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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

"A Fitting Tribute"

Steps to remember a brave teenager


video

A father has organised a charity walk to raise money for his courageous son, who lost his battle with bone cancer when he was just 19.

Throughout his fight, Marc Nieuwburg showed incredible spirit, finding the strength to laugh at the awful challenges that invaded his teenage years.

He was able to find amusement in the prosthetic leg he was fitted after the cancer spread in the bones in one of his legs and he had to have the limb removed.

Now, five years on, his dad Willy is taking on his own challenge so that money can go towards creating a ward just for teenagers, because when Mark was treated at hospital in Southampton he was the only teenager on the ward.

Marc's Walk aims to raise enough money to build a specialist unit for teenagers at the hospital and the money will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust in order to make this a reality.

Speaking of his son, Willy said: "All the chemo he had, aggressive chemo didn't work, none of it, nothing, made no difference to the tumour at all. Five aggressive chemos and then he had the amputation because it started to the main bone in the leg and then I remember picking him up from the airport when he and my wife came out of the arrivals hall, minus a leg and he smiled, don't worry dad, it's all fine."

Willy describes his son's incredible spirit.

"Marc went off for a walk and said I am going for a walk and after he came back and he said guess what, I was walking along the pier, small level and he jumped off and as he jumped off his leg came off and these two little old ladies were sitting there and their mouths fell open and in their whole lives they have never seen anything like it! His leg came off and he quietly sat down and put his leg back on. He liked that, he used to go into King Street, sit in King Street, take his leg off and start fiddling about with his leg."

In the end, Marc was told he could have an operation to try to remove the 17 tumours in his lungs, but doctors told him that even if it was successful he would be left with two half lungs.

Marc decided against the operation because he wanted to enjoy the short time that was left of his life. He wanted to have fun on his last Christmas and see his friends - and even the simplest thing, to keep his hair.


Marc's Walk will start at St Catherine's where the teenager used to enjoy fishing, around the south coast to St Brelade's Church where he was buried.

Around 100 people are already signed up, but anyone can get involved in the walk which is on 13 August. All you need to do is contact Willy on willy@newtelsurf.com and he will send a sponsorship form.

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