"To help individuals and families overcome emotional and financial obstacles caused by life-altering circumstances by any means possible."
Letter from the Founder
Thank you for visiting and supporting Fund A Life. My name is Mark Howell, and I am the Founder of this impactful organization. I was born and raised in a small town by the name of Brighton, MI, and am a proud father and husband of a beautiful family of 5. In October of 2012, at age 30 and just two short weeks following the birth of my first born son, I was diagnosed with an 18-lb tumor in my abdomen and given weeks to live. The tumor was diagnosed as Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma, which is an extremely aggressive form of cancer with a long-term life expectancy of 8 months, and that's where my story begins...
Before the big "C" I was a former successful athlete, soccer coach, president of a small family business, and ultimately driven by keeping up with the "Jones'" (ie. the bigger house, better car, fancy stuff, etc). After cancer interrupted my life plans, everything took on a new meaning. Being faced with the news that I had potentially weeks to live brought on fears and thoughts no one is ever ready for at the age of 30. The questions of "Will I be here to raise my son?" and "How long do I really have left?" inevitably crept into my every thought. Given the uncertainty of the answers to these questions, I was left with an unavoidable truth: EVERY situation is an opportunity. What we make of that opportunity is 100% up to the individual. Cancer was now my opportunity; Opportunity to inspire. Opportunity to persevere. Opportunity to love. Opportunity to help others fight! Opportunity to smile through it all.
Through impossible surgeries such as: a high risk Whipple procedure at age 30, a necessary kidney removal along with several additional tumors only 8 months following, and a neck tumor resection that has left me numb and limited throughout my left arm, we sought out potential treatments across the country that may provide the chance to defeat the rare version of this aggressive cancer. Three surgeries, three treatments, and six different leading cancer treatment facility visits later, I found a treatment program that has not only concealed the cancer's growth, but provided real hope for a long and healthy life. None of those opportunities would have been possible without two things: the outpouring of love, support, and monetary donations from thousands of people, and my outlook on the opportunity that laid before me.
Now relatively healthy, and 5 years removed from the initial diagnosis, it's time to put my renewed dreams and passions for helping others in the same way i was into action for as many people as possible!
In evaluating how I may be able to positively impact the lives of others who face various types of challenges and obstacles in life, I began thinking about all the various ways that people pitch in monetarily to help others in times of need, all the obstacles many people face when being hit with a catastrophic life event, and how if those same people were simply afforded a better opportunity to overcome them what their emotional, spiritual, and physical outlook may have been. How much more positive would they be, and how much could they then forge through? Sometimes all we need a little "boost" of hope to then unleash the light from ourselves! From this brainstorming session, Fund A Life was born.
Fund A Life is meant to be a single source non-profit organization that fundraises round the clock. We provide needed assistance to an individual or family instantly, rather than the mad scramble to raise funds after life-altering news is received. This proactive approach could potentially save lives, lower stress, and tap into national resources that otherwise may be unavailable due to a person's lack of community popularity, media relevance, or general means to do so.My vision is to impact the lives of thousands of people around the country in the same fashion mine was impacted, and to instill hope in the darkest of times in someone's life. Help me make this vision become a reality! Thank you for visiting Fund A Life!
Keep Shining the Light,
Mark Howell - Founder, Fund a Life
Board of Directors