Posted by: Andy | February 26, 2009

Gravely Ill

It is with great sadness that we report that our dad Mario is seriously ill and has been entered into the hospice program. On Saturday, Feb 14th we took him to Arundel Medical Center where he spent 10 days – half of which were in the critical care unit. He fell ill very quickly – within hours after having held a meeting at Goddard on Tuesday, Feb 10th.

Exhaustion, lethargy and mild confusion took over and by Saturday it was bad enough to warrant the visit to Arundel. Upon arrival we discovered he had a fever and his blood work looked very bad. His blood pressure was very low, his INR (measure how how thin your blood is) was off the charts, his calcium levels were very high and he had an irregular heartbeat. He had just begun a new chemotherapy regimen but had to be taken off due to his condition. He was just too weak to continue.

For 10 days in the hospital Mario received multiple treatments to bring his blood pressure up, his blood counts back to the normal range and his calcium down. Upon leaving the hospital on Tuesday, Feb 24th most of his levels were in the acceptable range, however the damage had been done by the rapid progression of the disease. Despite a valiant fight by Mario we came to realize that we were running out of time. The decision was made to take our dad home and place him in the hospice program. Our main goal is to provide comfort, peace and a loving family surrounding where he can spend his final days.

We met with his oncologist as a family today for a final consult – for understanding and closure. We asked about the possibility of recovery from this stage of the disease and were offered little hope. When pressed about how much time our dad might have left, we were told a matter of weeks. All patients are different of course and we are certainly clinging to the hope that a miracle could happen. Dad is just stubborn enough to hang around until the county re-asseses the house in 3 years.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. Fortunately for us, our parents raised a strong family to help lend support in trying and difficult times like these. That helps. We know our dad touched so many people’s lives and we should all strive to learn and lead from his example. He is an incredible father, husband and friend to us all. May God bless him and keep him.

The Acuna Children



  1. Unfortunately I never met your father but from the strength, beauty and kindness I see in Marta every day, that I know was instilled by her loving & supportive family, I too have have been touched by his life.

    My thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time. Let the peace you all seek be provided.

  2. My thoughts are with Mario and his family. I love you!!!

  3. Although I have never met the Acuna family, I have heard so many wonderful stories from Marta and I am saddened to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  4. This is a very very bad new for me, my thoughts are with my great friend Mario and his beatifull family.

  5. I am so sorry – this has come as such a shock as I was with him at the meeting at Goddard on the 10th and he looked so well. I was really hopeful that he was getting back to his usual self and was looking forward to working with him on the RBSP mission. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all

  6. Querida familia

    a las hermosas palabras de Andrés sólo resta agregar que Mario nos demostró permanentemente que se puede estar cerca a pesar de la gran distancia; siempre se hizo tiempo para visitar a su familia argentina, para mantenernos informados sobre cada uno de ustedes, haciendo el esfuerzo de invitarnos a los acontecimientos importantes, mandando mails con fotos, etc.
    Yo tengo la suerte de que Mario sea MI PADRINO!!, el mejor ejemplo de padrino que se pueda tener…se los aseguro.
    Que se quede tranquilo que ambas familias vamos a seguir unidas,en contacto, compartiendo nuestras vidas como hasta ahora; estoy segura que ese es uno de sus deseos.
    Lo que trasciende al hombre son sus obras; Mario es un fiel ejemplo de ello, en todos lo planos de la vida.
    Cariños a mis primos, tía Barbara y sobrinos. Cuqui

  7. sending prayers, hope, and strength to your entire family.

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