ON THE OCHE

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WHEN March policeman Mark Cross was diagnosed with breast cancer, he had no idea what lay ahead. Now, after more than a year of treatment, he is raising money to say thank you to the hospital that saved his life.

Mark’s world came crashing down in September 2009 when, after much urging from his wife Kim, he saw his GP about a change to his left nipple.

Dr Beesley, at March’s Cornerstone Practice, immediately referred him to Peterborough hospital where, following a battery of tests including a biopsy, he was given the crushing diagnosis.

Mark, who is 42-years-old, said: “I knew breast cancer was something men could get, but it never crossed my mind, ever.

“When I was going through the tests, I was almost convinced it was something serious, especially going through the biopsy, which is quite a daunting experience.

“By the end, I was 75 per cent convinced that was what it was, but it still doesn’t prepare you for the shock that you have cancer at 41-years-old. It’s not something you ever think about.”

Mark’s cancer diagnosis came just three weeks after he first saw his GP and he praised Dr Beesley for her help. At the end of October, he was in hospital, having a mastectomy.

Mark needed a second operation to remove 15 lymph nodes from under his left arm, but they came back clear of cancer cells.

After being allowed home for Christmas, Mark was launched into seven months of chemotherapy, followed by three weeks of radiotherapy in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, which ended in August.

He is now hopeful the cancer is all gone and is feeling positive about the future.

“The surgeon said to me, on the day of my first operation: ‘As far as I’m concerned, it’s gone.’”

Now Mark, who is secretary of the North Witchford Darts League and the UK Signs & Promotions Summer League, is busy planning a fundraiser to raise money for the Oncology department at Peterborough City Hospital.

He said: “I saw a lot of people in far worse positions than I was. If I can help them, I’m just doing my bit to say thanks.”

On Saturday, February 19, he will be hosting a darts competition at the GER Sports Club in Robingood-fellows Lane, March.

He will be running different competitions on the day, including draws and an auction, with all proceeds going to the hospital.

Doors will open at 11.30am and draws will be made at 1pm. The competitions will include Cricket Triples, Pairs, Singles and a High Score Board.

The entry fee will be £5, all in, and there will be trophies for all the winners and runners up on the day. Everyone is welcome. There will be no cash prizes and it is not an Open Competition as all monies will be donated to charity.

If local individuals or businesses can assist with draw prizes, contact Mark at crossie180@talktalk.net