Mark Whiteley
Mark Whiteley's Fundraiser
Sharing Disabled Pending Approval

Help me help Adaptive Divers go diving!

Join me and help make a difference, please give today!

We are no longer accepting donations on this campaign, but there are other ways for you to support us today!

$1,525 towards $2,000

Thanks for clicking on the link and visiting my Diveheart fund raising page. Many of you may know me as a friend or your local handyman. Most of you know my story and my son, Kaleb, who was born with a muscle wasting disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Because of Kaleb's disability he became confined to a wheelchair at the age of 8 and slowly lost nearly all ability to move because of Duchenne. As his care giver I did everything for Kaleb, from dressing him, feeding him, bathing and toileting, doing homework and brushing his teeth. It wasn't easy for him, or I, as he would have loved to walk, run, and do things himself. For me I found scuba diving to be my saving grace and would take off for a week or so once a year when Kaleb was at his mom's. Scuba took me away. I got to escape for a week or so and it recharged my batteries. For Kaleb though, he didn't get to escape. I remember asking him if he wanted to try scuba to get him out of his chair but he said he didn't.

Fast forward a few years to June 2, 2016 and I was introduced to Diveheart by a dear diving friend. After some research I signed up for the Advanced Adaptive Dive Buddy certification and took my first trip with Diveheart mid December 2016. On my first dive with an amazing lady, Jeanette, I knew I was home, I was right where I needed to be, wanted to be. Jeanette is an incomplete quadriplegic who can only lift her forearms while in her wheelchair and then use gravity to bring them down. Once in the water she pulls them to her chest and has to leave them there the rest of the dive. I cried and cried as I helped steer her over the reefs of Cozumel. Over the next four days I dived with two autistic young men, a young lady with Cerebral Palsy and another lady who is an incomplete quadriplegic. My heart was definitely full when I left Cozumel - wanting to do more.

So here I am, asking you to help me help Adaptive Divers go diving. Diveheart does 3-4 trips to Key Largo, FL and Cozumel each year and my goal would be to do 2 of those trips each year as an Advanced Adaptive Dive Buddy. My goal right now is to raise the $1,650 needed to fly to Cozumel and join Diveheart on their December 2017 trip again. The $1,650 includes my air fair, accommodations and food for a week, and 5 days of diving.

Thanks again for clicking on the link and reading this far. Any amount you donate is greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance. Your donation will not only help me but will help Adaptive Divers have a trained Dive Buddy take them diving.

Thank you and God bless.

I asked my girlfriend to help me write things out and this is what she wrote:

We only have one life, and it seems so short. Most of us are able to get out of bed, stand, walk, and move about freely. Imagine if that was taken away. That your only option was to be in a wheel chair, or suffering from debilitating pain that there was no escaping. There is an escape! Scuba diving provides that escape, freedom, and even pain relief. Diveheart is an organization that provides a safe environment for those with disabilities to scuba dive.

I, Mark, have been a certified scuba diver since 2006.I learned of the freedom and joy of diving while providing care for my own son with disabilities. Unfortunately, he was never able to experience the freedom of scuba. When I learned about Diveheart I wanted to help those with disabilities to experience the freedom that scuba diving had provided for me. I volunteered and went for my first dive with Diveheart in December 2016.I was able to witness the freedom that it provided first hand. – Shannon Randall

Just a small donation will go a long way to helping me meet my goal for DIVEHEART.