In August 2017, he went to see a doctor at Thomas Jefferson for pain and decrease in strength in his arms. Unfortunately, he was given the devasting diagnosis of ALS.
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. In simple terms it means that the nerves are detaching from his muscles and therefore the muscles die. There is no cure!
Mark has limb onset, which means it begins by affecting the arms, hands, legs and feet and will eventually affect his speech and breathing. This is such a devastating disease. It's affecting his activites of daily living. His muscles are continually deterioriating that it has left him with little use of his hands and arms. He also gets terrible muscle cramps and spasms.
Average life expectancy is 2-5 yrs and average cost of caring for an ALS patient is over $200,000 a year. Money raised will go toward medical expenses and modifications to their home to make their home safe for him to live in. Mark recently was approved for the new ALS drug Radicava which is very expensive and he will need to get infusions every other 14 days for 14 days straight and with that comes lots of time and travel expenses.
Family and friends are joining together to support Mark and his family. We are asking for your support too. Anything is greatly appreciatly, including thoughts and prayers. Let's fight for a cure!
Thank you for your time and support.
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- Melissa Howard
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