29 Jan Spotlight: Bright Red Chairman, Mark Thompson
It’s estimated that 1 in 2 of us will get cancer. But it’s not something that you necessarily think about – not until it affects you personally.
Unfortunately, Mark Thompson observed his wife’s battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1988. Now that she’s in remission, her experiences with the services has kindled their desire to support Bright Red.
The annual North-East Last Night of the Proms spurred their particular interest in fundraising for Bright Red. This concert takes place in aid of cancer-related charities and particularly to assist the lymph cancer research.
They attended their first charity concert in 1990 in aid of Marrow Stem Cell Transplant, known today as Bright Red. “We did that because my wife had Hodgkin’s disease, back in the 80s and 90s. We came close to charity then, and did lots of fundraising ”, says Mark.
Mark and his family have been dedicated to supporting Bright Red for a number of years now: “We’ve done bike rides, walks, the Great North Run, Blaydon Race, Oktoberfest where Bright Red were one of the beneficiaries – various things over the years. Also my son is training for the Edinburgh Marathon in aid of Bright Red. And he helps with their accounts and admin.”
Mark adds: “I think it’s fulfilling when you can help other people; you get that sense of satisfaction that you’re helping someone in need.”
As a result of his loyal contributions, Mark was invited to become a trustee on the board of Bright Red. He became chairman, when the previous chair retired.
Mark is a Managing Partner at Ryder Architecture, who have also been supporting Bright Red for numerous years.
“We sponsored and cosponsored with other local businesses through charity concerts and other events. People within Ryder do it due to their own volition, not just because the company is doing it. As the firm has grown, Ryder has been a corporate sponsor but through this, individuals have grown close to Bright Red.
It has a real impact on local people. There are a lot of friends who have got involved and helped me. You recognise progress when friends who have never been touched by blood cancer want to support as well.”