By Jon King /

A local man is hoping to turn an anniversary he wasn’t sure he’d live to see into an opportunity to help others in the community who find themselves in a similar situation.

When Mark Howell of Brighton was diagnosed with an 18-lb tumor in his abdomen in 2012, he was given 6 weeks to live. But then the community rallied around him with an outpouring of love, finances, food, support, faith, and friendship, giving him the hope he says helped through that dark period.

Tuesday, January 12th will mark the 5th anniversary since he was declared cancer free, and Howell, speaking on WHMI's Mike & Jon in the Morning, hopes to use the nonprofit he founded, Fund A Life, to host an online celebration as they share stories from supporters, friends, family members, and Mark himself throughout the day. "We ask you to join us in the celebration by sharing, donating, and spreading the gift of HOPE for others who desperately are seeking it."

The Von Voigtlander Foundation has pledged a $50,000 match for the day, so they have the potential to raise $100,000 for Fund A Life, which provides financial grants to people who find themselves facing overwhelming life challenges.

"I am using that day to help propel a huge day of giving, celebration, and hope across our community and beyond. We are trying to raise $50,000, award 5 grants, and celebrate 5 years – the gift of 5!"