Mark and his family

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and sometimes we find ourselves facing challenges we could never have anticipated. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what the future holds, but it’s important to remember that we don’t have to go through these difficult times alone.

We often feel that we are ready for whatever life throws at us, but there are some things you just can’t prepare for – like Freemason and taxi driver Mark’s sudden diagnosis of stage three prostate cancer, which impacted his job, his relationships, and very soon afterwards, his financial situation.

When Mark woke up one morning with terrible pain in his abdomen, he booked a doctor’s appointment, only to discover that he had been living with stage-three prostate cancer. For the first few weeks, after his diagnosis, he didn’t feel any different, but then he started to feel tired, experienced extreme pain, and things became increasingly difficult. Alongside the cancer, he suffered a serious gallbladder infection and sepsis, all of which had a huge impact on his mood and behaviour, causing a relationship breakdown between him and his wife and children.

Because of the pain I was experiencing, I was treating my family terribly; I wasn’t myself, so I had to move out of the family home and into a hotel with just a few carrier bags of clothes – I was a broken man. I wasn’t working because of the pain, so I really started to struggle both financially and emotionally.


In a short period of time, Mark went from being a healthy, working family man, to being alone, suffering, and in great need of support. This is when he decided to take action.

I didn’t know about the MCF until my almoner informed me about it. After I called for help, a Visiting Volunteer came to see me in my hotel room and helped me fill out forms and recognised I was in a desperate place – he told me, “you need help, my friend” and I broke down and accepted it.


An MCF Adviser then visited Mark and informed him about our grants to help with daily living costs; these were quickly paid to him whilst he was unable to work. After some time, Mark returned home, still struggling for work and feeling distant from his family, but in a much calmer place knowing he had the support of the MCF behind him. On top of the regular financial grants, we were able to cover the cost of a boiler replacement in his home in a matter of weeks.

I’ve got four children who didn’t speak to me for a while because of the way I treated them, but with time they realised I wasn’t myself, and I’m now back home and in their lives. I still get tired every now and then because I went through invasive radiotherapy, but I now have the all clear for cancer, my gallbladder has been removed, and I’m back working – touch wood things stay positive!


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