A love story: Mark Menendez’s fight to save his wife from pancreatic cancer

...this photo was taken recently when Donna was the keynote speaker at www.Pancan.org for the PurpleLight National Vigil for Hope, Pancreatic Cancer. From Mark: "Six days after this photo was taken, I got the call from the doctor; the cancer was back, metastasized to other organs, Donna was now at Stage 4, Pancreatic Cancer."

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

“And journey's longer than I thought, my love…”

Dateline:  In Shock


is not a story about cancer.

Not about,


Not about,



is a flat out,

Love Story.

It’s about love.

It’s about the human spirit, that in the face of almost insurmountable odds, still gets up, even though, it can’t.

It’s about love.

If you look for miracles, no need to try and walk on water, if you want to believe in miracles,

love someone.

Love someone more than you love yourself, and if in fact you can do that, know that is a miracle, and is the “Kind” found in “Man.”

Believe, if you believe.

Wonder, if you wonder.

But have faith,

your own special faith,

whatever that may be,

because it is faith,

and only faith,

that stands between us and the,


“db, it’s not fair man, just not fair, no way in the world is it fair.  I hope God really has a huge plan for my angel…db…”

And then Elite angler Mark Menendez, my good friend, and one of the strongest, smartest people I know, breaks down sobbing,

and we talk, we talk off the record, two husbands in love with angels, that conversation will stay between us,

and finally I just can’t take it anymore, so we say goodnight, and I just fold the laptop closed, and go to bed,

and say a prayer, maybe actually more just a plea to a higher source, to please save, Mark’s angel…his wife…Donna…also a good friend...

…and who is dying from Stage 4, Pancreatic Cancer that has metastasized into other organs in her body,

Here’s the complete text of my prayer/plea, “Please, help Donna, please don’t take her from Mark and her two young children,”

and then, as I know Mark is doing at the same time,

cry myself to sleep.

“…there's lots of things get in the way…”