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Mark, the cousin I loved and Hopes Journey

Updated on January 20, 2014

I would like to have you all join with me and check out this link to my blog. My cousin Mark died a few years ago from that one ugly disease called pancreatic cancer. I wrote an article on the healing haven and nonprofit agency that his wife Lori started after his passing.

Hopes Journey nonprofit agency is an amazing haven of love and healing. I welcome you to peruse the website on the link I have left here. So the story goes.......Our Story

Hopes Journey began as one man’s dream to build a home filled with love, laughter, family

and friends. Kerry Lund was a Christian man committed to helping those in need. Before

Kerry passed away in the summer of 2008, he built his dream, however it is still a work in

progress. Since then, a small group of friends, all touched by cancer in some form or

fashion, decided to join forces to ensure Kerry’s dream would live on.

The dream blossomed into what is ‘Hopes Journey,’ a retreat catering to those who have
survived or are currently fighting a life-threatening disease. The grand opening is to be in June 2011, however they need desperately funds to finish all the dreams they have for this haven of love and healing. They need to finish a
lower level massage therapy room, library, multi-purpose room, craft room, third
bedroom, and sauna, as well as landscape the outdoor area and construct a serenity
garden and pathway.
Hopes Journey will be open to everyone, yet its main purpose will be to provide a respite
for the special women in our lives who may be finding life even more challenging after
becoming afflicted with a life-threatening illness. The struggle to maintain enough
energy to fight cancer and juggle regular routines and responsibilities can be
Hopes Journey is a place where they can put reality on hold-even if just for a few days-to
be pampered and surrounded by the peace and serenity of nature.
It is our hope that the fear, anxiety, and pain cancer patients are forced to bear, will be
replaced with a renewed spirit, inspired to persevere on life’s journey. With your help
and support, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

This haven is my cousin Marks' wife's vision ,that she is making a reality. Read on......

I love my cousin Mark. He is one of those people in my lifetime, that taught me so much about love of family and life. He is my older cousin. My family of origin, spent a lot of time with Mark and his whole family as young kids. Our cousins had eight kids in their family. A good old catholic family. They lived out in Minneapolis in a modest home with an alley in back. Us lake kids from Lake Minnetonka, thought these alleys were really neat. We would play fun alley games with both families. Oh, the good times us Rogers' and Sandwiggies had. Our familes had eight and five kids respectively. Lets see if I can count them here: Joe, Tom, Ann, Mary, Mark, John, Dick, and Eddy. For my family: Dan, Shelly, David, Linda and Laura. Can you imagine this whole group getting together. What a blast. A child's dream. We loved to go to our cousins house for visits.

One Christmas, we spent the entire holiday at our cousins home. It was the most memorable holiday I can ever remember as a kid. My mother had just passed away and my dad had us go to our Aunt Philly and Uncle Dicks loving home for a long visit. We were nurtured and loved over that painful holiday vacation. This, I will never forget.

My cousin Mark was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was so young and we all hoped, believed he would make it and kick that cancers' xxx. He passed away and a huge void was left in my families hearts.

When Mark passed away, he left a beautiful wife Lori and fantastic kids. They had a cabin up north that was a slice of heaven. This is where Marks death resurrected and Lori his wife began a non-profit for cancer stricken families to heal and find serenity. Marks' memory lives on in this special place.

They will be having an event in November. Please let others know about this place, that will give so many families respite from the ills of cancer. Perhaps you can tell others to go check this place out. Perhaps you may want to volunteer or give financially to this great cause.

This picture is the trip my family took to Mark and Lori's cabin shortly before he passed away. Left to right: Laura,Linda, Mark, Aric, My kids Jacob& Ellie
This article was written in honor of my beautiful cousin Mark

© Laura Rogers Arne


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    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      Your right on the money, it felt so good to write this. Writing is so healing for me. I guess for you too. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

      Micky Dee,

      Blessings right back at you.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

      phyllis Doyle,

      I am so glad you read this hub. I am so lucky to always have memories of my dear cousin Mark.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      I love when you stop by. You have an infectious love for others and it just oozes out. Keep it up and thanks for stopping

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Really beautiful Dear Healing Touch! So sad losing loved ones. God bless Dear!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Hi thank you so much for sharing this sad but also heartening hub.

      I wish every success for Hope's Journey.

      Thank you so much for sharing healingtouch. I'm sure that as well as being sad you also felt joyous as you wrote this. Writing really is such a therapy isn't it?

      An up and awesomr for this one without a doubt.

      Take care and God Bless healing touch.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      Thanks so much for reading my hub. I appreciate your feedback.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I am so sorry about your cousin, Mark. A beautiful and inspiring story.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      8 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      What a beautiful and inspiring story. You have some wonderful memories to sustain you. Your cousin left a legacy for generations to come and also left a way of hope for others. Thank you for sharing this story.

    • singlmomat52 profile image


      8 years ago

      It is always so sad to lose a loved one. My condolences and prayers go out to you. But someting good came from his death and he lives on in your memmories and in the good things that the foundatiion is doing for others. I tip my hat to you and yours, a job well done. Blessings!!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I'm sorry for your loss, it does sound he was fine man.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      I am so glad you stopped by good friend. Thanks for the well wishes about my cousins healing lodge.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      Your intentional prayers for Hopes Journey and it's success mean a lot to me. God Bless you.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      Pancreatic is taking too many. You hear of it so much. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Healing Touch profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Arne 

      8 years ago from Minnetonka, MN


      Thanks for your support on my article. You have a beautiful heart, caring and kind. I am honored you take such care in others healing.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Beautiful journey, my friend. I know this memories will never forget, but I hope you still your pray for him. I believe she is smiling now in the heaven. Thank you very much.


    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      Again, wow. Your cousin Mark sounds like he was a joy. I am so sad to here of your loss yet inspired by your embrace for the Hopes Journey nonprofit agency. A cure must be found for the #1 ranking enemy, cancer. You will find your quest in my prayers daily.

      ~Always Choose Love~


    • Tamarajo profile image


      8 years ago

      I have been hearing so much about pancreatic cancer lately. I have known 3 people who have passed from it.

      Another great worthy cause.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      My hat of for the founders of Hopes Journey. May they reach all their goals with great success, not only to the honor of your beautiful cousin Mark but to all people who suffered life-threatening illness. Take care!


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