Tracie made the poignant decision to challenge herself to a 12-hour sponsored silence in memory of her brother Mark, who tragically lost his battle with oesophageal cancer in September 2019.  After his cancer surgery Mark was barely able to whisper and so for a long time he had to be silent.  Tracy created a fundraising page on our website in order to help raise awareness of the early symptoms of oesophageal cancer and the associated condition, Barrett's oesophagus.  

Tracie has asked us to share Mark's story as he was the inspiration behind her challenge:

"Mark was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in February 2016. He started chemotherapy in May and had a huge operation to remove the mass in August which left him unable to eat anything solid for quite a long time. He was on liquidised foods for a  while slowly building up to more solids, he did however manage to eat his favourite chocolate so in his words “life is good”. 

Mark never complained and was determined to get back to full strength to live his life with the positivity and optimism he had always had.  In February 2018 he started to have some pain in his ribs. In August that year it was confirmed the cancer had come back and had spread. He had a few sessions of radiotherapy to help with pain but they were fire fighting. 

Mark needed round the clock care for the last few months of his life which he spent mainly at home supported by his amazingly strong wife Eleanor and his sons Alex and George with their partners Sarah and Amber. 

Mark bore the intense pain with such strength and bravery, never complaining and being as independent as he could for as long as he could. 

He passed away very peacefully surrounded by his family in September 2019. He has left a huge hole and he is missed so very very much. 

Mark was the anchor for his family, he remained positive and upbeat. He had a brilliant sense of humour and would turn every sad thought into a joke or opportunity to smile. He told everybody to not worry about him, get out and live their lives and do what makes them happy.  He never wanted a fuss and was very insistent that we weren’t sad.  That was his legacy."

Tracie was not going to just sit at home for the 12-hours, so she upped the stakes and made the most of the easing of restrictions.  She organised a spot of lunch, a play in the park and a game of Ludo. She was wasn't alone as she joined by her dear friend Gale who was fundraising for the charity Myeloma. They even made some brilliant signs to let members of the public know what they were up to.  Looking at the pictures it certainly seems like they had a lot of fun!

Tracie & Gale in the garden Tracie at the park Gale playing Ludo

We would like to express our thanks to Tracie and all her supporters for their donations and their lovely comments.   If Tracie has inspired you to undertake your own challenge to change the future for those diagnosed with oesophageal cancer then please visit our webpage to get started.