Golf Monthly urges readers to help support Mark Graham who is raising money for the UTS Foundation. By Callum Ferguson
UTS Foundation 72 Holes In One Day Golf Challenge
Mark Graham and three of his closest friends will be completing 72 holes in one day on 30th August to raise money for the UTS Foundation who help over 12,000 people that are battling cancer.
He has currently raised £2,540.00 and aims to reach £3,000.00.
Mark, along with Dave Brannagan, Keith Rafferty and Rob Watkins will be completing the challenge at Heswall Golf Club in Cheshire.
They will be starting their first round at roughly 5am and will be walking about 25 miles, hitting approximately 380 shots each.
Mark has stage 4 metastatic cancer and also has leukaemia with extensive damage to his peripheral nerves from chemotherapy.
“I’ve been battling cancer now for 5 years and over the last 20 months, it has spread to my liver,” Mark said.
“I’m in pain 24 hours a day and have to take a cocktail of drugs to get through the day.
“On a normal 18 hole round on completion, I have to take around 40ml of morphine to deal with the pain.
“So four rounds of golf will really test me but I am determined to do it as so many charities along with the NHS have helped me to survive and I want to give back whilst I am just about able to.”
The UTS Foundation offers a range of fitness-based activities and targets the most vulnerable members of communities.
They have been a huge help with Mark’s care.
Mark has been a member at Heswall since November 2012 which has also supported him throughout his battle.
“In July the following year, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer,” he told Golf Monthly.
“I was told it was serious and required urgent surgery to remove which took place in the August.
“After the surgery, the recovery was difficult and I was told that it had reached my lymph nodes which wasn’t something I understood the implications of at the time.
“I had 4 months of chemotherapy afterwards.
“I had unfortunately over the same period resigned from one job just before finding out about the cancer, to take up a new job whose offer was retracted once they learnt of my condition so I was also left unemployed.
“Heswall Golf Club at the time were great, they cancelled and wrote off the remaining joining fee and they froze my membership so I didn’t have to pay whilst also allowing me to play if I felt well enough.”
In 2015, Mark learnt that the cancer had spread to his liver and needed had to have further major surgery to remove the tumour.
In fact over the next 2 years, he had almost 12 operations to remove tumours in the liver.
“This left me with chronic pain and hernias across my stomach and difficulty with my bowel and bladder movements and being able to control them,” Mark said.
“I also found out that I had also developed blood cancer, Leukaemia and had to start daily, permanent chemo drugs to control it.
“And that’s where I am to date, surviving and trying not to think too much about pain and death.”
Mark remains a keen golfer and continues to play despite suffering immense pain during his rounds.
If you would like to find out a little more, visit his sponsorship page where it tells you about Mark and the charity he is supporting.
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