In this weeks meet the team we say hello to our numbers man Mark. He's the Treasurer of Annabel's Angels and a damn fine man to boot. Here he shares his story: Who are you?
I'm Mark, I've lived in Derby all my life. I currently work in Supply Chain/Production Line Scheduling for a Mercedes Benz commercial Truck Business involved in converting vehicles to a more environmentally friendly fuel, using LNG and CNG. I am married to my lovely Japanese wife Yuka and have a Miniature Schnauzer I love dearly called Eddie.
How did I get involved with Annabel's Angels?
I've known Simon for the best part of 24 years now. My brother Matthew and I have a deep friendship with Simon. All three of us have shared many challenges physically and emotionally, and having known Annabel also for the whole length of time she and Simon were together, it was not a question of do I get involved, it was a question of when. I feel I needed to be part of this group in whatever way I could. I saw Simon from the moment he had the seed of this idea in his head and he and the others were driven to make Annabel’s Angels succeed and I feel we have all achieved a lot in one year considering the grief and turmoil Simon and the others must have been under.
How involved are you/what do you do?
I am the Treasurer for the group. I hope I can add some help to whatever Annabel’s Angels organises and I hope Simon feels I would be involved in all he does even though sometime s my name is not at the top of the list.
I tend to stay in the background, there are a lot more outgoing people involved who are the true face of the Angels but as a trusted friend I feel very honoured to be given the task of looking after the finances for the group. Having kept a relatively tight leash on spending, we can all see the rewards of a first year in selling merchandise and the donations we have already made to several worthwhile causes with more to come.
Give an example of what you’ve done and what you’ve learned since getting involved.
I am a very fortunate person, I have a great family, always had a job, and never suffered from a personal tragedy as strong as Simon has endured. Annabel was the first close friend I lost to cancer which hurt me deeply at the time. Not only losing a friend but watching Simon and keeping him company in the days after, having seen the events unfold leading up to and after Annabel’s passing and Simon's bereavement and that of all people connected, I hope I can personally become a better person and be a little less selfish, and spread the word of our group in order to reach more people.
I have been involved in mostly everything Simon and the team have done. The bag packs and fund raising days have shown me that even though in our day to day lives we all pass by people in the street with our heads down and our faces blank, I now know most people have been affected in one way or another by this terrible disease and when Simon and the team organise these days it is not only raising money but connecting with people and sharing the loss everyone feels , which in part makes a better community for all.
I know Simon has the selfless attitude I wish I could have. I feel this is rubbing off on me and helping me to become a better person the more time I spend supporting the charity.
How do you see Annabel's Angels progressing?
I want the “brand and message” of Annabel’s Angels to become a focal point for patients and families to connect and share experiences. The isolation some people must feel either suffering from this disease or having a family member coping with it needs to be addressed. The support of services to enable this to happen I hope can be taken nationwide and we can all look forward to a time when people know there is a network or platform like ours where people can visit to never feel alone or unaided.