App for those fighting cancer helps GA man find community, strength and purpose

App for those fighting cancer helps GA man find community, strength, and purpose
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 5:49 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A Georgia man fighting incurable cancer finds community, strength, and purpose. He went looking for the community on an app, and now mentors and inspires hundreds of other patients.

“It is a cancer of the blood plasma. It mutates and then attacks the bones,” said Mark Werner describing his cancer to me.

RELATED: Thousands take part in breast cancer awareness walk in Midtown Atlanta.

For someone fighting cancer procedures, treatments, tubes, and trials aren’t the only treatments; sometimes, there is healing in the community.

“This is basically a Facebook for cancer patients. So, it is an open group,” said Mark, showing me the BELONG app on his phone.

Sometimes there is healing in an app.

The BELONG- Beating Cancer Together App, is an app created to help people with cancer, or loved ones of people with cancer; navigate treatment, share experiences and find encouragement.

Mark downloaded this app to connect, he ended up mentoring.

“Sometimes we can’t always answer the questions they have but we can offer our moral support,” said Mark.

He spends about 4 hours a day on the app, sharing his experiences, so other people feel less alone in theirs.

”Nobody is more focused on cancer in general, especially my type of cancer than other people experiencing cancer,” said Mark, ”The panic of the unknown is terrible. It is very important to know what you are up against. It is tough to fight an unknown.”

Mark’s original diagnosis was in 2018. This is his 4th time fighting that same cancer. He has fought relentlessly and will continue to.

“I have a very positive outlook on life. I don’t dwell on the bad I focus on the good,” said Mark, “It makes me feel good to help others.”

Every time my conversation with Mark started to take us down a dark path, he quickly brought things back into the light. Positivity is medicine too.

”I have been through a lot in the last 4 years but I am a warrior. I will fight to the end and then fight some more,” Mark said, reading one of his latest posts on the BELONG app.