My name is Mark Sims I was diagnosed with Stage 4 malignant melanoma on the 18th of February last year at the age of 27. I’m a qualified doctor and my life has changed inconceivably over the last year and a bit.
I’ve now raised £64000 for cancer research UK. This is dedicated to those people who participated into the drug trials many whom would have died so that I could have lived. It is due to them that their are treatments available to patients like me. Along with the blog my story has been in many national newspapers and international and national magazines. I’ve been on BBC local radio and on TV starring in “Before I Kick The Bucket”. Plus appearances on BBC, ITV and London Live News Channels. From this work I’ve been awarded the following prizes:
Top Doc on Social Media – from the BMA
Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award 2016 – from the University Of Leicester
Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Award – Ambassador of the Year
British Citizen Award for Volunteering and Charity Fundraising
Now the important bit
Please give generously and spread your sunscreen copiously.
Under the Skin: A Special Investigation
Before I Kick The Bucket
10 thoughts on “About”
I just wanted to congratulate you on your incredible fundraising effort, it’s amazing!!
I was hoping that I might be able to share some information with you about Trekstock a relatively new and small cancer charity aimed at supporting young adults (18-39) to thrive through and beyond cancer. I was diagnosed with melanoma (stage 3 – as it had already spread to several lymph nodes in my groin) last year. I had 3 surgeries but wasn’t eligible for any clinical trials due to the date of my last surgery / the trial not yet being open. As a result of feeling totally lost and alone I went online and came across Trekstock. I have currently put my job as an F2 junior doctor on hold and I’m working for Trekstock for a few months.
Trekstock launched THRIVE in April with the aim of meeting the unmet needs of young adults who have / had cancer. THRIVE provides vital online support, comprehensive health information and connections to peers – all in a format that is both easy to access and the preferred platform for this demographic. All content, peer reviews and the growth of support services is continually assessed by Health Programmes Manager, Dr. Felicity Williamson in order to achieve Information Standards accreditation. Our team of authors are a group consisting of doctors, nutritional experts and medical researchers, some of whom have been personally affected by cancer. We hope that you might take the time to have a look over the site as we are always grateful for any feedback or suggestions. The articles on melanoma are due to go up on the site this week – so we’d be particularly grateful if you’d feedback on those…
Part of my job involves developing the new ‘Young Person’s Network’. This contains several links to a range of blogs and personal journeys – all young adults who have experienced cancer (you’ll see a link to my cancer blog on there too). Currently I am the only young adult with melanoma in the network, however, given that skin cancer is the most common cancer in my age group, I know there are many other young adults in the UK in a similar position to me. It would be great if you might consider joining the network – and sharing some info about the network on your blog – so that other young adults with melanoma in the UK can support and connect with each other.
Any questions or suggestions, please get in touch.
Many thanks for your time,
Hope you’re well.
I’m a Producer at ITV’s Good Morning Britain. We’d be really keen to have a chat about your story.
Could you pop my colleague an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7827 7302
Just wanted to mention that the reason I sent my first email was because I read your story in Reveal and was really moved & wanted to help. I wish all the best in the future whatever you decide to do.
Thank you for providing this informative blog and for raising awareness.
I hope you don’t mind me reaching out – i’ve kept up with your blog since watching a TV programme called before I kick the bucket on the BBC.
I was particularly interested as I also had a melanoma, in my case an early one that hasn’t spread, although the experience of waiting on results of biopsies, lymph node scans etc was challenging enough for me to empathise to the best extent I can.
I also visited Saskia Reeken in Kingston – mentioned in an earlier blog of yours – who was excellent.
The reason I am getting in touch is that when I read you visited Saskia I figured you must live somewhere within touching distance of West London, where I live with my wife and children and run a corporate health company. Prior to this I spent 15 years as a Personal trainer and then a gym owner.
I am not sure what the position of your medical team (or yourself) is on the benefits of physical exercise in “wrestling melanoma”, or even if it is a possibility for you whilst on treatment – but if I can support you with any physical training to help you build muscles, heart, lungs or whatever matters in your drive to progress (regression) and recovery, i’d like to help.
I’m embarrassed to say that I was completely ignorant on all fronts when the melanoma was found. Your blog was a real education for me when I was trying to work out what having melanoma meant or could mean – reading an account from yourself, a trained doctor, meant a lot to me as i’m sure it does to many, many other people – if I can provide any of the resources I have available in return, and help in any small way, that would be a pleasure.
I couldn’t see anywhere to send you an email – which I would have preferred to do – which is why I posted here.
My email is email@example.com – I won’t put my number up publicly but would be delighted to share it with you.
Hey, thanks for your message I’m very glad that your melanoma has not spread. I no longer live in West London. Unfortunately my body has wasted to a significant degree due to the side effects of the steroids. So I don’t think I’d be able to take you up I on the kind offer.
I’m a little late to the game and just found out about your blog. First off, I’d like to thank you for writing this all out. I am chronically ill, and my heart aches for you and your family. Stay strong and keep fighting the good fight! My thoughts go out to you and yours
Thanks. We only have one choice… And that’s to keep going! Never never give up x
I can’t explain to you what I want to tell you. Just know you are something truly special.
Dearest Mark and family – all my love to you all. I have followed this blog since Mark started writing it and have been cheering him on during all the many victories along the way. A truly wonderful and inspiring man, a credit to you all. May he rest peacefully.
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Wrestling Melanoma has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 70 Melanoma Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 70 Melanoma Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.