This past year he has come down with some form of leukemia that has made his platelets count low and his body is unable to reproduce more platelets. Upon his initial diagnosis his doctor prescribed chemotherapy. After four rounds of chemotherapy there wasn't any improvement in his platelets count or his body's ability to produce them. It was at this point when Mark decided to get a second opinion and sought the advice of doctors at The Mayo Clinic. During his initial consultation with a couple of doctors he learned that standard protocol before starting chemotherapy his doctor should have given him some anti-viral medication to prevent prior viruses from resurfacing. Since his first doctor did not medicate him with anti-viral medication, numerous prior viruses had resurfaced. As a result Mark ended up having five of his prior viruses resurface, all at once. This taxed his body so badly that he was incapacitated and hospitalized for nearly three months.
Although the doctors at The Mayo Clinic are very intelligent, resourceful, and have a team of research experts they were stumped on identifying a couple of his resurfaced viruses so it took them a short while to identify and treat those viruses. While the team of doctors were performing a battery of tests and research, they were challenged with keeping Mark well and treating the viruses they already identified. The Mayo Clinic doctors and staff did a phenomenal job at treating and caring for Mark so that he would not pass away.
During his period of incapacity he had a mild stroke which resulted in drop foot. This created more of a challenge for his doctors to continue to care for him. Nevertheless, the doctors at The Mayo Clinic Hospital were able to bring him back to better health and suppressed his resurfaced viruses. The doctors had to take care of the viruses before they can move on and actually take care of his leukemia. Mark eventually got better from his viruses and was released from the hospital. He did have to undergo physical therapy so that he can learn how to walk with his drop foot.
Mark's platelets count still remains dangerously low and his body still cannot produce platelets. He has to go to the Mayo Clinic every other day for platelets transfusions. In addition to platelets transfusions he has to get hemoglobin transfusions once a week. His doctors have determined that he needs a bone marrow, stem cell transfusion. The Mayo Clinic has performed a worldwide search for a donor. They have three matched donors and are performing additional tests to ensure that the donors' bone marrow and blood stem cells are indeed a perfect match for Mark. Once the donor has been selected and Mark is ready for the transplant he will undergo an extensive process to have the bone marrow and blood stem cells transplanted. Mark will be in the hospital during this process for up to six weeks.
After Mark's transplant is completed and he is released from the hospital he will undergo outpatient care for up to one year.
With this sort of extensive care Mark has not been able to work and will not be able to work. Mark works at Arizona State University and is very thankful he has excellent health insurance coverage. He also has worked for Arizona State University for quite some time so he had enough sick time to allow him to not work the Spring 2017 semester. This summer his care at The Mayo Clinic has continued and because he is faculty at Arizona State University he did not have to work. In August his contract with Arizona State University will resume and he only has two weeks of sick time remaining. He applied for short-term disability but because the way insurance works he cannot qualify to use it. The reason being is he had to have submitted for short-term disability within three months of receiving his diagnosis. His diagnosis of leukemia came in September 2016. At that time he was still well enough to work and he finished the Fall 2016 semester. It was during his winter recess that his illness progressed and his suppressed viruses the began to resurface. Had he known in January that he should have applied for short-term disability he would have been approved for short-term disability and would not have exhausted his sick time.
Mark is applying for long-term disability but that is a long process. He does not anticipate his long-term disability to come into effect until November or December 2017. Since he only has two weeks of sick time remaining he contacted the Human Resources department at Arizona State University to see if he could ask for a compassionate transfer of leave. The human resources representative explained to Mark that compassionate transfer of leave is only a donation of vacation hours. Mark is faculty at Arizona State University and is on a nine month contract and does not accrue any vacation time. The reason why faculty do not accrue vacation time is because they have three months off in the summer. Mark has exhausted all possibilities to keep his income going. It is at this juncture that I, on behalf of Mark, have decided to create this GoFundMe account.
Mark is asking his friends and family to help him raise some funds to be able to continue to live in his home and pay his mortgage and other bills. Mark will not have any source of income beginning in September. Without any income he may lose his home because he will not be able to pay his mortgage. In his fragile health condition Mark does not need this added stress. Mark needs to concentrate on his health. If you are able to make a financial donation to assist Mark with his financial matters it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for any assistance you may provide!
- Patti N Johnson
- Caitlin Ruth
- Paul Madrid
- kelly dahill
- Jon Longacre
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