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DRWF Fundraising: 10 year anniversary for The Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre

DRWF Fundraising: 10 year anniversary for The Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre

The patient care centre in Surrey part-funded by DRWF was opened by Sir Ian Botham OBE in 2010.

Published: Jun 04, 2020
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The Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre celebrates a decade of patient care since it was officially opened on the 20th May 2010 by Sir Ian Botham OBE.

The centre, dedicated to treating people with diabetes, was opened at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey, was part funded by DRWF in memory of Stephanie Marks.

Stephanie died from complications related to type 1 diabetes in 2002, when she was 17-years-old.

Stephanie Marks

In June 2003 her family launched the Stephanie Marks Appeal to assist in the relief of people with diabetes and raise awareness about the condition and its associated complications in tribute to their daughter, who had wanted to become a doctor – and raised £1 million.

Sir Ian Botham OBE supported the appeal as a patron and officially opened the Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey, in 2010.

Stephanie’s father, Chris Marks, said: "Ten years on, the Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre continues to strive to provide the very best of care for people with diabetes and education for both patients and healthcare professionals. The main meeting room, where almost all of this education takes place, proudly bears the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation name in recognition and acknowledgement of the huge contribution made to helping the vision of the Centre become reality.

“Thanks to the support of DRWF and others we've been able to create and deliver a bespoke, QISMET certified education program, STEPH (St Peter's Type-1 Empowerment Pathway for Health), which is just one example of what the Centre, the amazing staff who work there and DRWF have achieved, aligned with one of the Foundation's core principles of "providing support to people living with the condition".

“As Stephanie's father, I can only say that the Centre is a fabulous facility but the real lasting legacy to my darling daughter is what happens inside it and this is, in part, thanks to DRWF."

Sarah Tutton, DRWF Chief Executive; Val Hussey, DRWF Trustee; and Jane Sutherland-Earl (deceased), former DRWF Trustee, with Sir Ian Botham OBE at the opening of the DRWF-funded Stephanie Marks Diabetes Research Centre in May 2010

Sir Ian, spoke of his admiration for everything that had been achieved at the opening ceremony: “I am really proud to be a small part of this. What a tremendous achievement, and what a great and fitting way to remember Stephanie.”

Sir Ian also presented a certificate to DRWF Chief Executive, Sarah Tutton and DRWF Trustee Jane Sutherland-Earl in recognition of the charity’s grant of £81,000, the second largest grant received by the Appeal.

Dr Mike Baxter, who was the medical director at the time and spearheaded the project, said: “The community needed a specialist diabetes centre where diabetes treatment, education and research could all be delivered to the ever-growing numbers of people who need our expert help.

“Out of Stephanie’s tragic death there was phenomenal support for this project, and that has not only left a lasting legacy in her name but is a valuable asset for our patients of all ages, their relatives and carers."

Chris Marks added: “It is every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child – especially suddenly and unexpectedly - but when Dr Mike Baxter first asked whether he could try to establish a leading Diabetes Specialist Unit within the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust by launching an Appeal in our beloved eldest daughter’s name with a determination to name the Unit after her, we were overwhelmed but at the same time immensely proud that something potentially so good and positive could possibly come from something so terrible.

“A beautiful and courageous girl for whom diabetes was merely a stumbling block to be overcome, Stephanie’s dream was to become a Doctor – in fact the first line of her draft University application form read, "I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be Doctor”.

“As we now look back on 10 years of the Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre, the sadness and the loss will forever be with us but it is truly wonderful to see a part of her dream a reality with a lasting memorial to her within her chosen profession.”

England cricket legend Sir Ian Botham OBE leads call for DRWF Research support during this challenging time for charities 

Sir Ian Botham OBE recently led a call for people to support DRWF to continue vital work funding diabetes research during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During what is an uncertain time for many charities, the England cricket legend highlights the importance of supporting organisations like DRWF to continue charitable operations.

Sir Ian is no stranger to the challenges faced by families with diabetes – his daughter Becky has type 1 diabetes.

In addition, the Beefy Foundation set up by Sir Ian to raise funds for specific projects relating to chronic illness and other challenges that young people face has donated funds to DRWF.

In a specially filmed video message for DRWF, Sir Ian said: “These are difficult times for all of us and even more than ever charities require your help and support. By supporting DRWF, you will enable the continuation of funding much needed research and providing support for people living with diabetes.”

He added: “The work DRWF does is invaluable. The ups and downs of people living with diabetes, both type 1 and 2, face on a daily basis are tough on both the body and mind.”

Sarah Tutton, DRWF Chief Executive said: “We are extremely fortunate to have Sir Ian and his family engage with our charity; helping us get lifesaving messages out to our supporters and those who live with diabetes as well as encouraging people to dig deep - enabling DRWF's commitment to fund diabetes research to continue.”

Watch Sir Ian Botham’s video message for DRWF here

Support the campaign by making a donation at the DRWF Just Giving page

Find out more about DRWF-funded research here
Read Managing diabetes and looking after yourself during the COVID-19 health crisis

DRWF operations during the COVID-19 health crisis

The DRWF team is now working remotely. COVID-19 guidance, particularly where it aligns or impacts with diabetes guidance, is shared as quickly as possible through the DRWF website and social media channels with the aim of making it as easy to understand as possible and a reliable source of latest news.

For latest update follow DRWF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
To receive the charity’s latest bulletins as they become available, please sign up here
Subscribe to Diabetes Wellness News here
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