wheelchair & van for Mark Takoda

Please help someone who has spent his life helping others….

My friend, Mark Takoda is a retired teacher, retired performer, retired single parent, and lifelong volunteer and fundraiser for various children’s non-profit organizations, and one of the best friends you could ever have. Over the past 20 years he has been battling a progressive neuromuscular disease, along with numerous other health problems. He will hate that I’m writing that, but I will add that anyone who knows him will tell you he has never whined, complained, or asked for pity, no matter how much pain he is in. Mark recently inherited the use of a newer wheelchair van, but the electronics that make the ramp, transfer seat,  and doors work  need to be fixed. He currently survives on $810.00 a month disability check (yes, that’s for rent, heat, power, food, gas, everything!)  and the repairs will cost $7,400.00  He’d like to be able to get to a doctor appt. or anywhere without getting trapped inside a broken van, which has happened twice so far in 110 degrees. Also, his specialty wheelchair (which he must use due to recent surgeries and upcoming surgeries, as well as  the progressive aspect of his disease) needs repairs.

If you can donate ANY amount, it will be beyond appreciated, and if you can share this with your friends that would also be helpful.  Thank you!!!


Q: How do we know the donations will go to help Mark?

A: All donations are deposited by Go Fund Me to a special needs trust account created to help Mark,and then paid directly to the companies who will fix the van and wheelchair.  So don’t worry, Mark can’t spend any of it to run away with the mermaids on Catalina Island…. (sorry Mark! )

Q: Why didn’t he save money for a rainy day?

A: He’s been stuck in the desert for decades, he doesn’t know what rain is. However, he did have money saved for emergencies, then he became a single father, had numerous medical expenses that insurance did not cover, could not even qualify for Medi-Cal  (California’s Medicare) until he had less than $2,000 in money and personal property left, and on top of that, his family had their life’s savings stolen from them in a criminal Ponzi  scheme so they can’t help anymore either. ( It made national news and the front page of People magazine, but they will never be paid back)

Q: Why does Mark need a working van or working wheelchair….can’t he just Netflix and chill?

A: Actually, nope. Don’t  bother asking him about Game of Thrones, Mark can’t afford TV. Or Netflix. Or Hulu. As he puts it:  “When you live too far for friends to swing by and visit, that means either stay home alone, or drive for hours just to pretend you still have a life.” Plus all of his doctors, specialists, and neurologists are a 150 mile trek for him, and when you have an oversized 350 pound wheelchair, it’s difficult to get an Uber.  And believe me, Mark staying home is not only cruel for him, it’s cruel for the rest of the world who doesn’t get to spend time with such an outgoing, friendly, caring, witty, generous, good person. It also prevents him from spending time volunteering to help nonprofit organizations raise money, and volunteer performing and making children smile and adults laugh, which is the reason he was put on this planet. Please help us help him help them. Thank you for your support!
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Spencer Marks 
Lancaster, CA
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