Highest hopes for Bradley

Mark Rycraft pictured with Bradley Lowery.

Mark Rycraft pictured with Bradley Lowery.

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A SHOPPING centre boss will walk across the top of an iconic North-East building to raise funds for a young cancer victim – despite having a fear of heights.

Mark Rycraft, manager of Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, will take part in a glass roof walk over the top of Gateshead’s impressive Sage building, which is upto 120ft-high.

His daredevil feat is in aid of Bradley Lowery, a two-year-old from Blackhall who has been struck down with rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Since Mark, 42, who lives in Hartlepool, became involved in fundraising for the toddler through efforts by Hartlepool Round Table, which he is a member of. He has been touched by Bradley’s plight and is doing all he can to help raise awareness of the youngster’s ordeal.

He is helping Bradley and his family, including parents Gemma and Carl Lowery, to raise the profile of Bradley’s illness, to help raise the £50,000 needed for US treatment in case of a relapse.

Since Bradley was diagnosed in January, £26,000 has already been raised.

Mark has already set up a website and put together a promotional video trailer and is selling wristbands online and also within the shopping centre, at First Class Shoe Repairs.

But Mark wanted to go one step further – literally – by taking part in the sky-scraping feat.

Mark – who has a three-year-old son Kalell, bringing the harsh reality facing Bradley closer to home – said: “I hate to say, I have a slight fear of heights.

“But when you compound that with walking on a sloping glass roof at that height, I think I’m just terrified by that concept.”

He will climb through a hatch near the top of the building before being led across the roof on ropes, and must wear special footwear during the feat, which he will complete on September 28.

He added that from Christmas, all donations into the shopping centre grotto will go to Bradley, and revealed that Bradley would be the main charity being supported by the Round Table’s Hartlepool Beer Festival this year, which runs from October 11-12 in the Borough Hall.

Mark said since his involvement with the family, he had been impressed with the generosity of the East Durham community in supporting Bradley and he hopes to spread the word further afield about Bradley’s cause.

Bradley’s mum Gemma said: “Mark has been amazing since he started to be PR manager for Bradley’s appeal.

“He has spent a lot of time and effort doing all sorts of behind-the-scenes work, I can’t thank him enough.

“He has giving the appeal the boost it needed because of his expertise, contacts and the time he puts in.

“The fact he is going a step further and climbing on the Sage roof to raise money and awareness is brilliant.

“He is a very kind and supportive man.”

Follow @bradleysfight on twitter and Bradley Lowery’s fight against neuroblastoma on Facebook. To sponsor Mark, visit www.gofundme.com/SageGlassRoofWalk