Marc's Dash was put together to honor Marc's service in the community as a firefighter, paramedic, man of God and friend to anyone in need. Marc answered the call everyday whether it was from the fire station, God, family or person in need, he was there faithfullly. Through his four year battle with cancer, you could find Marc mowing the lawn or singing on the worship team at CenterPoint Church, helping raise cancer awareness at various fundraisers, hanging Christmas lights for friends and spending time with his beloved family.
Marc was active in our charities for the run, it is our honor to continue his work with The Firefighter Cancer Support Netowrk and Safetynet of Missouri. Read more about their missions under the "Charities" tab.
Marc sings the Garth Brooks song, "The Dance," from his hospital bed just days before he was called home by the Lord. God has truly blessed the Wright family, all of Marc's friends and those who have been touched by him through this video
As told by his brother Don Wright, Jr.
I had never given it much thought until the day we got news that we may not have as much time left with Marc as we had all hoped. After the flood of tears, I had a moment with Marc when I heard him speak of life’s Dash. As I curiously listened to his soft spoken words, he mentioned that on everyone’s grave stone there was a beginning date and an ending date. He said that although those dates were significant, one, more joyous than the other, the real significance came from the dash that separated the beginning of earthly life from the end of earthly life.
I quickly understood his thought process. He was speaking about how the dash represented a person’s life. Even in his time of despair he gracefully spoke of how he hoped his dash was worthy and of course challenged us to make sure our dash also counted. Although this is probably spoken of often, it was actually new to me, as I had never really thought of it and coming from my Marc, it impacted me deeply.
Over the past several weeks since hearing him speak those profound words, I have constantly reflected on the contents of his dash. I also witnessed amazing glimpses of his dash through the countless witnesses that came to his defense during his final days along his battle. Many people live 2 lives. A life that is more personal and linked to family and friends and one that is usually more work related. In Marc’s case, they were one in the same.
Marc’s life cannot be expressed easily by words, as his actions spoke so much louder. From the time he was a child, some would consider my brother’s demeanor as small, fragile, and meek. The actuality was, that even then, he had the spirit of a lion and the heart of a lamb. We shared many things together when we were growing up. He followed me around constantly. I always felt I needed to protect him and teach him, but through the years, as you would expect, he taught me more. I never heard him speak in anger or voice words of hatred. There was always a silver lining. Marc was the one that was always thinking of others. Marc was the one that was always lifting up the downtrodden. Marc was the one that saw hurt in those around him and freely gave his love to them in an attempt to lift them up. He was too thoughtful for a person of such young age. He was always thinking about me, even when I didn’t want it, require it or expect it, even if it was as simple as him storing and saving a piece of unwrapped candy that he knew I liked in his pocket, yes, fuzz was included.
Many have always seen us as being 2 unique personalities. But in reality, we are the same. It’s just that he let his light shine through freely. Over the years, a small % of his love has rubbed off on me, but I’ll never have that freedom to show love and compassion that came so natural to Marc. For years, although very close, many of those years we were on separate but parallel paths in life. As I reflect on those paths, although they took different roads, they were always headed in the same direction and towards the same goal. Family, friends, faith and fun. He always seemed to carry the bigger load.
If he was only defined as a great brother to me and my sisters, it would be enough, but it doesn’t stop there. He was a devoted and faithful son and loved his parents with a full heart. He was an inspirational uncle to many nieces, nephews and cousins, he was even Uncle ‘like’ to countless neighborhood children and athletes on my son’s sports teams. When his car was parked in our driveway, which was a given when not on duty, everyone knew there would be some sort of game or activity yet to take place in our yard and come running. He was both of my son’s biggest fans in all of their sporting endeavors. He went to nearly every practice and every game. The stories are endless.
It doesn’t end there, what could I possibly say about his career? The lives he saved, the lives he brought back, the tragedies he helped people through, and the loving friends he made and the mentor he became. No words can ever explain. I saw that over the few weeks as the brotherhood in love showed up in masses. He was proud of his career and his success, but those things were secondary to the friends and lives he touched throughout his journey. It was never a secret, he was not a big fan of school. Since a very young age, he knew he wanted to be a fire fighter. From his perspective, ‘why did he have to waste his time in school?’ It was a mere formality as he could not wait until the day would come that he could fulfil his dream. He was ‘chief’ to so many, captain, lieutenant, mentor and friend. He left many PT jobs while on the Boone County fire dept in order to go to a call. His radio was always on and he was always anticipating when his station tones would be heard. That was his love, his passion and his priority. There was no way a PT job was going to interfere with his passion and longer term goals.
As many of you know, he loved his phone because of all the information that he could get from it all day long. He was up on all current events, weather forecasts, local and national news and all sporting events that he loved. He loved to take pictures and had a gifted eye for a beautiful picture and on occasion even a funny one. He loved Facebook, Instagram and snapchat. He loved social media. In this life he would delete any picture or post that did not get at least 100 ‘likes’. Only in his departure would he take social media by storm. Oh how proud he would be that his story has reached and touch so many. Using his voice in his darkest moments to lift up so many. Over 2 million views, news outlets, radio and yes even Garth Brooks teared up. He continued to define his dash up until the bitter end.
Marc’s life, ‘his dash’ is so full, so powerful, so special and so authentic. As a child, he lifted others up through his gentle charm, as a young man he inspired others through his faith and demeanor, as an young adult, he showed others that actions are more louder than words, and even during his final days, he found a way to witness to millions in an expression of what life is truly about. When I used to hear Marc sing the song ‘The Dance’ by Garth Brooks, I always thought he was singing about failed relationships in life and how they impacted him. But that day last week when he sang it while on deaths front door, only then did I truly understand the words coming from his beautiful voice, it was about Life itself. No more applicable than Marc’s life at that very moment. Marc’s Dash was Marc’s Dance. He would never have given up the pain of these last 3 years to miss his amazing Dance. He loved God, his family, his friends and his countless brothers and sisters from the fire and EMT departments. He loved life itself. Well done brother. We all should strive to have a Dash as meaningful and as full as yours. You set the bar. I love you.