didn't know what time we would be home and he wanted to make sure that we came home to that particular song so that we could dance to it after we saw the table and read the notes and drawings from the kids.

***3 Parts to this Story***

1. One part of the story is that Isaac saw us arguing.

(This was common in our house, we didn't hide anything from the kids. We would let them see the arguments.)

2. One part of the story is that Isaac has seen us Make Up.

(But then we would also let them see the "Making Up" part of it as well. We would let them listen to us discuss the situation. And they always saw us making up.)

3. Isaac has seen us dance and sing to this song often enough to know it was one of "our songs".

Isaac is accustomed to us having the kids draw pictures for new guests as a welcome gift.

Isaac was watching US and our ways.

****THE STORY****

You see, Mark and I's lives were an open book to our kids.

It wasn't all roses.

But even in the midst of the storms, we would come back and help each other to the calm.

***THE STORY***

Mark and I sat down, (me with tears in my eyes) read the notes, drank our glasses of wine and then danced to "Thinking out Loud" on repeat.

Looking into each other's eyes, Mark with his bald head from chemo and a few years after he lost use of his legs due to a tumor fracturing his spine and requiring surgery.

Music kept us alive amongst the pain and even the kids witnessed it and knew it would bring us back in that moment.

Isaac was watching.

He watched the pain but he also watched how to recover from the pain.

***THE STORY***

Mark and I never got to see Ed Sheeran LIVE together in concert.

October 17th, 2018 - 2 months since Mark's passing

October 17th, 2018 - I saw Ed Sheeran LIVE - Healing amongst the pain.

Pictures are usually more than just a picture. There is a story, and how powerful and healing it can be to share,

**** "THE STORY"****

-Shanny
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