Rallying round tragic Marc

FAMILY MAN: Marc James is pictured with (front, from left) his sister Megan, his parents Alison and Bill, and Stephanie Hughes, Ruth Stanger and Kyle Soakell, who all did a bungee jump to raise cash for Marc
FAMILY MAN: Marc James is pictured with (front, from left) his sister Megan, his parents Alison and Bill, and Stephanie Hughes, Ruth Stanger and Kyle Soakell, who all did a bungee jump to raise cash for Marc

A PROMISING student doctor has been given the devastating news that he only has weeks to live.

Marc James was just half way through his five-year medicine course at university when he began to feel unwell.

At first, doctors prescribed painkillers after the 22-year-old began suffering pelvic pains.

He then underwent tests, only to be told he was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Marc said: “It was just a massive shock and I knew from then, unless I could beat it I would never be going back to uni at all.

“Things aren’t good. I’ve been told its weeks, rather than months.”

Following his diagnosis in October 2009, the Newcastle University student was given treatment at city’s Freeman Hospital, which included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

He had been doing well until June last year, when tests carried out after he came out in a rash found he still had leukaemia, leading its doctors to make the terminal prognosis.

Now Marc’s neighbours from Haswell have rallied around to ensure he enjoys what time he has left and to support his family.

Marc, Alison, 39, dad William, 58, and sister Megan 13, recently spent time away at a holiday park in Ripon thanks to help from fund-raisers.

A bungee jump held at the Oddfellows Arms at the weekend also helping to collect in more cash.

Friends plan to give the money to Marc. But he intends to donate it to the Freeman so it can make facilities more welcoming to young people as they undergo cancer treatment.

Marc added: “I just can’t believe it, everyone’s been so kind.

“I’ve lived here all my life and you just keep yourself to yourself, but to just see everybody, it makes you realise how good people are.”

Amy Steel, 24, a friend of Marc’s who has been involved with the fundraising, said: “We wanted to give Marc something special and as much as we can to help.”

Ruth Stanger, 22, who took part in the bungee event, added: “He’s a really nice lad and when we heard about what had happened, we just wanted to do something.”

Others who also took part in the sponsored jump were Mark Stanger 23, Stephanie Hughes, 20, Kyle Soakell, 19, James Towland, 23, and Natalie Scott, 25.