Dad with terminal cancer to skydive as a thank you to hospital

Mark Clark who has a brain tumour is taking on a skydive for charity. Pictured with his son Oliver SUS-180406-172527001
Mark Clark who has a brain tumour is taking on a skydive for charity. Pictured with his son Oliver SUS-180406-172527001

A dad diagnosed with terminal cancer is taking on a skydive this weekend to raise funds for the hospital which has looked after him so well.

Mark Clark, from Ambersham, better known as Mark Francis, was given 18 months to live in April last year after a scan revealed he had a brain tumour.

Overnight, the career blacksmith had to shut down his business of 35 years in Halnaker and underwent surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

He said: “My life came to complete grinding halt but the people at the hospital have been absolutely brilliant, the nurses, and that’s why I want to raise money, to say thank you for all their hard work.

“We’ve raised about £3,500 so far, I’m doing a skydive on Saturday. Any other donations would be very welcome.”

A keen horserider before his diagnosis, Mark, now 57, enjoyed steeple chase events and said he expected jumping out of an aeroplane would be far less frightening than jumping on horseback.

Mark has had to give up his horse and his driving licence after the tumour claimed the sight in his left eye but he said he still went out and did as much as he could.

“You can go forwards, you can’t go backwards. It’s the only way of looking at it,” he said.

A Justgiving page has been set up by Mark’s wife, Sally, and the couple have a 13-year-old son, Oliver.

Donations are still coming in for the appeal in aid of the neurology department at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, where Mark is being treated.

Mark said: “Everyone’s been very supportive, lots of good wishes and things and people have been very generous with their donations, I’m humbled by how generous people are and the support of my family and friends.

“They’ve been pillars around me, they’ve been brilliant.”

To support Mark’s jump, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/markclarksskydive