Mark Holland, Parma Heights, OH
2008 Cleveland Black and White Ball Recipient
Three years ago, Mark was diagnosed with a rare blood disease called Aplastic Anemia. It is a disease in which your bone marrow simply does not produce enough of any type of blood cells. In April 2007, Mark's blood count drastically dropped. Following a bone marrow biopsy, it confirmed that the anemia had progressed to a more sever stage. Doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant, but were unsuccessful in finding a donor. Because his immune system could not fight off infections, he was in and out of the hospital with pneumonia and a collapsed lung. Doctors started an immunosuppressive therapy (ATG) while waiting for a bone marrow donor. After six months, it was determined that ATG was not effective. In November 2007, Mark was hospitalized with septic shock. His colon was completely removed. Due to a lung infection, a trach was placed to assist with his breathing. After 6 weeks, Mark made remarkable progress and was able to go home. Due to the complications of Mark's disorder, his frequent illnesses and hospitalizations, he was not able to continue working. Mark's wife was working full-time to support their family with two young children. The donation from Betterment helped with the cost of day care for the children.