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Marek’s Story

Thank you for all of your support throughout Marek's journey. The benefit was a huge success, your presence and contributions meant so much. Thank you for showing us one of the best days of our lives, one we will never ever forget! Your prayers and outpouring of love, the meals brought to our doorstep, the kind and uplifting words, just reading my journal entries and in turn, sharing our tears of happiness and sadness, has been incredibly moving. We love each and every one of you more than words can describe.
Thank you.

Following a healthy pregnancy, the Stapleton family was blessed with a perfect miracle: baby Marek, born 12 days overdue following induction on July 30, 2012.  He instantly melted the hearts of his Mommy (Krissy), Daddy (Jason) and two big sisters, Hailee (6.5 yrs) and Piper (1.5 yrs).  24 hours after his birth we noticed a small enlarged area on the top of his tiny left foot.  

Concerned, we consulted copious amounts of doctors throughout the next six weeks of his life, bouncing from one referral to the next.  His diagnosis changed from a possible sprain resulting from delivery to a vascular malformation, but no one suspected the terrible news we received the night of September 19, 2012 - just seven weeks and one day after his birth.  

We were greeted in the recovery room at the Mayo Clinic shortly after Marek's biopsy with some sad news.  The pathology report had come back with a shocking diagnosis:  Our sweet baby Marek had a rare soft tissue cancer called Infantile Fibro Sarcoma (IFS).  This cancer effects roughly 7/1,000,000 infants (yes, you read that right)!  

We invite you to follow us through our journey of events and emotions including tests, treatment, surgery, love, anger, fear and courage with support, compassion and prayer.  We have a goal to remain honest and up front in regards to our feelings and experiences as we partake in this wild journey of treatment and healing with our sweet baby Marek.  

With so much love, 

The Stapleton Family

Latest Journal Update

Kicking Cancer's Butt!

9/19/2013 marked Marek's one year anniversary since his cancer diagnosis. Today, as I look down at my baby boy, I know we are exactly where I was hoping and praying we would be one year from that day. Then, we were in this nightmare and couldn't wait to see the light at the end of that long, dark tunnel. Every single day was a struggle to get through and the truth is, we weren't really sure if we would ever make it out. Now, it's such an incredible feeling being on the other side. Hooray!!

On 9/22/2012 my mother in law and father in law were joining in marriage. Although that was a happy celebration, I remember rushing to their beautiful country wedding directly from the hospital in a daze. When our car pulled up, I saw my mother in law for the first time since Marek's diagnosis, all dressed in ivory lace. She looked beautiful, my father in law handsome. It was so emotional for everyone and I ran to her for comfort, apologizing for being two hours late. We hugged harder than ever before, without any words at all, and I felt safe in that moment.

On 9/22/2013, Marek took his first independent steps. It was such an incredible milestone on so many different levels. Exactly one year ago, this is all I wanted. The simple pleasures. I wanted so badly the innocence back in my child's life that I felt was stolen, in a sense. I see the wispy, blonde curls that softly touch the back of his neck, his big, five-toothed grin, his chubby baby rolls all over and thank God for this. This is what we have been praying for. This is all I need.

I blink through the mist in my eyes and smile. It's been quite a year, my friends. Marek has shown us that he will make his mark on the world. He is going to pave his own path in life like a bulldozer. I'm pushing all of my fears aside and placing my confidence in him. He is my incredible baby boy and the strongest person I know. We are truly blessed to be in celebration at this time in our lives, at one year post-cancer diagnosis. Hallelujah!

Mommy and Daddy are here baby Marek, through thick and thin. You can always count on us to hold your hand through anything life throws your way. We love you more than words and are so proud of everything you do. I hope you grow and play and make mistakes and learn. We're so excited for your future! Happy cancer-free day number 239 and counting :-)

And thank YOU, friends and family, for continuing to pray for Marek and our family.

With so much love,
The Stapleton Family