Cancer Survivor Chronicles His Inspirational Healthy Journey After Alarming Diagnoses in New Book

Guided by Faith, “Diagnosed: Inspirational Stories After an Alarming Medical Diagnosis” Shares 27 True Health Journeys from Patients and their Families

CLEVELAND, Feb. 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Husband and wife duo, Mark and Mary Kay Liston, invite readers on an uplifting journey of faith and resilience in their latest endeavor, “Diagnosed: Inspirational Stories After an Alarming Medical Diagnosis.” This book, initially a personal diary recording Mark’s battle with a shocking lung cancer diagnosis in 2022, details his 76-day medical journey while also sharing stories from 26 other individuals who faced diverse health challenges, from various forms of cancer to ALS.

Mark, a healthy non-smoker, found guidance through his faith as he faced the complexities of his unexpected lung cancer diagnosis that changed his life forever. He began documenting his journey just for himself, mostly keeping track of doctor appointments and notes. During this challenging time, both Mark and Mary Kay remained close to God through prayer and on day 40 of their journey, Mark beat cancer. His quick journey to remission solidified the profound connection the Listons had to their faith and their firm belief in the power of prayer. It was then that Mark knew he had a greater purpose in life and that was to share his journey with the world.

“The purpose of this book is to extend a helping hand to others, offering strength and sharing stories of faith for those on a similar journey,” explained Mark. “Diagnosis underscores the importance of supporting those diagnosed with alarming medical conditions and encourages readers to express their love, whether that be a weekly phone call or a simple home-cooked meal – a small act of kindness truly goes a long way when someone you love is battling an illness. My perspective on life completely changed after what I went through and now, I never take anything for granted or miss an opportunity to show someone I love them.”

Following his remission prognosis and understanding he needed to fulfill his life’s purpose, Mark was divinely guided to share a post on social media moving his friends and acquaintances to share their own journeys through alarming diagnoses. The volume of responses on Mark’s social post ultimately shaped the narrative of this impactful book and reiterated to the Listons that it’s a universal experience to rely on faith to get through troubling times and hardships.

Mark’s upbringing in a Lutheran household laid the foundation for his strong faith, and upon meeting Mary Kay over two decades ago, their shared devotion to God became the foundation of their relationship. Actively engaged in their church communities, the Listons, each retired franchise executives, bring a wealth of diverse experiences to their book. Mark, recognized for his contributions to a glass trade newsletter and as a motivational blogger, found a strategic partnership with Mary Kay as an editor, as she holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Business Administration. Together they worked to interview those who responded to Mark’s social post, giving them a voice to share their inspiring stories with the world. Each person’s experience varied but the one throughline they all had was their undeniable faith and belief in prayer.

After Mark’s battle with cancer, the Listons began to prioritize their family more than ever and have adapted a snowbird lifestyle to be closer to their three children, 12 grandchildren, and great-grandchild. Neither Mark nor Mary Kay ever takes for granted the opportunity to spend time with their children and family members. They know from experience how precious life can be and how quickly an alarming diagnosis can change its course overnight. Though Diagnosed chronicles a select group of troublesome health stories, the message is the same for everyone: turning to your faith for courage through it all is a universal experience. Through this book, the Listons have cultivated a close-knit community and hope to reach a wider audience and inspire them to maintain their relationship with God even in the most troubling times.


Ria Sappal

Fish Consulting


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