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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Dave Grapperhaus

I would like to nominate Mark “Sparky” Niemann for the Keeping the Faith Award. In April of 2003, Mark was diagnosed with GBM, Grade 4, after experiencing numbness in is leg, hands, and face. On May 8, Mark had surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. He has continued his fight against cancer for 13 years. His faith is incredibly strong and has given him and his family the strength they need each day. Mark inspires others who are diagnosed with cancer. He and Joyce send notes and prayers sharing their faith and hope in finding new treatments and eventually a cure. Just last week someone contacted them. They were just diagnosed and wanted to talk with them. Mark and Joyce invited them to their home to share their experience and give them hope as they begin their fight. Every opportunity they get, they support others fighting cancer, whether through the relay for life events, passing information, visiting, etc. Their journey has been long and hard, but they have faith that God will take care of them and watch over them. Mark and Joyce have always tried to keep life “normal” for their children. He set a goal when he was diagnosed of seeing his youngest child graduate. Their son, Andrew, will be 21 in the fall. Mark continues to be there for his children’s milestones. Their family now includes two grandsons of which he is incredibly proud. Considering Mark’s initial diagnoses was pretty grim, he is still with us and enjoying family and friends. He has participated in many trials throughout his battle with the attitude that if it did not help him, maybe it will help someone else. Mark was blessed with a remarkable medical team to help him along the way, but his strong faith has given him the strength that he needed and continues today.