Markus Bryant was a strong young man and avid Sioux fan who fought a terminal case of cancer with dignity.
As a kid growing up in Grand Forks, Markus spent hours at the University of North Dakota football games, hoping to catch the eye of his favorite players. Eventually, he became a regular fixture around the Sioux football team and he couldn’t have been happier.
During the 2001 football season, Markus inspired the team showing them courage and unending faith despite his diagnosis of cancer. He wrote notes of encouragement to his favorite team to “fire” them up.
On December 8, 2001, the team, along with Markus, traveled to Florence, Alabama for the Division II National Championship game. Markus cheered loudly, exploding in triumph when the Sioux won the game. He scrambled to the field and took part in lifting the trophy skyward in victory.
In 2002, the Sioux suffered through a tough season with frustrating losses. Yet Markus’ support never wavered. He continued to his letter-writing campaign, making it his goal to encourage “his” team. Although his health was declining, Markus came to practices and games when possible.
At the end of the season, the senior class wanted to leave a legacy of their own. Markus immediately came to mind. The team wanted to start an organization to give back to young people like Markus who show courage in their everyday lives. This is how Holiday Magic From Markus was born. Shortly after the foundation was established in 2002, Markus lost his fight with cancer.
Today this giving tradition continues. Funds raised go towards the purchase of holiday gifts for area children who are hospitalized and enduring their own cancer fight or other serious illness. The goal is to meet every wish for every kid. To date, the foundation has successfully met the goal, making many children set their battles aside as they enjoy their gifts.
Markus Bryant impacted the lives of those who knew him. Because of him, lives continue to be changed and touched.
Holiday Magic From Markus allows student athletes at UND the chance to give back to area children.
To give to this foundation, please visit the donation page of this website.