Facing it with Connect: Meet@markymarkfl

Oct 5 8:00am | Teresa, Volunteer Mentor | @hopeful33250 | Comments (14)

Markymarkfl, member spotlight

TERESA: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect? 

@markymarkfl: I was looking for an interactive forum with quality, high-traffic discussions where I could learn more about my pancreatic cancer treatment options and other patient experiences.

TERESA: What motivates you to take part in the community?

@markymarkfl: I learn more from reading different posts on Mayo Clinic Connect than I could ever offer in return. But I don’t let that stop me from trying to pay it back. I’ve been very blessed in many respects since my diagnosis. I want to give other people hope, and when possible, information that empowers them to be effective advocates for their own care. I’ve received a few truly moving thank-you’s that keep me inspired and engaged.

TERESA: What about Mayo Clinic Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?

@markymarkfl: The openness and anonymity with no pretenses or judgment. Everyone has a close connection to cancer and is willing to share openly and honestly. Sometimes it borders on TMI (too much information), but that keeps it real. The moderators and volunteer mentors do a great job too!

TERESA: What groups do you participate in?

@markymarkfl: I’m active in the Pancreatic Cancer support group, but sometimes lurk in the other cancer, neuropathy, and heart-related groups to learn about other conditions affecting my family.

TERESA: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Mayo Clinic Connect.

@markymarkfl: I often reflect on the number of people who have contributed to the cancer forums but are no longer with us, but I’m extremely grateful for those who are cured yet stick around to share their wisdom. Member @stageivsurvivor is one whose every post is pure gold, including (paraphrased) what has become my mantra: “I’d rather have neuropathy than cancer.” I have adopted that mindset as the new normal as long as my treatment is working.

TERESA: What surprised you the most about Mayo Clinic Connect?

@markymarkfl: The geographic diversity, the commonality of experiences, and the large number of well-informed members who do their homework and take the time to share.

TERESA: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?

@markymarkfl: I’m terrible at balancing things, but God and a patient, loving family help me focus on priorities. Coffee, B-12, and hunger to learn provide most of the energy.

TERESA: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.

@markymarkfl: I love board sports (surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding) and music. I’ve surfed in 7 countries, snowboarded in 11 states plus Chile, and attended hundreds of rock concerts.

TERESA: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?

@markymarkfl: Two sets of song lyrics pop into my head at this stage of life:

Face it like a man or face it like a wimp, but either way, you’re facing it.
- Armored Saint, “Muscle Memory” (quoting a terminally ill friend of the band)

Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies,
But most of us just dream about
The things we'd like to be.
Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it;
For you, the blind who once could see,
The bell tolls for thee.”
- Rush, “Losing It”

TERESA: What food can you simply not resist?

@markymarkfl: Sweet tropical ceviche, Argentine churrasco with chimichurri, rice, beans, fried plantains, flan, and a fruit smoothie are my go-to meals whenever possible.

TERESA: What do you love about where you live or vacation?

@markymarkfl: Nature, especially water (including snow), brings me peace. I visit Costa Rica as often as I can. Florida is great, but I could live without hurricanes, sharks, and alligators.

TERESA: Puppies or kittens?

@markymarkfl: Puppies of all ages and sizes!

Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Mayo Clinic Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.

See more Member Spotlights.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the About Connect: Who, What & Why blog.

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing @markymarkfl! I appreciate your openness and the willingness you have to be transparent to help others. Sharing here on Connect is truly a blessing. First we get. Then we give. It benefits us all. You have an attitude that is inspiring to many others I am sure. I pray you continue to live your best life to the fullest and find the perfect wave, the best powder, and the best ride. Thank you Teresa for posting this spotlight.


@markymarkfl Thank you for sharing, and being open! It's always a great read to hear other members' stories, and how they came to Mayo Clinic Connect. You underline the community we foster, and that important fact it helps us everyday, coping with our varied health concerns.


Thank you for being part of the Connect Spotlight, @markymarkfl! As there are so many of us, "facing it with Connect" you speak for us all!

I'm grateful that you took the time to share with the Connect community your journey with pancreatic cancer. Your story inspires us all to face our health issues together as a community.


Thank you for being part of the Connect Spotlight, @markymarkfl! As there are so many of us, "facing it with Connect" you speak for us all!

I'm grateful that you took the time to share with the Connect community your journey with pancreatic cancer. Your story inspires us all to face our health issues together as a community.

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@markymarkfl It’s nice to virtually meet you! Thank you for joining Connect!


Wow – what an inspiration. I feel I saw so much of the world (and tasted some too) while reading this interview. Congratulations on such a positive attitude towards life and this forum, and thanks for all of the help and hope you offer us!


@markymarkfl ~ Reading your spotlight piece was a delight ~ thank you for sharing some wonderful thoughts! I love nature, too. So glad to be meeting you, even online. 😊 I hope your day, weekend, etc. are filled with sweet surprises.


Nice to get to know you a little more, @markymarkfl ! Thanks for sharing.


@markymarkfl your spotlight will be a bright point of my day today. What a great positive addition to Mayo Connect. May you continue to spread your hope and experience for many years to come. You are an inspiration.


It's a pleasure to meet you @markymarkfl. Dude (sorry, that just seems appropriate), such cool life experiences! Wow!! Your empowerment of self-advocacy and hope is a testament to the fun, free, adventerous, never give up spirit you seem to embody. Thank you for bringing that zest to Connect. You brightened my day! Keep hanging loose and tough along your journey.


Interesting person. Thanks for your insight and poetry.

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