THE dad of tragic cancer victim Becky Bell has set himself the target of losing 10 stone and raising cash for the charity which supported the youngster.
Mark Bell weighs 25 and a half stone but wants to shed at least three stone by Christmas.
And by pledging to support children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent, Mark knows it will give him the extra motivation to shed the weight.
Mark celebrated his 38th birthday yesterday, the day after Becky’s ninth birthday, and today he will be kickstarting his new lifestyle of no booze, a healthier diet and exercise.
“I’ve needed to lose the weight for a while – I’ve known that but it’s something I’ve just kept putting off,” he said.
“Obviously things have been difficult over the last couple of years, but I knew I couldn’t put it off forever and for health reasons I need to start now and lose the weight.”
Becky lost her brave seven-month battle with brain cancer in January last year, but during the ordeal and ever since her tragic death her loving family have raised between £15,000 and £20,000 for Clic Sargent as well as supporting ward 14 at Newcastle’s RVI Hospital.
Mark, a taxi driver, hasn’t got a cash target of how much he wants to raise through the sponsored weight-loss but knows the motivation of supporting the charity which means so much to the family will help him along.
“It will be tough – I know that but the fact that I’m raising money for Clic will help, it will give me that extra determination to stick at it,” he said.
“I want to lose three stone by Christmas, that’s my first target, but in total I want to lose 10 stone however long that takes.
“I’ll need to kill the drink, sort my diet out and obviously start with more exercise.”
Mark has the backing of wife, Julie, 42, who said: “It will be tough but when we suggested doing it for Clic Sargent, Mark thought that was a fantastic idea, it gives him that extra motivation.”
Julie, a mum of Vicki, 24, and Mark, 13, added: “I think once he starts to see the weight coming off it will give him the confidence when he knows it’s working.”
Mark admits he could do with the helping hand of an expert when it comes to exercise so is appealing for support from any personal trainers in the town.
He is also hoping people dig into their pockets to raise as much as they can for the charity.
He added: “Through all of the fundraising and events we have done, the support we have received from people in the town has been brilliant.”
Anyone who would like to support Mark and pledge money or any personal trainers who would like to help Mark to lose weight should call Julie on 07927225542.