Copyright © 2014 Leroy Schulz

Celebrating With Mark
Featuring Mark J. Stewart
Law Student, Cancer Survivor, Volunteer
January 15, 2014
Mt. Sinai Hospital
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mark is a law student from Toronto, Ontario. Before returning to university he had a varied career that included being a language teacher, a political staffer in Ottawa and a speechwriter with a major Canadian bank. But despite what he considers some pretty cool jobs, Mark still believes his greatest accomplishment occurred when he was only 18 years old and still in high school.

It all started in the spring of 1995. He was playing baseball when he threw the ball and twisted his leg. He had sprained his ankle before, but something was different: he had never quite experienced pain like this. After a number of trips to various doctors and even some temporarily successful medicine, Mark ended up at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto where he had a biopsy procedure done so doctors could get a better look at the tissue. A few days later Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma above his left knee.

The accompanying photo signifies a special occasion in Mark’s life. Taken outside Observation Room #4 on the second floor of Mt. Sinai, this is the place where Mark and his parents were told he had cancer and would have to undergo chemotherapy and an operation to replace his left knee with a titanium prosthetic. It was a daunting and painful process, but 18 years later Mark is completely cured and now spends much of his free time working with other young cancer survivors advising doctors on how to improve the process for other cancer patients.
What’s more, the photo was also taken during the very week Mark had lived longer as a cancer survivor than he had before his diagnosis! Suffice it to say, it was a momentous occasion and he was happy to celebrate it with Miguelito’s Little Green Car!

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