Turning up the heat for hospice

Mark pictured with his mother, Helen Douglass. EMN-171024-112919001
Mark pictured with his mother, Helen Douglass. EMN-171024-112919001

A Kirton man is preparing to take on a charity firewalk next month inspired by the loss of family members and his personal battles.

Mark Douglass, 43, will be one of many taking part in the fiery fundraiser on Saturday, November 4, in aid of the Butterfly Hospice Trust, a Boston-based facility providing palliative care and holistic support to patients and their families.

A recent picture of Mark. EMN-171024-113035001

A recent picture of Mark. EMN-171024-113035001

As a teenager, Mark sadly lost his mother to breast cancer, and his brother in a motorbike accident in the space of six months.

The father of four said: “At the age of 16 my Mum lost her battle with cancer and this was an awful time. Although 27 years ago, I still battle with this daily.”

Of why he is taking on the challenge, Mark, who works as a civil servant, said: “The work that the Butterfly Hospice does by helping those with palliative care needs is amazing.

“There wasn’t that level of support for my Mum back then.

“I want to support others by fundraising, knowing how their support and care will help families and hopefully give them some light in their darkest hours.”

This is the first time that Mark has ever attempted a firewalk. He said: “I would be mad not to feel apprehensive.”

Of what he thinks his mum would say, Mark said: “I’m sure knowing my Mum she’d advise against firewalking, but maybe that’s a little bit of the rebellious teenager still in me.

“I’m sure she would be proud knowing why.”

The firewalk will be held at Boston Rugby Club on the same night as the club’s firework spectacular.

Anyone can take part, but the Butterfly Hospice are asking walkers to commit to raising a minimum of £70 in sponsorship money.

Call 01205 311222 for more.

To support Mark, search for Mark Douglass on www.justgiving.com

Linda Sanderson is hospice trust manager at the Butterfly Hospice, in Boston.

She said: “We at the hospice are very grateful to people like Mark who take part in our community events.

“I think the firewalk will be an exciting event and I am sure the people taking part will have a great time, by getting involved they are giving back to the community.

“The income raised helps us to continue to provide respite and end of life services to people who really need it.

“Our services are completely free of charge and involve giving people 24 hour individual care.

“My sincere thanks goes to Mark and all the people taking part on Saturday, November 4.”