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Thread: Wheelchairjunkie Mark Smith

  1. #1

    Unhappy Wheelchairjunkie Mark Smith

    For those who knew, or were helped out by Mark Smith aka Wheelchairjunkie.
    It seems he has passed away..

    Post by his daughter
    https://powerchairdiaries.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sarafino's Avatar
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    SW Colorado---chair user from nerve disorder
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    That is sad, he was pretty amazing. Loved his essays.
    chair user since 2009 from a neurological disorder

  3. #3
    Sad. He was not very old. While I didn't always agree with him, I respected him for his advocacy for others in power chairs.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
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    Very sad. Mark was an excellent writer, highly intelligent and lived life fully. RIP
    Last edited by ChesBay; 11-30-2018 at 01:51 PM. Reason: eta:typo

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Mark and I were always on opposite sides from a business competition perspective, but that didn't stop us from being friends and working together both on advocacy issues and to solve problems when we were in a position to help. His smile and energy were contagious - you couldn't help but smile and be inspired when you were around him. The world is not quite as bright today without him. RIP Mark, and my condolences to your family and all your friends at Pride and throughout our industry.

  6. #6
    Sad news. Condolences to his family. For someone with such laboured speech - He was a great communicator. His writing was insightful and moving. His attitude was amazing. Does anyone know what happened? Seemed only a month or so ago he posted.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyCrip View Post
    Sad news. Condolences to his family. For someone with such laboured speech - He was a great communicator. His writing was insightful and moving. His attitude was amazing. Does anyone know what happened? Seemed only a month or so ago he posted.
    His daughter wrote this on her blog last month. I never met the man but I had great respect for his tireless advocacy.

    "OCTOBER 22, 2018
    By Emily C. Smith
    It's midnight, and the darkness of the night is slowly rolling into a new morning of Monday. My father is laying there, curled up in a ball under the sheets, yet relaxed. My stepmother is next to him, running her hands through his hair, while I sit at the foot of the bed, holding his hand. "You two are my guardian angels" he goes on. "The universe gave me you two. I may be in pain, but what hurts most is seeing you in pain because of me". Me and my step-mother look at each other, as we have done a merely 100 times alone in the morning.
    Cancer-Sick is what we have ended up describing it as. Based on rounds of Chemotherapy and an esophagectomy where they removed over half his esophagus, my father has been left with excruciating back pain from ruined nerves. Add that to the usual involuntary muscle contractions we call spasticity of Cerebral Palsy, and well, it's surely not a mixture for those with any level of pain tolerance.
    Being away trying to start my own life in Graduate School and full-time work has its own issues, when after coming home for days on end, I have to leave the horrific scene of my fathers struggles to return to my own life in the making. It's had its guilt, resentment, and own question of how legit it is when my father is home in Pennsylvania. Yet, what makes it worse is leaving my step-mother, who I adore dearly, all alone to take care of my father as well as my Special Needs 10 year old sister. It's a constant battle and handful for my household. I can vividly see the pain in my step mothers eyes every single time we look at eachother. She too, is "Cancer Sick".
    You see, "Cancer Sick" in my opinion, goes far beyond the tumor that lives inside your body. It's the treatment, the recovery, and the aftermath of it all. Cancer sick is the suffering everyone around it feels. It's the nausea during chemotherapy, the two week hospital stay with complications after the removal of a tumor and an esophagus, it's the neuropathy that will never subside that leaves you in bed for days unable to eat, sleep, or move. It's the robbing of any "normal" you had left in your life. It's a constant struggle of wanting to be better, feeling terrible for being unable to even roll yourself over, and having to take narcotics, opioids, really anything to try and minimize the symptoms in the first place.
    You go about your day in a constant struggle- with no way out. Yet, is there a way out?
    In the midst of the never-ending "Cancer Sick", my father still makes his ridiculously awful dad jokes with some added sexual innuendos from time to time. There's also the moments where he looks at me with love in his eyes and uses every last ounce in his body to push himself up despite the pain and nausea happening.
    Back to where we were, sitting on the bed, with my father going on about us being his guardian angels- me and my step mother each rubbing him. He looks at us with a gaze in his eyes- "It's like my pain just melted away"
    I think when you are surrounded by unconditional love, there will always be a way out. There will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. Because at the end of the day, despite the trials and errors, the never ending pain, the treatments- you sleep next to unconditional love. You wake up next to unconditional love. You go downstairs, and eat breakfast at a table filled with unconditional love. And being surrounded by unconditional love- that can help anything."



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