Mayor tells of his battle with cancer

Paint Bury Lavender Day, which finished with a walk to the Abbey Gardens.    Service in the abbey conducted by Canon Peter Staples, pictured with Mayor of St Edmundsbury Tim Marks.
Paint Bury Lavender Day, which finished with a walk to the Abbey Gardens. Service in the abbey conducted by Canon Peter Staples, pictured with Mayor of St Edmundsbury Tim Marks.

THE Mayor of St Edmundsbury has revealed that he is battling prostate cancer.

Cllr Tim Marks spoke of his cancer fight as he took part in a fund-raising event in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend.

“I went to the doctor because I was going to the toilet more frequently,” Cllr Marks said.

“I went for tests and then I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago on Christmas Eve.”

His wife Margaret, who works for St John Ambulance, told of the phone call from the doctor who is a family friend.

“We got this phone call on Christmas Eve so we knew it was bad,” she said.

“But Tim just said to him ‘Okay, but are you still going to that party tonight’.

“I was in tears, but Tim’s attitude was ‘okay, I’ve got cancer, let’s get on with it, where do we go from here?’.”

Mrs Marks said her husband, who is 75 and a member of Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Police Authority, had continued to take things in his stride even when the disease became more aggressive last year.

He had to undergo courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy to control the disease and now has regular check ups.

“Tim said ‘I’m not going to become my cancer, it has to fit in with my life’.

“To him, cancer is something you live with, not that takes over your life,” Mrs Marks said.

The couple were speaking as they took part in a Paint Bury Lavender Day in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday.

The event included a walk from the arc to the Abbey Gardens where Canon Peter Staples, from St Edmundsbury Cathedral, led a memorial service to those who have died from cancer.

The day, run by the Lavender Mob, included displays of zumba and martial arts outside The Apex and in the Abbey Gardens. It raised £619.89 for Cancer Research UK.

“Many cancers can now be effectively controlled as a chronic disease rather than the death sentence they once were,” said Cllr Marks.

He also revealed that his daughter had twice battled cancer, while the couple have also lost close friends to the disease.