A FAMILY which has raised thousands of pounds in memory of a well-known Darlington man is getting ready for a 26 mile charity trek.

Mark Scarr was just 55 when he died from liver cancer in February 2020.

Described as a "tower of strength" for his wife Christine, children Luke and Rebecca and his wider family, friends and colleagues, he was also a well-known businessman, who had founded Newton Aycliffe steel fabrication company FabTech with friend Ronnie Carty.

Previously fit and active, the grandfather-of-two, who was a keen skier and a golfer, was diagnosed shortly before his death after going to see his GP for a routine check up.

Christine said: "It was just so shocking to go from having Mark by my side every day to losing him a matter of months later.

“Something showed up in his bloods, he had a few further tests and shortly after he was found to have inoperable liver cancer. This was especially difficult because Mark was such a big character in everyone’s lives, we all thought of him as invincible.

“It’s been a painful reminder not just for me but for all his family and friends of how fragile life is and continuing to raise money in Mark’s memory is a fitting way to honour a remarkable man.”

The couple's family and friends and thrown themselves into fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support and as a group have already raised more than £12,500.

Sixteen people will be taking part in the Macmillan Yorkshire Dales Mighty Hike – a 26 mile trek – on Saturday.

Christine added: "I'm excited but nervous – I've done all the training but it's going to be challenging. I know it's going to be a highly emotional day. We're under pressure to finish in a good time because England are kicking off at 8pm."

A golf day is also due to take place at Darlington Golf Course, where a memorial bench has been installed, on August 20 and a coffee morning on September 28.

Christine, who is now retired, has been fundraising for the charity for years, organising Macmillan Coffee Mornings through her job as store manager at Marks and Spencers in Teesside.

She said: "Our family chose Macmillan as the charity we wanted to raise money for. Macmillan nurses were just amazing, providing specialist care for Mark in his final days and also providing support and guidance for family as we tried to come to terms with what was happening.

“Mark and I got together in 2010, quickly became inseparable and I was welcomed into his very large family which was wonderful. I am especially close to his two adult children Luke and Rebecca.”

She added: "I’ve always been aware of Macmillan and the great work they do in support of people living with or affected by cancer. At M&S as store manager we used to hold a Macmillan Coffee Morning every year and would regularly outperform much larger stores; this and the fact they were so supportive during Mark’s illness meant they were the natural choice.”

Michelle Muir, from Macmillan, said: “We are so thankful to Christine Scarr and all Mark’s family and friends in choosing to raise money for Macmillan. Cancer can strike at any time and the signs and symptoms might not always be obvious or even present at all, which makes it so important to have regular health checks at any age.

“Christine and the Scarr family and friends have really found a wonderful way to honour Mark’s memory and help our charity at time when fundraising has been so challenging.”

To donate visit https://tributefunds.macmillan.org.uk/In-Memory/Mark-Scarr

Anyone in need of cancer support can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, which is open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm, or visit Macmillan’s Online Community.”

If you’d like to support Macmillan but need some advice on where to get started or what you can do within the current government guidelines, please do get in touch with the Macmillan Supporter Care Hub by emailing fundraising@macmillan.org.uk or calling 0300 1000 200.


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