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Jolted to a new focus on life, Bayside man now aims to help others realize ambitions
Everyone has a secret ambition in life, notes Bayside’s Mark Patton. Country music superstar Garth Brooks had a try with Major League Baseball’s San Deigo Padres earlier this year. For NBA superstar Michael Jordan, it was the Chicago White Sox a few years back.
Of course, not all such ambitions are sports related. For Patton, who had a career in marketing, the dream was to have a direct-response business involving marketing which would noticably impact individual lives.
But first he had to make sure he had a life – literally.
Patton, a St. Louis native who ended up in Milwaukee for marital reasons, was diagnosed in 1991 at age 41 with an incurable form of cancer. Doctors didn’t give him long to live, but he didn’t give up hope, opting for an aggressive treatment program that included low- and high-dose chemotherapy, multiple sessions of total body irradiation, two bone marrow transplants, and two stem cell transplants.
And that was only half of it.
Patton and his wife were in Arkansas for a treatment program which involved testing his wife’s blood to see if her blood platelets were compatible with Mark’s blood, so she could be a donor.
“Unbelievably, her blood tests revealed she had leukemia,” said Patton in a recent interview. “We said to each other, ‘How much worse can it get?'”
But Patton has beaten the odds, living far beyond the number of years a doctor said he could expect. The couple now shares “a profound understanding of making the most of every single day,” Patton says.
With his own life refocused, Patton decided he wanted to help others refocus their lives – and maybe find a way to realize their own secret ambitions. He thus started MGC Publications, named after his wife, to produce Ultimate Careers and Businesses. The self-published guide now has listings of about 350 trade associations, government agencies, Web sites, private enterprises, books and other resources that can help people start a new career or advance one they’re already in.
The listing data in Ultimate Careers and Businesses includes dues, benefits of membership, contacts, and number of members. For example, the listing for the National Restaurant Association notes that members receive subscriptions to Restaurants USA and Washington Weekly, discounts on materials, seminars and publications, a free Internet listing, and a toll-free hotline.
The directory, which first came out in 1998, has received national publicity, and has brought some income to Patton, and to the Leukemia Society of America to which he donates a portion of the proceeds for research costs.
With a self-employment revolution taking place there’s demand for directories such as Patton’s. Last year he distributed more than 100 copies of Ultimate Careers and Businesses, but he’d like that number to multiply in the coming years. “If we could get thousands, tens of thousands of them, distributed, we’d could help a lot of people.”
Ultimate Careers and Businesses is available for $12.95 plus $5 shipping and handling, by calling 1-800-531-9874.

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