Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hi everyone, wanted to give you an update on Mark.
He went to the doctor the other day and had a MRI of his brain, and everything looked good! There is no sign of the tumor.
Mark is still having double vision and weakness in his left hand and arm, so he’s not on the computer yet.
He is texting more and doing more with his phone in short time periods.
During the hospital stay they figured out that Mark has sleep apnea so he is sleeping with a CPAP machine and is have good results with better rest in the morning and sleeping through the night.
Mark is doing physical therapy and occupational therapy twice a week and doing great with that.
He is walking about 1.5 miles a day with his hiking poles. The walker is gone!
He looks forward to having friends stop by so feel free to do so or give him a call or text.
He feels like he is doing good, but knows he has a long way yet to go. The journey is not over yet.
Thank you again for all your support and prayers.
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Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hi everyone! This was one big day for Mark! His Kirkland Fire brothers picked him up at Evergreen Hospital and took him to his apartment. Yup, he is in his temporary home where he will get in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy.
He looks good and says he feels great. He said he is looking forward to cooking himself a omelette.

Mark still has a big grin on his face, and wanted to let everyone know he can’t begin to express how much he appreciated all of his doctors and nurses at Overlake hospital, UW Hospital and Evergreen Hospital. He thanks his brothers and sisters at Kirkland Fire, Peak Rescue Institute, American Lung Association, and friends and family for your support, encouragement, and continued prayers.

He feels like each step in this process has been like the many of ascents he has already accomplished.

Feel free to give him a call, and he is back on email! He is looking forward to your visits!

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hi everyone, it has been a few days since our last update on Mark, he is currently at Evergreen Hospital in-patient rehabilitation. Mark is doing much better. He still has a long road ahead of him, but every day he is getting stronger. Between occupational therapy and physical therapy he is putting in about 3 to 4 hours of therapy each day. By the end of the day he so tired sometimes he has to wait to eat dinner. Mark will be going home to his apartment on Tuesday the 9th. Once he is in the apartment he will have in-home physical and occupational therapy. Thank you for your continuous support, emails, texts, help and prayers!

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hi everyone, Mark is doing much better, he will tell you he is tired. That is actually a good thing because the physical therapists are working him out at Evergreen rehabilitation several hours a day.
He is at Evergreen Hospital West Wing in Kirkland on the fourth floor, area purple.
His nurse said that he is getting more mobility each day. She also said that he loves it when the guys stop in to say hello. She said it really boosts his morale.
Mark has his cell phone and says anyone that has his number can give him a call during business hours lol.

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Mark’s move went great. Thank you to Kirkland Fire, Aid 21 Dick Hughes and his crew for the transport to Mark’s new temporary home at Evergreen Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, West Tower, 4th floor Purple. Mark is in room 4376. He is happy to be closer to home and excited to get to work. He said “I want to wear a shirt and pants again.” Lol. Feel fee to stop by and say hi. He said to say Thank You to everyone for all your support.

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hello everyone, today is MOVING DAY for Mark! A Kirkland Fire Department Aid Crew is going to pick him up at UW Hospital and transport him to Evergreen Hospital Rehabilitation Unit.  It is in the West Tower, located on the 4th floor, purple. We are looking forward to having Mark in Kirkland again.

More later!

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Mark is doing better every day, he is doing 4 laps around the nurses station. He is sitting up in the chair 4 times per day. He just got clearance to sit in the chair anytime he wants. He is eating all meals in the chair. He is no longer on oxygen. We are waiting for the insurance company to give us clearance to take Mark to an in-patient facility vs a nursing home. Our first choice is here at UW. Our second choice is Evergreen Hospital Acute Care rehab facility. It all depends on who has a bed available. Mark is having some difficulty using his phone. So his mailbox is full and he doesn’t always respond to the text messages. But he does read all the text messages. Thank you again for your continued support and prayers. Feel free to call his cell.

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hi Everyone, Mark is doing great.
I tell him he is the poster child for “CNEI” (Constant Never Ending Improvement) because each and every day he gets a little bit better and better. He is now walking with a walker about 250’, 4 times a day. He is tying knots and is starting to draw again.
Mark will be released from the UW very soon. He will be going to an in-patient rehab facility, where he will get 3 to 4 hours of rehab each day.
I will let you know when/where he goes to rehab. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Feel free to text him.

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Hi everyone, Mark is doing much better. No hallucinations last night. He had a cheeseburger from Dicks for lunch. His physical therapist had him tying knots.
In the photo you can see he got out side with his Aunt Betty for a breath of fresh air. He is still needing assistance in and out of bed. He still has tingling in his left hand. He says his neck feels super tight.
The doctors are talking about releasing him soon. We still don’t know when or what that would look Home? We will let you know when we know more.

Journal entry by Mark Anderson

Good new everyone! Mark sounds like Mark again!
He ate a bowl of chicken soup like it was his last meal ever... basically the first real meal he’s had since this last surgery. He said after the soup he felt much better.
He said it has been great getting phone calls. His pain is at a 2 or 3. He said it feels like a window shutter is rolled up tight in the back of his neck, but his head is good. He said he sat in the chair two times today and sat on the end of the bed once. He complained that the tv is too small in his room, and he is ready to listen to some tunes.
His FaceBook and instagram is not working on his phone, so that’s frustrating him, as he’s feeling good enough to try communicating with ppl thru social media.
Meeting with doctors tomorrow. Thank you all for your prayers.
Mark’s Story

Site created on August 23, 2018

Mark Anderson is facing an extensive and invasive surgery on September 7th.  Doctors found he has two tumors: one is the size of a lemon at the base of his brain, and the other is the size of an egg wrapped around his cervical spine at C6/C7. If not treated, he will be paralyzed or die. 

Here's Mark's story:

Mark Anderson was born and raised in the Seattle area.  After achieving Eagle Scout, he joined  the Mercer Island Volunteer Fire Department in 1976. He then moved to the City of Kirkland to be a professional firefighter, became a Lieutenant in 1989, served on the Hazmat Team for 20+ years, and retired from the Kirkland Fire Department in 2016 after 30 years of service. 

In 2000 Mark was diagnosed with a baseball sized brain tumor. After surgery he was in a coma for 2 weeks. At the time he was told he would not be able to be a firefighter or climb anymore mountains, but he proved them all wrong and worked another 16 years. He thanks his two beautiful daughters, countless friends, and his fire service family for their support during that recovery.

Mark loves nothing more than to be in the outdoors teaching and educating others about hiking, climbing, kayaking, camping, rope and knots and drawing rescue systems. Mark has instructed thousands of people as Rope Rescue Specialist for the Peak Rescue Institute at Joshua Tree for the last 27 years. Mark has been a champion raising millions of dollars for the American Lung Association as a Chief Mountain Guide, and helped train over 2,000 people to climb Mt. Rainer, all to raise awareness of lung disease and research. Mark was awarded the American Lung Association's National Volunteer of the Year in 2013.

Marks dream was to build a small but warm cabin to share with his family and friends north of Anchorage Alaska and he just accomplished that dream about 6 months ago. While shoveling snow at the cabin, he noticed pain, tingling, and numbness down his arms that would not go away.  After doctor visits in Alaska, he came back to the Puget Sound area where doctors found he has two tumors: one is the size of a lemon at the base of his brain, and the other is the size of an egg wrapped around his cervical spine at C6/C7. If not treated, he will be paralyzed or die.

Mark is a fighter and is choosing to face this treacherous journey again. His goal is to return to his cabin and serve his family and friends their favorite breakfast, as they watch the moose and bears go through his front yard. It is quite possible this surgery will result with Mark being in a coma.  Permanent paralyzation is also possible. Post-surgery rehab will most likely be necessary, and insurance will only cover so much. 

Thank You for your support and prayers.  Any financial help is greatly appreciated!  There is a GoFundMe link - please click on the WAYS TO HELP button, above, or simply make checks payable to Mark Anderson and mail to: 

Mark Anderson
Kirkland Fire Department
123 Fifth Ave
Kirkland, WA  98033

Please feel free to leave a comment and we hope you enjoy his photos.