First blog post ever

So here we go this will be my first ever official blog post, I’ve never even comment on somebody else’s blog or been an individual to read a lot of blogs so this is very new to me. And matter-of-fact I think one of the first blogs I read was Johnathan Pages last week. So you may ask why I’m doing this, I’ve felt for a while that this is something that would be not only good for myself just to get my comments and feelings and thoughts out of me but also would give me the opportunity to continue to communicate to everyone who has supported me through this whole adventure/endeavor and as we fight this together everyone will be on the same page. So you may ask, do you still think you’re going to walk Mark? Yes, I don’t know when and I don’t know how but I know it will happen

So first I should probably give everybody an update on how I’m doing, overall. It’s been tough adapting to the changes and every now and then there is the harsh reality that hits me and reminds me that things are drastically different. For example one of the things that I never expected was how much I miss commuting to work on my bike and how I took that time and those beautiful trails and just fresh air for granted.

So about 3-4 weeks ago we headed to UW to find out the results from a MRI that was taken to see how the neck was healing. Well, we were informed that I have a Syrinx cyst on my spinal cord, you can find out more information on exactly what this is here. I have to admit it was like getting punched in the gut and I did have the thought of God we are supposed to be going the other direction, getting better not worse. The good news is that we found it early and we can watch it, at this point we need to make sure it doesn’t get any bigger, and ideally that it would get smaller and/or disappear. So if I have a prayer request it would definitely be for this syrinx to go away. Other than this really if I’m honest with myself things are progressing pretty good, not as fast as I would like but I’m moving forward triceps are stronger my biceps are stronger I still have good strength in both directions with wrist and my overall health is in good.

Since we got back the Bender boys have been very busy with getting back to new life figuring out how things are going to operate with me in my current situation. First was getting the boys ready for school and starting school, soccer for all four boys, and then cyclocross season started and we are still in the middle of that. It’s been really good for the boys and me to continue to drive and strive for what used to be our old normal even though obviously things have changed and just in general takes a lot longer to get places to get ready and so forth. Cross season has been a lot of fun and I am continually blown away weekly at the races by continual support, prayers, and just friendship. We have one more race locally and then we will be heading to Colorado for the national championships in January as well as seeing family and friends  and a reevaluation a Craig hospital.

Well for now I think that’s a pretty good start for my first blog post I will continue to try and post to keep everyone updated on how I am doing as well the rest the family, share my thoughts and whatever else comes to mind.

And lastly again I would like to say thank you to everyone who continues to keep me uplifted in prayer.


  1. Pat and I feel it is great that you are writing this. Did not know about the cyst so will pray directly for that. Glad things are progressing in other areas.

  2. It’s good to see the blog up! I will continue to send prayers, praying for the syrinx cyst to go away and more progress on the good side. I love seeing the boys’ photos from cyclocross, good luck on the remainder of the season and nationals!

  3. Mark,
    Always thinking of you, always praying for you and always amazed at you and your families strength and outlook on life. Thanks for the update you are an inspiration to all of us.

  4. Mark, good to hear about the progress and we will have you in our prayers over the cyst. Glad to see you have something to keep us in tune with whats going on. I am not a blogger either, so maybe this will open me up to new things?

  5. Thanks for starting this blog to keep us all in the loop, Mark! Always keeping you in our thoughts – so good to see Sarah the other day, and hope to see you one day soon. Sending love, hope and health your way!

  6. This blog is a great idea! Love to hear your heart. We have been following you all along this journey. We love you & know that God is doing something much bigger than we can understand with your lives. Sarah has been such a tremendous support. We continue to pray for your strength , perseverance, healing & ministry as you “WALK” this road together. Love you Mark Bender!!

  7. Write your heart! Determination, Love, Faith, Pain, Fear and Grace. There is tremendous strength in walking with God; all things are possible.

  8. I have prayed for you and your family so much and loved following on Facebook and felt like I would be intruding if I asked questions… so thank you for being brave enough to share and draw so many of us into your story once again.

  9. I agree with Travis: Write your heart. You have things to say that people need to hear. And about walking … “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” – Colossians 2: 6-7
    -Laurie O

  10. Hi Mark. You probably remember we met last February on the World Championships in Louisville. Thanks for letting all of us share your thoughts and feelings. I am really moved to read you’re finding so much strenght through your faith in God. An inspiration for all of us over here! Merry christmas for you and your lovely family!

  11. Yes! Thank you for sharing Mark. Love to hear you confess your faith for walking again. Darren and I both believe right along beside you.

  12. You don’t know me, but i’m a friend of the Willems. Just wanted to let you know that your story has touched me a lot. I’m praying for you and I will love to be updated through your blog! God bless your family!!

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