Help for Mark Assem

Mark Assem is one of the most resilient and upbeat people on the planet, but he is beginning to get a little beaten down by the system.

Many of you reading this will know that in 2000 Mark was stabbed in the heart, when he went to the aid of a friend who was being attacked. The attacker was a drunken employee in a convenience store in San Francisco, who amazingly was never charged with this crime. It is alleged that this was due to the owner of the store being related to the District Attorney.

Because he was a runner, Mark's tip-top physical condition helped him to make a rapid recovery from the two open heart surgeries needed, first to save his life, and then the second to close the internal wound.

Unfortunately the PTSD that ensued has continued to dog him, no pun intended.

As he looked at making a new career for himself after this life altering event, he decided to combine two of his loves, animals and running, and K9 Extreme, a dog exercising business, was born.

Mark did well, his clients loved him, and his dog buddies loved him more.

Some of you may also have seen the Marin Independent Journal article on his courage award from the Red Cross. This was for another heroic deed when he assisted two ladies who had fallen down a ravine in the summer of 2010.

Things were fine for several years, however unfortunately he then sustained two work related accidents. The first was in Jan 2016 and resulted in surgery to his left knee. Luckily, he had been able to put aside a little savings, and this was able to tide him over until he could return to work.

A second knee injury in Dec 2016 resulted in surgery, amazingly not until February 2017.  This injury was to the right knee but also badly damaged his left once again. MediCal is so swamped and underfunded that non life threatening issues are put on the back burner.

Since February 2017, Mark has had no treatment due to MediCal declining cortisone injection treatment, and not responding to further referrals from his GP.  Getting about is challenging, as his knees sometimes give out on him without warning.

Mark had to finally enlist the aid of another doctor in order to get the ball rolling with MediCal again, as a result, he finally had an X-ray at the beginning of August. He then had an MRI in late September and now he is waiting for a referral to an orthopedic doctor to read both of those. Once he has an appointment we will know what the treatment plan will be, and how soon he can return to full time work.  

In the meantime, Mark is struggling to even walk, let alone run, therefore his business has dwindled. Some of his faithful clients continue to hire him to take their dogs for an off-leash supervised run, but his income from this work does not cover all his day-to-day living expenses. He has not been able to pay his rent for several months, and is obviously not able to attract any new clients until his physical disabilities are overcome.

I am his mother and have been helping financially to at least provide some money for food, but as a retiree with limited resources, I am unable to do more. This fund is to provide the resources to cover his back rent, insurance, truck payments and living expenses until he is physically able to work full time again. With these major expenditures covered he can provide food and gas from his part time wages.

We sincerely hope that you are able to help, and any amount no matter how small is greatly appreciated. 
Thank you for your consideration.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Sylvia Edwards 
Santa Rosa, CA
Mark Assem 
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