Dr. S. Mark Bettag’s is board certified in Hematology/Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine. He began practicing in Sheboygan County in 1995. On November 1st, 2004, Dr. Bettag opened Sheboygan Cancer & Blood Specialists.
Going to great heights to provide the very best care for his patients is only one of Dr. Bettag’s passions. He will often refer his experiences as an avid climber. In a recent conversation with Dr. Bettag he pointed out, “You don’t just decide one day to climb a mountain.” He described the preparation and planning that goes into a climb long before he begins an ascent. “And things don’t always go as planned.” A change in weather, an unanticipated obstacle or difficult section can lead to a change of plans, so a climber must always stay focused, maintain control and be thinking ahead. “There are times when you are exhausted and you want to quit... but you can’t. You have to find it within yourself to keep going. You have to trust yourself and your climbing partner and then decide on the next step. Sometimes you may have to turn back; work a little harder, train a little more, improve your skills... and come back another day!”
Photo: “In this photo I was repelling from the top of the Grand Teton. There was a horrible storm the night before (we camped in the saddle between the Middle Teton and the Grand Teton) but the day dawned bright despite the weather the previous night.” – Dr. Mark Bettag
Several years ago, Dr. Bettag offered a presentation titled “Climbing the Summit of Adventure” in which he shared some of his many adventures that took him to remote locations under extreme conditions and involving significant risk. The presentation titled, “Climbing the Summit of Adventure” was filled with awe-inspiring photos and stories and more than a handful of valuable life lessons.
NOTE: If you missed that presentation or would like to see it again... mention it to Dr. Bettag (or me)... and, perhaps, with enough interest he will graciously agree to share his presentation with us once again!?!
“Adventure is NOT about doing extreme things or taking extreme risks,” he reminds us, “but trying new things. An adventure is less about what you are doing or where you are... but who you are with!!!"
“In that way, adventure and adversity often go hand-in-hand,” Dr. Bettag observes. “People who experience adventure together, like those who go through war or experience tough times together (like cancer) often cement their friendships and create lifelong memories.”
On November 1st, to commemorate the fifteen-year anniversary of Sheboygan Cancer & Blood Specialists, Dr. Bettag addressed a letter to the staff which read:
“I frequently tell others that I have the greatest job in the world. I see the very best of humanity each and every day as people struggle with class and dignity while wrestling with their cancer.
“More than that, I work with the very best people on this planet. You all sacrifice for our patients. Your kindness, generosity and the love that you bring every day is inspiring. I truly work with the very best people in the world. You make me a better person for being around your great example. I am blessed to work with you.”
Although few of us will literally (or even figuratively) climb to same great heights as Dr. Bettag, he has been a trusted climbing partner in this life to many; including his patients, colleagues, friends and family; as he has elevated many of us to reach greater heights of our own!
FUNNY STORY: I recall one of the attendees at Dr. Bettag’s presentation asking, “How does your wife feel about your adventurous spirit?” He replied, “She knew exactly what she was getting into! One of the first dates I had with Teresa I took her rock climbing. You see, when you go rock climbing with someone, you quickly learn how well they can handle stress. She passed!” 😊
Congratulations, Dr. Bettag! And, on behalf of so many, THANK YOU!
See additional photos in the link below.