A Chichester dad has raised thousands of pounds to thank the NHS for his brain cancer care.
Mark Clark, aged 57, was diagnosed with brain cancer at St Richard’s Hospital in 2017 and given 12-18 months to live. His life completely changed when he was diagnosed with a stage four tumour.
He said: “From that moment, my life was turned upside down and everything changed - I could no longer drive, ride or race my horse and I had to close down my blacksmith business I had been for 35 years and I was suddenly facing a bleak future.”
Despite the difficulties he is facing, Mark took part in the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity Skydive on June 9, falling 10,000 feet through the air, to give thanks for the support he has received from the Neurology Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Mark said: “Once the tumour was removed, I underwent six weeks of radiotherapy at QA and then six months of chemotherapy, during which time I had periods of seizures and frightening hallucinations but received wonderful support and help from the whole Oncology unit under Dr Dubois. My family - wife Sally and my 13 year old son - and good friends have been a great support to me during some very dark moments, but I am delighted that I can take part in the Charity Sky Dive and give back something to the National Health Service.”
Mark has raised £6,674.56 for the Neurology Department to help them enhance services, facilities and research for all patients and staff within Neurology.
He said: “I remain positive and keep very fit, working out at a local gym most days and walking Tarka, our two year old Labrador. A nurse once said to me ‘No one is born with a date stamp’ and I’m nowhere near my sell-by date yet. To all others who have any form of cancer, I say don’t give up.”
Mark visited the Department again in July to hand over a sizeable cheque to Consultant Neurologist Sean Slaught, saying that he is hugely grateful for all of the donations and support received for his skydive.
The Neurology Fund resides within Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. The charity aims to support the patients of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust by improving existing facilities and by providing additional equipment, supporting research programmes and innovation in the development of services and education to both patients and staff.