Mark Kari, a longtime Outsports community member and avid sports fan, has died of complications related to ALS. He was 49.
In the early years of Outsports, Kari — known to many as Canmark — was a regular on our discussion board and attended the early iterations of our Outsports Reunions.
Kari created the Web site GayBaseballDays.com, which the community used to track LGBT events at Major League Baseball games. He also started an LGBT night with his hometown Toronto Blue Jays.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, attacks motor function leading to loss of voluntary muscle functions. There is no known cure. Awareness was brought to the disease in 2014 when the Ice Bucket Challenge became a worldwide Internet event.
Kari lived his life openly, not shying away from photos and social media. He wanted to use his life to help others understand the disease.
In 2013, Kari wrote an essay for Outsports about his life, ALS, and the road ahead for him that he knew would end too soon.
People may associate ALS with Lou Gehrig or the famous physicist Stephen Hawking, but mostly it affects ordinary people who, because of the debilitating nature of the disease, are often not seen or heard by the public. I hope people can learn a bit about this mysterious and life-changing condition.
We at Outsports will miss Kari’s contributions to the community. He was a lovely man with a kind soul. Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.