The Joshua Marks Fund

Please Help Joshua Marks!

Joshua Marks is a 30-year-old young man from Powhatan, Virginia, who is fighting for his life.  His family and friends are fighting along with him.  But this isn’t Joshua’s first battle.  He came into this world as a "preemie baby" - born three months early with underdeveloped organs and little to no chance of survival.  At nine days of age, Joshua coded and was pronounced dead, but miraculously he started breathing again.  He suffered multiple additional complications related to his severe prematurity which should have resulted in blindness and brain damage, but he defied all of the odds through the power of prayer – the prayers of family, friends, and churches all around the area who had heard of his story.  Through God’s power and mercy, Joshua went on to live a normal, healthy childhood.  

As a teenager Joshua became very involved in his church, holding leadership positions and going on a mission trip to Tanzania, Africa.  In his early adult years, he felt a calling to help people struggling with substance abuse.  He attended Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Drug and Rehab Counseling.  He then began his career as a substance abuse counselor, focusing on troubled youth and children suffering from severe mental illness.

Unfortunately no one is immune to the monster of mental illness.  Over the past several years, Joshua began suffering from severe anxiety and depression, impacting his career and his ability to support himself.  Recognizing that he needed help, he sought out and obtained professional treatment.  However, neither therapy nor medications or even his continued strong Christian faith have been able to “cure” Joshua, and he has attempted to end his life – practically against his own will – five times now.  Each time his suicide attempts have become worse, but each time God has intervened to save Joshua’s life just like He did so many years ago.  Miracles are still happening for our Joshua! 

Joshua has been hospitalized now since the end of November 2017, receiving intensive treatment following his most recent relapse.  His inpatient psychiatric hospitalization is coming to an end now as the New Year begins - due to insurance company regulations.  However, his treatment team and his family all believe Josh needs additional treatment in the form of a long-term residential treatment facility.  Unfortunately, such treatments are not without substantial cost and are often not covered by traditional medical insurance.  We are working on arrangements for transferring Joshua to such a residential program, but we desperately need help with the costs.  Josh will begin the program on 1/4/2018.  Significant cash (nearly $14,000) is needed up front, and there will be ongoing need for financial assistance with the medical costs for up to 90 days (which will total approximately $78,000!).

Mental illness, depression, anxiety, and suicidality are real illnesses with the same potential fatality as cancer and the same long-term treatment needs as high blood pressure or diabetes.  You cannot “think” your way out of it or just “get over it” any more than a cancer patient or heart patient or diabetic patient can just “think themselves out of” their maladies using "will power."   For Joshua and many other people like him, mental illness is a life sentence, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.  Please help us to help this wonderful young man that we love with all of our hearts!  God has a bigger plan for Joshua, as He has proven over and over again.  Would you please be a part of His plan???

On behalf of Joshua’s family & friends, thank you for taking your time to read and consider our request.  Prayers and any contributions are greatly welcomed.  May God bless you and yours in this New Year!

ADDENDUM:  For those of you that would like more information about me (the manager of this GoFundMe campaign), here is some info that I hope will be helpful to you (and that GoFundMe has requested that I share):
(1)  My name is Randy Myers (also known as John R. Myers or as Rev. J. Randy Myers).
(2)  I am from Powhatan, Virginia.
(3)  I am Joshua Marks's "god-uncle" ("Uncle Randy" to Josh).  Josh's grandmother, Jean Herndon, babysat me and my little sister when we were young, and we were kind of "grafted" into the Kilby/Herndon/Marks family.  Jean became like a second mother to me and my sister.  She is now in her mid-80's and is still "Ma Jean" to us.  Jean and (the late) Tommy Herndon's only child is Debbie Herndon Marks.  Debbie became a "big sister" ("Sissy") to my sister and me.  Thus, her two children (Josh and Brooke) became "nephew and niece" to me and my sister (Dr. Tammy Jo Myers Martin of Cartersville, VA).  My oldest son Paul grew up as a "cousin" (and almost as a "brother") to Josh, and we lived on adjoining properties on what was once the same big farm in Powhatan.  I love Josh with all my heart, and I am determined to do whatever I can to help him get the treatment that he needs.
(4)  How the funds raised will be used:  All funds raised will be used to pay the bills for Joshua's in-patient mental health treatment.  If any funds are left over, they will be used to help pay for Josh's continuing out-patient day treatment program when he returns to the Richmond area.  ALL funds will be used for Josh's medical expenses.
(5)  Monies raised through this campaign are deposited in an account called "The Joshua Marks Fund" at Essex Bank (with several Central Virginia branches).  I personally manage this account.  Whenever bills come due from the HopeWay Foundation, Inc. (the non-profit mental health treatment center where Josh is at), I will either cut a check from this account to pay those bills or will use the debit card for this account to pay those bills.  The same will be true of any follow-up expenses for out-patient mental health treatment once Josh comes back home.  Those bills will be paid directly out of this bank account.  Joshua himself is the primary owner of this account and will have access to the account as he needs it to pay for his medical expenses.  The family and I wish to be completely transparent about both this GoFundMe campaign and about its related bank account.  If anyone desires to review the statements (deposits and payments) for this account, please feel free to contact me here (through a message on GoFundMe) and I will be happy to give you my contact information and get with you to review the statements.

Again, many thanks to each and every one of you! Blessings! - Randy

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Randy Myers 
Powhatan, VA
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