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Mark Hoverson Stage 4 Cancer

$411,434 of $500,000 goal

Raised by 3,524 people in 15 months
Hi, my name is Mark Hoverson.

I’m 39 years old. For the past 15 years, I’ve been married to my college sweetheart, Shannon, while we’ve raised our 4 children (Isaac- 14, Grace- 12, Rush- 11, Micah 10).

Although Shannon and I lived in a mobile home and qualified for welfare the first 5 years of our marriage…huffing and puffing to pay the monthly bills. All along, I had a secret dream of creating a thriving business that helped people live their life to the fullest.

So in 2008, I went to the public library (because we couldn’t afford internet access or a computer), and launched an internet business with about $90 to my name.

Much to my surprise, the business took off.

I quickly dedicated myself completely and totally to coaching entrepreneurs how to start and thrive businesses themselves. And the message grew quickly, spreading to 10’s of thousands of clients from all over the world in just a few years.

My amazing clients provided our family an equally amazing life. We have been able to journey the world, take great family vacations, and truly engage in the thrill of raising our children.

But 4 years ago, something weird happened.

Let me explain…

While wrestling with one of my kids, something felt strange in my stomach and suddenly, I couldn’t breathe.

I was raced to the E.R…I remember moving in and out of consciousness for several minutes. I nearly died on the stretcher.

Once I was finally stabilized, my wife and I were in our own hospital room. And I remember lamenting to her, “Jeez, I hope I don’t have a kidney stone or something like that because I don’t have 3 days to waste on this stuff.”

Sidebar: throughout my entire life, I rarely got sick. The flu would storm through our house and everyone, (even the dog! <—not kidding) would be puking. But I’d go around to everyone’s bed and give them a kiss goodnight. The kids had a little saying around the house: Dad doesn’t get sick. Period. 

But anyway, back to my wife and I***A Doctor came to our hospital room and said, “I’m not sure how to tell you this…but you have hundreds of tumors on your liver and a massive tumor on your pancreas. There are also some other suspicious spots too.”

I was speechless, and mumbled the question, “You mean, I have cancer?”

“More tests are required, but I’m afraid so…and it’s very advanced” he said gravely.

It was like Mike Tyson in his prime gave me a full knockout punch.

I felt dizzy. 

Disorientated. 

I thought about the kids. 

One of my dreams was to walk my daughter Grace down the aisle at her wedding and toast my sons at their graduations and so much more. I thought about my parents. Friends. I thought about my bride being alone with the kids. I thought of all the unfinished dream projects in my heart. I just felt like all the spirit was taken out of me.

But it was the first day, we didn’t have much info yet, and I was still optimistic. I thought to myself, “People can live for decades with cancer nowadays.”

Within a day or so the official diagnosis arrived, I had “neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer.” <—exactly what Steve Jobs had.

There are fewer than 1000 cases of it per year, and 5-year survival rates are 1%.

Determined to live fully, I asked my Harvard-trained doctor, who specialized in this rare form of cancer, “Okay, what do the 1% do to survive?”

He replied, without batting an eye, “Those people were misdiagnosed. They never had what you have. No one lives with this disease. I’m sorry.”

I was coldly given my 2-4 months to live.

I had a small $500K life insurance policy (we had been meaning to increase the size of that policy for over 5 years but ‘life kept getting in the way I guess’). 

The Life Insurance quickly paid out what is a called an “accelerated death benefit” <—when a team of doctors determine there is 0% chance the patient will live beyond 6 months, some policies will pay the majority of the death benefit to help ease the family’s pain through the last few months. 

With that nice chunk of money, we went on a mission to heal me.

We aggressively looked for a cure, doing traditional chemo, experimental “out of pocket” radiation treatments that cost upwards of $100K. Also, we traveled across the world to famous healers. We even took seed money to launch “KingsLife” Insurance brokerage to help prevent families from being caught unprepared like we were.

Meanwhile, as my energy came and went…and came and went…and came and went…my ability to produce income dropped drastically.

I had such little energy to give, everything in my life suffered. 

But we kept fighting. Month after month.

We would visit the Doctor and they’d say, “Well, you probably have 2-4 months to live.” <—the last four years of Doctor’s visits feel like groundhogs day because they also repeat like a broken-record “you probably have 2-4 months to live…possibly less.”

Nonetheless, we stay resilient. I’ve been in and out of hospice 3 times. My body keeps reviving itself. It wants to live. I can feel it. One time my hemoglobin count was down to 3 (average men my age are around 13-17) and they gave me 24 hours to live. But somehow I bounced out of that with a full body blood transfusion.

But the scary rollercoaster continued, just a short while ago (on Nov. 26th 2017), I had a couple tumors in my back eat away a couple vertebra and I woke up paralyzed from the waist down. 

Upon waking up, they raced me to the E.R. for two emergency spine surgeries. The slicing and cutting through my spine and back muscles brought excruciating nerve pain I didn’t know was even possible. 

So as I type this, I’m learning how to walk again, put on shoes, shorts, and function.

A chorus of Doctor’s have united again in sharing with me that it’s unlikely my body will be able to rebound from this surgery on top of my Stage 4 diagnosis…and again, that I probably have 2-4 months to live. They recommend hospice again.

But…that’s where a group of my friends and clients enter the picture. They called me and said, “You’ve been able to beat this for 4 years, and you can keep doing it. We want to throw you the ultimate gofundme fundraiser!”

This GoFundMe has two primary purposes:

#1- To help alleviate constant rain of medical bills and expenses this disease brings.

#2- To set up Shannon and the children so they can continue to advance the Hoverson Brands you created.

Personally, for the last 4 years, I’ve been very resistant to asking anyone for any help. In many ways, I was ashamed to ask because I knew many years ago that we should have upped our life insurance to at least $5M…but my procrastination prevented it from getting done. And being known as a man who has a little bit of wisdom, the amount of folly in not making that a priority for my family has caused me great regret. 

But my mother’s wise advise was not to dwell on my mistakes, but rather take everything to God in prayer and trust <—Thank God for a Mother’s Wisdom!

As I mention in the video above, it’s emasculating to not be able to provide for one’s family (at least that’s how I feel). 

However, I want to make sure that our family is taken care of and I want to show my children that even in this dark “valley of the shadow of death”, bright and brilliant hope still exists for our family and that anything is possible.

Even breaking the Go Fund Me Record! <—which I can only thank our launch team of over 35 friends and clients for putting this vision in front of us!

To finish, a dear friend called me earlier today and told me the real reason he is standing tall to champion this gofundme. 

He said, 

“Mark, you’ve been able to defy death over and over using the same strategies you teach others to overcome challenges in their life.”

He moves on…“This movement is about believing that no matter what the circumstances you find yourself in: whether you are given a scary cancer diagnosis, or wake up unexpectedly paralyzed…there are ways to overcome everything and keep fighting through with will-power, prayer, community, and God.”

My friend’s words stirred my soul. And I hope they resonate with yours too.

Please consider making a donation of any size today. It means the world to me, my wife, and our children. Thank you.

Mark and Shannon Hoverson
Isaac, Grace, Rush and Micah
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***With Brave Wings She Flies***

January 23, 2019


Update:

As our donors, I again want to say "Thank You" for all of your support and prayers.

5.5 months have passed since Mark's passing.


.

My talented friend, Jonathan Otto
sent me this video he recently put together
from Mark's funeral held on August 17, 2018
and so I wanted to share it with you.

Jonathan Otto did a great job showing how Mark was loved and how one day we
will be reunited due to our faith in Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Jonathan.

.

Silence overtakes my heart and my body
becomes a bit paralyzed still realizing that
this is all real.

As the tears stream down my cheeks while I have
this video on repeat...

I continue to look to God and trust Him
that someway, somehow this is how it is
to be for the betterment of us all.

.

I was blessed to be able to watch Mark take
his last breath and feel Mark's last heartbeat.

That memory will forever be with me.

.

I bathed him from head to toe and embalmed
him with essential oils while Mark's favorite
hymns gently played in the background.

This time together was a fitting end.

Just as I washed his feet at our wedding, I washed his
body at his death bed.

Forever soulmates, Mark, I love you,

Until we meet again,

-Shanny

.



Dear Lord, I look to you...

.

PS. - If for some reason the video does not play from your computer, I noticed that it does work on my phone.
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Facebook Post January 10, 2018

***With Brave Wings She Flies***

First and Foremost, Thank You, Layla Black for interviewing me and helping the healing process by allowing me to share Mark and I's story.

Secondly, Thank You, Facebook for choosing the most flattering picture of me from the interview.

If you have or haven't been following Mark and I's journey over the last several years, I encourage you to watch this interview where Layla ask questions that go deep into the pain and process of daily life while in the pain and how I keep moving forward amidst it all.

Much Love and again,

"We are in this game of Life together, Let's Win."

-Shanny

PS. - If you got value from this or know of someone it could benefit, please like and hit the share button.
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***With Brave Wings She Flies***

This Christmas vacation Ski Trip and New Years puts another first in the books.

This recent family ski trip was a must for me.

Mark had started the tradition of snow skiing for our family 5 years ago and due to his health in 2018, we were not able to take a family trip skiing together.

This saddened the kids and it was from that point I decided that I will do whatever it takes to keep that tradition alive!

.

You see, these week long ski trips are probably what bonded our family the most together.

When you ski, you get to see other faces of someone that you did not know existed.

.

When you ski, you are tested, challenged and faced with fear so gripping that when conquered, you fall to the ground in an almost disbelief and then once you catch your breath, you stand up and fist pump the air and give a scream with so much joyful strength in it, it makes the Heavens join you in celebration.

.

On this ski trip I was faced with fear twice, in two completely different ways.

#1 - The first time was when Isaac (my 15 year old) sent me down a blue run vs. a black run (Black is the hardest run).

It was the first day and a new mountain with inches and inches of fresh powder.

It seemed like this was the obvious decision.

As I got to the top of the run by myself, I looked down and clearly knew this was not something I should be doing but there was no turning back, I was at the run and even if I wanted to find an easier run, I had to go down this first.

There was NO ONE around.

There were NO TRACKS to follow.

It was just ME and the POWDER and whatever laid beneath it... trees, rocks, etc.

.

#2 - The second time I was with all 4 kids. This was an accident.

We had just left a restaurant at the top of a lift and I had just told them all that I needed an easy groomed run down the mountain due to my legs being worn out for the day.

I thought we were all on the same page so as the kids scurried ahead of me, I just followed them, not paying attention to where or what run we were heading to.



We ended at the top of a ridge and it was a very steep mogul run that seemed to never end looking from the top down.

I am not going to lie, I went into panic mode.

My heart raced, I yelled and screamed and maybe threw out a few swear words.

Isaac got the hint that I was not impressed.

Our #2 and #3 went swiftly ahead of me. All of my kids are better than me. The benefits of learning young.

My #1 and #4 stayed with me to see me through.

.

In both instances, I had a choice to try and hike backwards and find an easier route. This would have taken time and much effort.

OR...

I could charge forward past my fear and see what I am capable of.

In reality, I knew I could do it.

It wasn't something that was unwise for me to attempt, it was just something that gripped me with fear and I had to choose at that moment to move through the fear no matter how long the process took.

No matter how much this new territory was about to challenge me.

.

In the first situation I was alone.

In the second situation, Isaac was there with me guiding me and showing me the path to take.

.

It was much more humbling having my kids see me freak out with panic.

At one point, Isaac asked if I wanted to call the mountain snowmobile to come and get me.

That question woke me up.

Did I want to quit in essence is what he was asking me.

.

Lol, No, I did not want to be rescued and quit.

It may have looked and sounded like that, but that is NOT what I wanted.

"You have to be ok with others seeing you struggle because that could mean the difference between you continuing on or quitting or never starting to begin with."

.

I skied on.

And...

I WON my own battle, I faced my fear and made it down the mountain injury free and with a new sense of confidence.

.

Grace told me that her instructor said it is one thing to just get down the mountain and another to Ski it

That is true.

But, it's in the getting down in the first place that allowed me to SKI the rest of my time there.

And SKI with a new sense of accomplishment and confidence.

When you begin to ski, you use the "pizza" to slow down and once you get better you learn to use the edges of your skis and the "parallel hockey stop" to control your speed and stopping.

.

Conquering my fear by going down that steep "black diamond" mogul run gave me more courage than I realized.

.

As I enter 2019 with 3 businesses, a foundation, a blog (In progress), and potential book on my plate, along with healing and aftermath situations from Mark's passing, I am not going to lie, I have had thoughts of quitting and taking the easy road.

But...In reality, That is not even an option in my mind.

I can see the future (though maybe a bit blurry) and I can feel the emotion of catching my breath and then standing straight up and fist pumping the air as I conquer one mogul after another and as each new stride becomes easier and more fun!

And then I can say, "What's next?".

.

"We are in this game of life together, Let's Win."

.

-Shanny

"The moment you doubt you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it." -Peter Pan
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Facebook Post from Dec. 26th, 2018

***With Brave Wings She Flies***

Dec. 26th, 2018

The day after Christmas.

Our First Christmas without our Beloved, Mark Hoverson.

I have to admit I had this vision in my head that didn't quite come to fruition when the kids and I had "Our" Christmas time together before all the extended family time came to happen.

smh.

And so it goes, right?

.

I envisioned reading the Christmas story of baby Jesus from the bible, and getting all sentimental about the reason for the season..

.

Yeah that didn't quite happen, lol.

.

"Sometimes, you don't fight your current reality."

.

I did get the kids to all open up with their favorite "Christmas" memory of Mark before we opened up gifts.

.

But let's back up several hours before I came home to the kiddos and our family festivities.

.

I ran into the city (yes, the city...I live in a town of 400 so we must run into the city for all things.) for last minute gifts, Johnnie Walker Blue Whiskey, (a tradition that Mark started with his family several years ago), Hennessy Black Brandy and food, you know, all of the essentials for a good time.

And as I was driving home with the sun glistening on the snow covered ground, tears began streaming down my cheeks...Not on purpose...They just came.

.

Not sad tears.

.

But tears of past......Joyful tears.

.

Memories flooded my mind of past Christmas's with Mark and the kiddos.

.

*Story of Baby Jesus being read out of the Bible

*Presents being ripped opened

*Mark smoking a cigar

* Ski Trips

*Snowmobiling

*Me Pulling the kids on the snow sleds so so fast while Mark watched from the warm comfort of the house Bay window

*Cross Country Skiing on the Turtle River together

*And Laughing together.

.

Sooooooo Much Laughing....

.

So this Christmas, instead of trying to fight reality and post a pic of some made up pic of me and kids..which we didn't even get btw. lol.

I instead, post this pic of memories of past that have brought our family traditions and memories to last a lifetime, memories that I will share with the grandkids, great grandkids and beyond.

.

Memories that forever instilled joy into my heart.

.

The Johnnie Walker Blue was used by Mark's uncles and cousins and myself as I gave a toast in honor of Mark and the family that he brought me into.

.

I was standing there, me...amongst all of Mark's family..

.

We raised our glasses and I toasted not to Mark's family, but to "MY FAMILY", because...

We are family and they accepted me as though I am one of them from day one...

.

I AM BLESSED

.

This picture is one of blessing, not of sadness.

.

Cheers to finding the blessing amongst the pain.

.

-Shanny



**So much more I could share from the holidays like Me attending my first wedding dance with out my #lovebeast, Me catching the wedding the Bridal bouquet and the thought process behind that, and, Mark's 90 year old gpa showing my 15 year old Isaac some dance moves to "Sweet Caroline"...

but... I will save that for another time. ;) ***

.

Love to you all...

"We are in this Game of Life together, Let's Win."
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