Former Neighborly Execs' New Book Affirms the Power of Faith in Dealing with an Alarming Medical Diagnosis
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Former Neighborly Execs' New Book Affirms the Power of Faith in Dealing with an Alarming Medical Diagnosis

Former Neighborly Execs' New Book Affirms the Power of Faith in Dealing with an Alarming Medical Diagnosis

Mark and Mary Kay Liston—both former Neighborly brand executives—have teamed up to write “Diagnosed: Inspirational Stories After an Alarming Medical Diagnosis,” a book they describe as “an uplifting journey of faith and resilience.”

(Mark was president of Glass Door. Mary Kay was president of Molly Maid, Five Star Painting & ProTect Painters.)

The book, which began as a personal diary recording Mark’s battle with a shocking lung cancer diagnosis in 2022, details his 76-day medical journey, along with the stories of 26 others who faced diverse health challenges, from various forms of cancer to ALS.

As he faced the complexities of the unexpected lung cancer diagnosis that changed his life forever, Mark, a healthy non-smoker, found guidance through his faith. He began documenting his journey just for himself, mostly keeping track of doctor appointments and notes. During this challenging time, both Mark and Mary Kay say they remained close to God through prayer. And on day 40 of their journey, Mark beat his cancer. His quick journey to remission solidified the profound connection they had with their faith, and their firm belief in the power of prayer. It was then, Mark says, that he knew he had a greater purpose in life: to share his journey with the world.

“The purpose of this book is to extend a helping hand to others, offering strength and sharing stories of faith for those on a similar journey,” he said. “It underscores the importance of supporting those diagnosed with alarming medical conditions and encourages readers to express their love, whether through a weekly phone call or a simple home-cooked meal. A small act of kindness truly goes a long way when someone you love is battling an illness. My perspective on life completely changed after what I went through. Now I never take anything for granted, or miss an opportunity to show someone I love them.”

Following his remission, Mark says he was guided to share a post on social media, inspiring friends and acquaintances to share their journeys through their own alarming diagnoses. The volume of responses shaped the narrative of this inspiring book—reiterating to the Listons that relying on faith to get through troubling times and hardships is a universal experience.

Mark says his upbringing in a Lutheran household laid the foundation for his strong faith. When he and Mary Kay met more than 20 years ago, he says, their shared devotion to God became the foundation of their relationship. Once he was cleared of his cancer, the couple worked together to interview people who responded to Mark’s post, giving them a voice to share their inspiring stories with the world. Each person’s experience varied, but the one throughline they all had was their undeniable faith and belief in prayer.

After Mark’s battle with cancer, the Listons began to prioritize their family more than ever and have adapted a snowbird lifestyle to be closer to their three children, 12 grandchildren, and great-grandchild. Today, neither Mark nor Mary Kay ever takes for granted the opportunity to spend time with their children and family members. They know from experience how precious life can be, and how quickly an alarming diagnosis can change its course.

Although “Diagnosed” chronicles a select group of troublesome health stories, the message is the same for everyone: that turning to your faith for courage through it all is a universal experience. Through writing this book, the Listons have cultivated a close-knit community and hope to reach a wider audience and inspire them to maintain their relationship with God even in the most troubling times.

Published: April 4th, 2024

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