Mark Pastorius 2024 Show Us Your Brave Ambassador

Mark, a local cancer survivor, is stepping outside his comfort zone to share his experience receiving local treatment and care after his cancer diagnosis.


“You’ve gotta be brave. You gotta fight.”

Mark Pastorius, a family man from Amherstburg, candidly shares details of his diagnosis, his isolating journey and where he found strength after a tragic loss.

Mark is a 2024 Show Us Your Brave ambassador. He shares his experience in the hopes that others will learn the importance of supporting the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation.

Read on for Mark’s powerful story, or watch him share his experience in his own words.

“Nobody ever thinks they’re going to be the one to hear the ‘Cancer’ word.”

Mark Pastorius

Mark Pastorius Knows Bravery

It all began with persistent back pain in his shoulder blades. The pain lasted roughly two months before he made the decision to go to the Emergency Room. He was sent for an urgent CT Scan which revealed a tumor. Within days, Mark would undergo surgery to remove the tumour. Unfortunately, they couldn’t remove it all because the tumour was wrapped around his spine. Mark was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, the 2nd most common form of blood cancer.

The news was especially jarring, because just a few months before his own diagnosis, Mark lost his mother to cancer. He credits her for inspiring him to fight. After nearly two decades living with the disease, his mother encouraged Mark to live his own life to the fullest. “You’ve got a young daughter; you’ve got a wife. You have a life to live”.

And that he did.

He headed to London Ontario for his stem cell transplant. This consisted of three visits, one of which was to determine if he was even qualified to be a recipient and another, the actual transplant. With a heavy dose of chemotherapy on the first day, the transplant took place and shortly thereafter, he returned to Windsor Regional Hospital for two weeks. Mark was unable to have many visitors due to the pandemic restrictions. It was a difficult and isolating time for Mark. He says, “It was rough. I didn’t see my daughter for three weeks.”

Despite knowing that he will never “go into remission” Mark maintains an optimistic outlook, and aspires to be an inspiration to others, much like his mother was to him.

“You’ve gotta be brave. You gotta fight”.

Mark’s Message To Our Community

about the campaign

Show Us Your Brave

Show Us Your Brave is a signature fundraising and awareness campaign, supporting cancer patients in our community. When our loved ones are told ‘You Have Cancer’, patients have no choice but to face their diagnosis. This spring, show your support for local cancer care. Commit to raising funds while stepping outside your comfort zone. Show Us Your Brave and stand with our loved ones bravely facing cancer. Every dollar raised stays local and supports world class cancer care close to home.