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Mark's Spectacular Spaghetti Cafe'

Not even leukemia can stop Mark, a 5-year-old foodies from pursuing his dream of one day becoming a “chef doctor.”

A chef doctor, according to Mark, is someone who works as a doctor during the day and a chef at night. He already has the name of his restaurant picked out: Mark’s Spectacular Spaghetti Cafe’.

On a lazy Sunday afternoon last year, Mark’s parents noticed some bumps on his neck, so they took him to the emergency room. After a few X-rays and blood tests, the ER staff referred Mark to the Pediatric Oncology unit at UNM Children’s Hospital. Mark was admitted to the hospital that day and had a biopsy the next day. Later that afternoon he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Victoria, Mark’s mother, is the CFO at Guadalupe Credit Union in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so her passion for Credit Unions for Kids runs deep.

“We have received wonderful care at UNM Children’s Hospital,” she said. “The teams we work with are the best, in my opinion.”

Mark has been helped by multiple departments at the hospital including Pediatric Oncology, Pediatric Infusion Center and Pediatric Surgery, among others. He also enjoys the services of the Child Life department which uses play, art, music and pet therapy to help the kids treated at the hospital. Child life programs, while vital to the healing process, are not often covered by insurance. Donations to Credit Unions for Kids ensure that kids have access to various child life programs.

While Mark is now cancer-free, he will still undergo treatment through the end of 2020. Today, he continues to fill his days with school, t-ball, puzzles and playing with Play Doh. Watch the video below to learn more about the role family has played in Mark’s healing.