Mark has been a Bitterroot Valley resident for 23 years. He and his wife relocated from Wisconsin to Montana feeling that it would be a great place to raise their two sons. Both of Mark’s sons excelled in sports and academics, playing football and basketball at Corvallis High School and then moving on to the University of Montana. During his time in the Bitterroot Valley, Mark worked at several hardware and building supply stores such as Ace Hardware, United Building Center, and Drywall Supply Co. where he was a very successful manager. During this time, he contributed to several major projects which included Hamilton High School, an addition to the Rocky Mountain Lab, the Remington Building, and a remodel to the old Marcus Daly Hospital. At the age of 51, Mark was forced into disability retirement due to the progression of his illness.
After a 20-year battle with an autoimmune lung disease known as Sarcoidosis, and a continued decline in health, Mark reached a critical point in his journey. At the age of 62, Mark received a double lung transplant from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, and now has a second chance at life. While a transplant provides a second chance and hope, there are many costs associated with this procedure. Prior to the transplant, Mark was required to relocate from Montana to Phoenix for his surgery and have one-on-one care for 4 months following the surgery. This included travel expenses and lost wages for caregivers, medication costs, rental fees, physical therapy, and many other unforeseen costs. Mark was able to return home to Montana after 8 months but will still be required to return to Phoenix for check-ups with a caregiver every 4-6 weeks for up to 2 years. The time frame will be dependent on his recovery status.