Broadcaster Mark Radcliffe has unveiled an engraved park bench in his beloved Manchester.
In a twist to the ‘in memoriam’ benches that are a familiar sight across the country, Mark’s bench attests to his recovery from cancer and salutes the scientists, doctors and nurses who are making game-changing progress in tackling the disease.
The inscription reads: “Mark Radcliffe loved sitting here….and still does thanks to advances in cancer research.”
The bench was revealed to launch the ‘Re-Write Cancer’ campaign – a £20m joint fundraising appeal from Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charitable Fund and The University of Manchester.
The campaign aims to help meet the cost of a new £150m cancer research facility at The Christie in Withington. The new building will bring together the largest concentration of scientists, doctors and nurses in Europe to collaborate and accelerate progress for cancer patients and will be twice the size of the Paterson building extensively damaged by fire in 2017.
Radcliffe unveiled his bench in the grounds of The University of Manchester where he studied in the late 1970s.
He said: “It’s an absolute honour to be involved in the Re-Write Cancer campaign. I loved my years studying at The University of Manchester, so it’s the perfect site for the bench.
“Facing a cancer diagnosis was extremely tough – it completely turned my life upside down and made me re-evaluate what really matters to me.
“But thousands of people are in the same boat every year and I was fortunate to receive excellent care at The Christie.”
Mark, who now lives in Knutsford, was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. The 61-year-old had a cancerous tumour removed from his tongue. The cancer had also spread to lymph nodes in his neck. Yet following successful treatment, he returned to the airwaves in February of this year.
He added: “Plans for the new research building sound exciting and it’s amazing that such a world-leading facility will be built on my doorstep in the north west.
“Research into cancer is the key to changing lives now and in the future. Without it I simply wouldn’t be standing – or sitting – here today.”
Benches like Mark’s were also installed in Oldham and Prestwich in tribute to breast cancer survivors Sharon Quennell and Shamilla Mirza.
For more information on the Re-Write Cancer fundraising campaign, go to www.cruk.org/rewrite.