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Husband raises £1m in memory of late wife
A KIND-hearted Antrobus man who dedicated his life to raising £1 million for the hospital that treated his late wife for skin cancer has smashed his target after just three years.
Elise Roberts was just 37-years-old when she was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2010.
After receiving the devastating news, Elise – who headed up customer services at Barclays, Gadbrook Park - was determined to make a difference to cancer patients of the future and vowed to raise £1m for The Christie, where she was being treated.
Before she died just nine months later, Elise put plans in place for her husband Mark to carry out her wishes and 41-year-old Mark kept his promise, hitting the £1m target last week.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have raised £1m for The Christie, and to have smashed it in under three years is a great achievement,” said Mark.
“I initially expected it to be a life’s work, but hadn’t appreciated the incredible support I would receive, not least from Elise’s friends and colleague at Barclays, who have been fantastic.
“I’m so proud of everyone that has been involved – whether they’ve rafted down the Zambezi River, baked cakes, packed bags, sold sweets, made bracelets, parachuted out of plans, climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro, or simply made a donation, every single person has helped to make this happen for Elise.”
The Christie is a charity close to Mark’s heart as it was to Elise’s, with both their families touched by cancer and the work the Manchester-based hospital does.
Before Elise’s illness they had taken great care of her father Frank, who was under The Christie’s care for more than six years, but sadly passed away just 10 months after Elise.
Mark’s father Ray has also been under The Christie’s care for eight years and with their incredible care and support, he is living proof of the amazing work that is carried out there.
Caroline Shaw, chief executive of The Christie, said: “I am incredibly proud of Mark for raising this amazing amount of money in Elise’s memory.
“Despite her own illness, Elise wanted to help people.
“I was humbled by the mission she started and what her loved ones have now achieved with passion and determination.
“Elise has left such a strong legacy and this money will give the best possible chance to so many of our patients.”
Mark will climb Kilimanjaro again in September with more than 200 people.
For more information, visit eliseforlife.org