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Support for Mark Kieswetter

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Thank you for visiting this site. Please take a moment to read the following as we work together to offer some help to a friend who really needs it.

From the time he began sharing his music with the world, Mark Kieswetter has given so much to so many - whether to those musicians with whom he's collaborated over the years or to those music lovers who have enjoyed what Mark has brought to the stage and recordings throughout his decades-long career.

In December of 2016, Mark was diagnosed with a terminal condition: stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer. Although the diagnosis was stage 4, the tumours were very slow growing - a small bit of light within some devastating news. Sadly, the cancer also brought with it a very rare side effect called Cerebellar Ataxia, which severely affected his cerebellum – the part of the brain which controls balance, motor control, coordination and sensory systems. This damage is irreversible. Along with this, Mark has also recently developed Type 1 diabetes as a result of the tumours beginning to shut down the pancreas.

As a result, Mark could no longer play the piano, nor walk or stand unaided. Though cognitively completely functional, his condition makes even simple everyday tasks we all take for granted incredibly challenging. For several years, he was able to continue to share his musical gifts through teaching, composing and arranging, but now, as the tumours are growing and things progress, the physical obstacles are almost insurmountable.

Not long after receiving his diagnosis, several of Mark’s friends joined forces in a concert that brought together most of the Toronto jazz community as well as Mark’s church family in a wonderful show of love and support for our friend as he transitioned to this new reality. Never one to complain or rely too heavily on others, Mark was humbled and touched by this endeavour, and he used the funds raised back in 2017 to supplement the work he was still able to do despite his health struggles.

Mark is currently under hospice care, but his ability to take care of his living expenses is being more and more compromised by his worsening condition. The stress of this financial pressure exacerbates the ataxia.

So, this is why we’ve created this GoFundMe page: as an opportunity to help a dear friend who has given us so much. If you’ve ever been in the audience for one of Mark’s shows … if you’ve enjoyed hearing his work on various recordings … if you’re a musician who’s benefitted from the incredible artistry that Mark has brought to your work … if you have ever attended a worship service at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church that was made extra special thanks to Mark’s music … or if you’re just a good soul who wants to play a small part in helping another good soul … we hope you’ll contribute whatever you can to this GoFundMe page to help Mark.

We also hope you’ll share this within your own community to allow others to read about Mark’s story and help as they can.

There is one other request for those who know Mark: While he genuinely appreciates the concern, it can be very hard for Mark to have people reaching out directly to him. So, we ask that if anyone has any messages to pass on to Mark, please leave them here, or send them to Heather Bambrick (available via heatherbambrick.ca) or Ilana Waldston (available via jazznlaughs.ca) and we will be more than happy to forward them to Mark; then he can respond in his own time.

THANK YOU for taking the time to read, consider, and share this. And THANK YOU for any - and all - contributions.
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Donations 

  • Debby Wright
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • JAYNE MACAULAY
    • $300 
    • 8 mos
  • Patricia Williams
    • $250 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Laila Biali
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
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Fundraising team (2)

Heather Bambrick
Organizer
Etobicoke, ON
Mark Kieswetter
Beneficiary
Ilana Waldston
Team member

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