About Mark...

The Mark Vandette Charitable Fund was established in 2013 in honor of Mark Vandette. In June 2007, just one week after 27-year old Mark Vandette learned that he and his wife Missy were expecting their first child, Mark had a colonoscopy to investigate some minor symptoms he was experiencing. When he awoke from the procedure, he was told that his family had been called in, and together they all learned the shocking news: the doctors had found a tennis-ball sized tumor, and they were 90% certain it was cancerous. Surgery followed on July 3, followed by a week of recovery in the hospital, and biopsies confirmed a dreadful diagnosis of Stage 3 colon cancer. For the next six months, Mark endured bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments that caused ever-increasing side effects and anxiety. But with Missy always by his side (even after 12-hour nursing shifts throughout 9 months of pregnancy), plus the couple’s deep faith and trust in God, and the love and support of their family and friends, Mark completed his final (12th) treatment in January 2008. The couple welcomed a baby girl on February 13, and named her Grace – or as Mark says, their Amazing Grace. Two years later, after yearly tests confirmed that Mark was cancer-free, Mark and Missy also welcomed a son, Kallan, into their family.

In 2011, as Mark was preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in honor of Captain Kyle R. VanDeGiesen (Mark’s dear friend who lost his life in service to our country in Afghanistan), Mark was experiencing back pain. But he pressed on, finding the strength from within to overcome his pain and to honor his friend’s memory. What Mark didn’t yet know was that a cancerous tumor was pressing on his vertebrae so hard that it had fractured a disk – thus causing his back pain – so he essentially ran a 26.2-mile marathon with a broken back. In December 2011, Mark and Missy learned that the cancer had returned in Mark’s peritoneum, liver and spine. Throughout his battle, Mark guided his family, friends, and community as a whole towards their faith, never complaining, and inspiring everyone who knew him live each day kindly and courageously. Sadly, on July 25, 2012, Mark passed away from Stage four Colon Cancer. He left his family, friends, and community with broken hearts but also with a mission to live their lives that way that Mark would want – with Faith, Hope & Love.

 Mark Vandette Charitable Fund, P.O. Box 2611, Attleboro Falls, MA 02763- (617) 302-MVAN