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Utah Instagram 'class clown' becomes father and cancer patient in same week

Mark and Chanelle Doyle with their two children. Mark Doyle was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer.

Mark and Chanelle Doyle with their two children. Mark Doyle was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer. (Steven Wood Photography)


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Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

LAYTON — Mark and Chanelle Doyle were waiting for the arrival of their second child, when just days before his birth, Mark learned he had stage 4 melanoma. While these significant life changes have rocked their world, Doyle continues to bring joy to thousands of Instagram followers through humorous memes.

Several years ago, Mark Doyle started an Instagram page dedicated to posting funny memes, after he was spending too much time texting them out separately to one of his coworkers and to his brothers. Playing with the first letters of he and his wife's first names, he coined the account "Mucus and Cheese."

A self-described class clown, Doyle said he scours the internet for the memes he posts, and he sometimes posts originals as well. He tries to keep them pretty family-friendly, which pays off, since he gets messages from fans telling him they look at the memes with their teenage kids as their nightly ritual. He's even taken the most shared memes from his page and published a couple of books.

Books of memes created by Mark Doyle, of Layton, are sold online at shoploveyourgut.com.
Books of memes created by Mark Doyle, of Layton, are sold online at shoploveyourgut.com. (Photo: Screenshot)

At the beginning of February, Instagram disabled the mucusandcheese account just as it was about to reach 40,000 followers. Doyle hasn't gotten a response from Instagram as to why his account was removed, but based on restrictions they'd previously placed on him, he suspects it's because of some political memes he had posted on his page.

He has since tried to rebuild his following on a backup account, mucusaurelius, which has reached more than 6,200 followers since February.

Last year, extreme exhaustion led Doyle to speak with a hormone doctor, who then prompted him to get a calcium heart score. An X-ray detected a small mass in his lung, and when he returned to have it checked out 10 months later, it had tripled in size.

"It was a miracle that we found (the cancer), and the reason they found it was (because) I was just so tired and had brain fog all the time … I was literally tired 100% of the time," Doyle said.

It was about March 3 that he was diagnosed with the stage 4 melanoma that is affecting his lung, his ribs and his adrenal gland. On March 6, Doyle's second child was born.

When he was first diagnosed, the 42-year-old Doyle said he was instantly confronted with his mortality and the importance of family and friends.

"We shared some tears, but having a baby come in kind of superseded everything really, and it's such a time of joy that we kind of forgot that I had cancer," Doyle said. "And it really hasn't been sad ever since."

Doyle doesn't know what the future will hold, but he said having a new little life in their home and seeing their daughter love her little brother has filled their house with happiness and joy.

Doyle continues to post to his Instagram page regularly. He said laughing at memes has been healing for him.

"I've always been kind of the class clown, and maybe I deal with trauma with humor," Doyle said. "I deal with sadness with humor, I deal with the good times with humor. So it's kind of innate, and so having (a) humorous outlook has been really natural."

Doyle said he should be a nervous wreck with everything he's dealing with, but instead, it makes him feel really happy that he's bringing joy to others during their trying times through his Instagram posts, and it helps him forget his own problems.

"Not a day goes by where 10 people don't express their appreciation for making them laugh on their hard days," he said.

{#memes}

To treat the cancer, Doyle is undergoing immunotherapy, which is going really well. He said he feels better than he has in a year.

Many have reached out to help the Doyle family, including donations to a GoFundMe* account set up to help with mounting medical bills that has reached nearly $25,000.

"Everyone deserves the support to fight for life," donor and follower Brigham Doxey posted two months ago. "You've contributed to the well-being of more people than you'll likely ever know, and I'm happy to be able to give even a small amount of that back."

*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Meg Christensen is an avid reader, writer and language snob. She received a bachelor's degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism in 2014 from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Meg is passionate about sharing inspiring stories in Utah, where she lives with her husband and two kids.

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