Dec 18, 2009 - 5:27 pm
I thought I might like to share this story with you which was in our local paper.
Dec. 10--When Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Mascara was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer this summer, he was told he had a 2 percent chance of survival. His family was told he probably wouldn't make it to spring.
But his also oncologist told him about a previous patient who went into remission after the same diagnosis, so Judge Mascara felt a ray of hope.
"At the moment that he told me that, I said to him, 'I am going to be your second miracle,' " said Judge Mascara, 53, of East Washington, recalling his conversation with Dr. Michael Gibson, assistant professor of oncology at the University of Pittsburgh.
From the time of his diagnosis, Judge Mascara asked family, friends and co-workers to pray for him. Within months, he said, he was told that his name was on the lips of thousands of the faithful worldwide and on hundreds of prayer chains.
"As things were moving forward, it became clear to me that it was almost out of our hands," recalled his wife, Lisa Mascara. She said repeated scans showed the cancer growing and spreading. "If he lived, it would be a miracle. I knew there would not be a medical answer here."
When caring people asked what they could do for him: Did he need dinners or rides to chemotherapy treatments? -- Judge Mascara told them to ask 10 friends to pray for him, then to pass the request on to 10 more.
He blessed hypodermic needles and intravenous chemotherapy drugs with holy water given to him by his priest and others. His friends, including Washington lawyer Christopher Blackwell, brought him healing waters from places such as the village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Others prayed fervently that God would spare him even if just for a few more months with his family.
The judge began a journal titled "courage," with words for his four children, especially his youngest, 4-year-old Sam.
Thanks to a mass e-mail request, the prayer chain members simultaneously prayed for the judge during his latest medical scan on Nov. 3.
In a development he said that even the doctors referred to as "miraculous," Judge Mascara's scan showed his cancer had vanished.
This was the same tumor that hadn't been responding to treatment, that actually grew 50 percent larger -- to 10 centimeters -- during chemotherapy treatments that were intended to help shrink the mass. The same inoperable tumor had made it nearly impossible to swallow and spread cancer through his lymph nodes and into his bones and liver.
It was totally gone, and Judge Mascara gives all the credit to God. Dr. Gibson, he said, had no medical explanation.
The physician had no comment for this article.
For the full story you can look at