“Good luck and come back safe and well”

One mountain. Two heroes. Sir Ranulph Fiennes is on his way to completing the record-setting Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie and has dedicated his latest summit to our amazing shop volunteer, Mark Hughes. 

Mark Hughes, Marie Curie supporter who's living with a terminal illness

Making every day matter

 Mark has long been a hero of ours. He raises funds, spreads the word on social media and volunteers in the Marie Curie Shop, Shoeburyness – all despite living with cancer for the past 16 years and receiving a terminal diagnosis in 2011. In his own words: “I’m determined to keep going as long as I can. Unless I’m on death’s door, I’ll be in that shop and doing my bit. I think staying active is what keeps me going.” 

It’s therefore only fitting that Sir Ranulph Fiennes – another force of nature and Marie Curie hero – has been carrying a photo of Mark for the past fortnight while climbing Europe’s highest peak: Mount Elbrus in Russia. Sir Ranulph now only has four mountains to go before becoming the first person to: 

  • reach both the North and South Poles (done)
  • cross the Antarctic continent and Arctic Ocean (done)
  • climb the highest peak on all seven continents (getting there, with Everest, Kilimanjaro aned Elbrus already under his belt) 

Visit Sir Ranulphs’ JustGiving page to find out more and donate   to this living legend’s Global Reach Challenge, which will provide care and support to people like Mark who are living with terminal illness.

Words of support 

On hearing that Sir Ranulph would be climbing a mountain in his honour, Mark and his wife Jane wrote a letter to say thanks and good luck. Here are some of the words that helped motivate 72-year-old Sir Ranulph to reach the Russian summit:

“It is a great honour and, even though I'm not physically going with you, in a way part of me is with the photo. I hope when all the challenges have been completed and the record is yours, I will get the chance to thank you to your face, not only for taking me along but for all that you have done for the charity and myself.”

Having cared for his first wife, Ginny, through terminal illness, Sir Ranulph knows the value of getting the right care and support at the right time. For this reason, he’s proud to tell Mark: “This mountain is for you”. 

We’ll keep you posted over the next year as Sir Ranulph conquers more peaks in his quest to complete the Global Reach Challenge in aid of Marie Curie. Please help him to reach his fundraising target and support families across the UK by sponsoring his challenge of a lifetime  .