College Fund for Tabor and Marshall Clifton

For: Tabor and Marshall Clifton
Organizer: Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar
of $10,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 59 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Mark Clifton is a loving husband and dad to two young children, 10 year-old Tabor and 8 year-old Marshall.

In the last 15 years, Mark has been battling various forms of cancer. In May of 1999, at the age of 25, Mark's doctors discovered he had testicular cancer. After surgery and grueling rounds of chemotherapy, Mark was optimistic he beat this curable form of cancer.  

Two years later, in 2001, it was discovered that Mark had a mass in his chest (known as a teratoma) nestled between his heart and left lung. The placement of the tumor required very specialized surgeons to perform the procedure.

Fortunately, Mark was accepted as a patient by the same team of surgeons in Indiana that had helped cure Lance Armstrong. It was somewhat fitting since Mark is also from Austin. And like Lance Armstrong's surgery, Mark's was a complete success.

Mark and his wife, Nancy, were optimistic their fight against cancer was finally over. In 2004, they started a family and were blessed with a girl, Tabor, and a three years later, Marshall was born. 

Sadly, in the spring of 2010, Mark’s cancer had returned.  After consulting with Mark’s surgeons in Indiana, he underwent a second round of chemotherapy, and another surgery performed in Austin. Mark's optimism about his future never wavered and was ready to put his third bout with cancer behind him for good.  

However, a year ago in the spring of 2013, Mark and his family received the upsetting news that Mark’s cancer had reared its ugly head once again. This time the tumor was wrapped around his aorta and affected his vocal cords and left lung.

The surgeons were brutally honest with Mark and Nancy about his current condition. Although the news deflated their optimism, Mark continued to believe that his surgeons in Indiana will get him through. Unfortunately, this surgery required the surgeons to remove Mark’s left lung, left vocal cord, and reconstruct his aorta with an artificial “patch."  

Miraculously, Mark pulled through the complicated and life-threatening surgery. His surgeons were amazed and told him during recovery, “We now know that we can do all that we did to you and still have the patient survive!”

Unfortunately, less than two months after his surgery while recovering in his home in Austin, Mark’s aorta pushed through his esophagus causing a quick loss of blood.  Both the aortic patch and chest cavity became infected and Mark underwent lifesaving, emergency procedures. He was placed on life support.

After Mark's condition stabilized over the period of 3 months, he was transferred to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.  The special cardio vascular surgeons had been reviewing his case for weeks and devised a plan that included a series of several long, but hopefully lifesaving surgeries to perform on Mark. Unfortunately, during one of the 6 hour surgeries, Mark suffered a brain injury on the left side of his brain causing loss of movement in the right side of his body and severe speech challenges. 

Mark is now home in Austin with his family where he goes to St. David’s Rehab brain injury day program 4 days a week for extensive rehabilitation. Currently, he is learning how to talk, walk, and is working to regain use of his right arm. 

As a husband and dad, Mark's working hard to get healthy so he can provide for his family especially Tabor and Marshall. His wife, Nancy, has remained strong through the years and Mark finds his strength in her. 

Throughout Mark's battle with cancer, he has maintained a positive attitude believing he is a victor not a victim. 

We, at Iron Cactus, have started this online fundraiser to start a college fund for Tabor and Marshall. On June 5th, we will be hosting our annual charity golf tournament at Grey Rock Golf Club. Our hope is to raise $20,000 from the charity golf tournament and raise $10,000 here. ALL the funds raised will go to the college fund for Tabor and Marshall.  

We hope you'll find inspiration in Mark's story and give generously so his children will have the security of receiving a college education. Thank you for supporting us!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 16, 2014

Posted on June 16, 2014

We hope all Dads had a fantastic Father's Day celebration yesterday. It was quite a day for Dads who love sports. The Spurs clinched its 5th NBA title in convincing fashion by demolishing the overrated Heat. World Cup fever was heating up. And the U.S. Open Golf Championship ended without any fanfare while we hoped Texas Longhorn Jordan Spieth was going to make a Sunday comeback.

While of these sporting events were happening, our online fundraiser has continued to raise money for the children of Mark Clifton, a loving Dad whose attitude in handling the various cancers he's faced through the years, is an inspiration to many Dads to be the best Dad they can be. 

In a few hours, our online fundraising will come to a close. We've surpassed our goal of $10,000 a couple of weeks ago, but the more money we raise before our deadline tonight, the more we can give Mark's children, Tabor and Marshall, and ensure their college education is secured. 

Thank you so much for your generosity and support in helping a wonderful, courageous, loving and faithful Dad, Mark Clifton, his wife, Nancy, and children, Tabor and Marshall. 

Gary, Mike and the Iron Cactus Team

Posted on May 20, 2014

Posted on May 20, 2014

Mark and Nancy Clifton are extremely touched by your generosity and extend their heartfelt thanks to all of you. As the organizer of this fundraiser, we are grateful for your support to the Clifton family.

We are more than halfway to our goal so please continue to spread the word to your family and friends via email or social networks. Let's put all the new technology available to us today to good use by making a difference in the lives of two young children, Tabor and Marshall. They are the young, innocent victims of their Dad's various cancer battles. 

God bless y'all!

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