Mark Schmidt has been a firefighter for many years, and because of missteps, he has no steps. Mark has always found solace in a green, groomed yard. But he is now fighting paralysis, pain and cancer related to his job. It will be a long time before he can walk or get back to his yard work. This funding will help Mark retrofit the house and put in turf. When he sits outside for peace and serenity and sees his lawn, he will remember all the caring, kindness and generosity of the people supporting his fight.
In 2009, Mark was injured as a firefighter and acquired a rare disorder called chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS), an excruciating burning disorder in his feet and legs. Even through all the pain, he continued to work. In 2012, Mark had a spinal cord stimulator implanted to help manage the pain.
In 2018, Mark was diagnosed with cancer attributable to his job. At the same time, his stim unit had quit working. He requested for work comp to repair the unit; it was denied. Because of the stim implant, he has been unable to get MRIs for a complete picture of cancer that has metastasized. He requested for work comp to remove the stimulator; it was denied. Unseen, cancer grew into Mark’s spine, causing paralysis, and he had to have an emergency laminectomy. During his hospital recovery and lack of optimal care, he caught E. coli, c-diff, and severe spinal infection, which needs a pic line, home nursing, long-term antibiotics and possibly a third surgery. All these infections have caused a spiral effect of other serious health issues. Moreover, he now must relearn to stand and walk. He sold his beloved truck to start gathering funds to retrofit his house and put in turf.
Mark has been in hospitals now for almost 2 months. Through all these battles, he still maintains his goofy sense of humor and looks forward to getting home and recovering peacefully there. He truly appreciates everyone that wants to show care and support for his fight, and he will always have a reminder of the generosity every day he looks at his lawn and around his house.