Bosses at The Newey Group are doing all they can to support an employee with a brain tumour, including personally cycling 130 miles to raise money for his immunotherapy.
Mark Thompson from Littlehampton has been working at Newey, formerly Roundstone Nurseries, for nearly 15 years.
He was diagnosed with a stage three brain tumour last August and although it is not curable, it is treatable, so he has had both radiation and chemotherapy.
Mark, 34, is currently undergoing immunotherapy in Germany, having found it to be the most promising option. The treatment is not available on the NHS but family and friends have already raised around £50,000 of the £70,000 needed.
Newey wanted to help, too, so company directors Alex Newey and Martyn Thomas pushed themselves to the limit, cycling from the Chichester office to the Stratford office.
They set off at 6am on Friday, July 26, from Lagness and arrived in Stratford just under 12 hours later.
Sarah Milbourn, head of group HR, said: “As everyone at work, family and friends tracked their journey, and as the working day drew to a close, the welcome party moved to The Bell in Alderminster, waiting in the car park to greet Alex and Martyn as they sped towards Stratford, and moments before 6pm they came into the village.
“Their massive efforts and huge achievement have so far raised £3,815 and we would love it if this could be higher and very much hope to achieve our goal of £5,000.”
Mark’s symptoms started with tingling and weakness in his right arm, then he developed headaches and had problems with his balance and vision. When cancer was finally diagnosed, he was given three to five years to live.
Feeling determined and desperately wanting to see his children grow up, Mark is optimistic.
He said: “The latest scan went pretty well, nothing seen on it. My appointment in London went quick as he said keep doing what I’m doing, also the same in Germany, he said it looks good, keep doing what I’m doing.”
As well as the costs of the treatment, Mark has numerous hospital visits to fund and with two small children, every penny counts.
There is a planned 50-mile walk over the South Downs at the end of September, involving many supporters from the Littlehampton area.
Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sarah-jane-milbourn for more information and to make a donation.
Any funds raised that are not used for the treatment will be used for Mark’s children.