Team Up Against Cancer

HOPE - FAITH - SUPPORT - PRAYER

A Patient Testimony – David Marcus

My name is David Marcus and I am a 5-time Cancer survivor.  I was born in 1958 in a small town in New Jersey to Jewish parents. 

New Jersey really never had anything to offer Special Needs people.  I was never offered any job that was full time or that had benefits.  Because of this and because my father retired from the Post Office, we moved to Salinas, California near where Arlene (my sister) was stationed at Fort Ord.  I had a couple little jobs in Salinas, but even there, I could never find a full time job with benefits.

One day, my mother was watching TV and saw a lady from the National Association of Retarded Citizens.  DO YOU HATE THAT WORD AS MUCH AS I DO?  Anyway, Mom immediately called Arlene at work and told her to contact them, which she did.

We found out that there were two ARCs in California, one in San Francisco and one in Bakersfield.  Of course, San Francisco was a lot closer to Salinas, so Arlene called them first.  She was disappointed to find out they had a one and a half year waiting list.  So, she called the Bakersfield office and could you believe it?  They had 1 opening!

That next week our family traveled down to Bakersfield and we all loved what BARC was all about.  Less than a month later, in December 1989, I moved to Bakersfield.  On that trip, Arlene picked up a Bakersfield Californian newspaper and found that there were plenty of jobs here and prices of homes were much cheaper than in Monterey County.  Within six months, my entire family moved to Bakersfield.

Dad and Mom always thought they would have to take care of me, but because of BARC and Arlene and her family moving to Bakersfield, they decided that they could retire in Florida as that is where my father’s brother lived.  So off they went.

Shortly after starting work at BARC, and with the help of one incredible man, a man who believed in me, Mr. Bob Weir of BARC, I was offered a full-time permanent job at Albertsons.  My family was so excited because I finally had a job with medical and dental benefits and a retirement!  The first Albertson’s I worked at was the one on Gosford and Stockdale.  I then helped open the brand new one on White Lane and Gosford and ended up retiring from the one on Rosedale and Allen.

Around 1992, I decided to move in with Arlene and her family.  During my entire 20 years at Albertsons, I usually worked 3 weekdays and the weekend so I could have 2 days off during the week to visit schools and speak with the Special Ed students.  I loved visiting schools and speaking with the Special Ed students.  I would tell the students that even though they have special needs like me, they could go out and get jobs after they graduated high school just like I did.

In 2009, I had knee replacement surgery.  Unfortunately my knee would never be the same and because of this, I had to retire in 2010 because my job required me to be on my feet all day long.  But retirement hasn’t stopped me from visiting schools.  I take my walker or cane, get on the bus, and continue my mission to visit these students.

As a young Jewish boy, I was never taught what my purpose in life was or even if I had a purpose.  Kids used to tease me and chase me.  Adult people would talk about me and call me names like weirdo, stupid, retard, and worse. ACTUALLY THEY STILL DO, ESPECIALLY ON THE BUS!   I used to have a temper.  I used to come home crying.  I hated going through that.  Because of this, I used to wish I was never born.

In 2006, at the age of 47, I was introduced to The Bible, The Word, The Gospel, The Man Jesus Christ!  I finally learned that I do have a purpose.  I was born for a purpose! My purpose is, as every one of your purpose is to Glorify God in everything we do.  It is because of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I am a new man.  I am much calmer.  I do not get angry.  I do not worry (well, I don’t worry very much) because Jesus tells us to take our worries and give them to Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In 2011, our father decided to move back in with us because Mom had since passed away from Multiple Myeloma in 2001 and Dad’s medical condition was worsening.  He had emphysema, COPD and congestive heart failure and he needed to be taken care of and to a lot of doctor appointments.  We are so blessed that Dad decided to move in with us.  We not only were his caregivers, but we also got to spend his last years with him.  

I was first diagnosed with Colon Cancer in March 2012.  I had my first surgery in April and then began Chemotherapy.  Another blessing of having Dad here was that he came to all my chemo appointments.  He would sit with me and joke around.  Those are great memories.

Also during those years, Dad would come to church with us because he couldn’t be left alone….  As time went on, he wanted to go with us to church.  Here’s the most amazing thing that ever happened in our lives!  In February 2013, Dad had a pacemaker put in.  When he came out of surgery, he told us that Jesus came to him.  That day, a Jewish man of 84 years of age, accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Matthew 19:26 says “With man things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

Dad passed away 3 months later on May 6, 2013 one day after the Relay for Life.  I was sad when he left, but I have God’s promise that I will see him again.  John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

David Marcus and Berta McCarthy I have since had three more bouts of Colon Cancer, have gone through Chemo each time and Radiation twice, had a huge surgery in November 2015 when I almost died on the Operating Room table, and the cancer is now in my stomach.  A very dear friend of mine, Berta McCarthy, our local Congressman’s Mother, referred me to David Bryant, the cofounder of Team Up Against Cancer.  After my sister got in immediate contact with Mr. Bryant, he sent out my first two months’ worth of Realife+ formula.  I just started this about a month ago and will begin month number two this weekend.  I’ve loved reading the testimonials of everyone and I am looking forward to getting the same results, to be cancer free.  I know that’s what’s going to be!

During my many years of visiting schools, and then spending these past 5 years having Cancer treatments and since my first diagnosis in 2012, I continue to go all around town taking Thumbs Up pictures with everyone!  I was one of the happiest people in the world when I could take pictures with my cell phone.  And then I could take selfies.  Then the selfie stick came out.  I was in heaven.  I have probably taken thousands of Thumbs Up pictures.  I like to go around town showing the positive.  I like giving inspiration……… 

I know God is not done with me just yet.  It’s His plan why I am still here.  Even though I go through these struggles, I know that there are other people who have it worse. I have a dear friend who is struggling with ALS.  I have lost friends from Cancer while I’ve been going through my treatments,  I often wonder why they are gone and I am still here……  I have to know that it was God’s plan for them to leave…..  He still has more for me to do.  I will continue to go around town showing the positive and taking Thumbs Up pictures.  I will continue to visit the Special Ed students in schools.  I will continue to Glorify God in everything I do.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for allowing me to share my story!   To God Be the Glory!