Life without our parents

Let me introduce you to the McMullen family.  Mark and Mary Ellen, parents of Brendyn and Marly.  The photo you see was taken eight years ago at a very happy time in their lives.  This young family was like any other, looking forward to a lifetime of happiness.
In the fall of 2012, Mary Ellen was diagnosed with Leukemia and tragically passed away in June of 2013, leaving her 15 year old son and 13 year old daughter to be raised by her loving husband, Mark.
Over the next four years, Mark and his kids tried their very best to find a new normal.  As a single parent, Mark was the best parent that he could be and was a loving and devoted father.
In a terrible turn of events, tragedy struck again when Mark was diagnosed with cancer in September of 2017.  Mark was determined to fight through and be there for his kids and went through weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, hoping for a positive outcome.  He always had a smile on his face and continued to live life to the fullest he could.  His health declined in the winter and Mark passed away in January, 2018, leaving behind 19 year old Brendyn and 17 year old Marly.
These two kids are nothing short of amazing.  Brendyn is a bright and loving young man who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome and Marly is a beautiful and smart young lady, currently a senior in high school at Abraham Lincoln.
To lose one parent is horrendous but to lose both at such a young age is devastating.  
I am starting this fundraiser to ease the burden placed on their shoulders.  The financial responsibilities that they are going through seem endless.  There is a debt, unanswered questions, uncertainty, medical bills, etc. While Brendyn will have to endure moving from the family home to housing beneficial to him, Marly is coming to terms with that as well.  She will graduate from high school in June and her hopes are to attend Iowa State University this fall.
Please share this story and consider donating to Brendyn and Marly McMullen. ❤️
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Lisa Shanks 
Council Bluffs, IA

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