Friends of Huck is a charity founded by ex-professional sportsman Mark Hucklebridge after his diagnoses and ongoing battle with cancer.
The charity has two trustees, Tom Church and Neil Carroll, who are very close to Mark and also secretary Emma Marks wife.
The aim of the charity is to raise funds to support existing cancer related charities as well as make grants to support sports people who suffer with life changing illness or injuries.
Marks StoryLatest Update Written February 2015
Ive not really felt that great since November last year, with all the colds and bugs going about its not really supprising. Unfortunately recent tests show my blood levels have shot up really quickly recently so I am awaiting another scan in March to find out what tumours are growing and how big they now are along with the aim of going back on Chemotherapy in mid March.Its been a week of a lot of reflections for me as I was taken by ambulance to spend a night in A & E after a type of seizure which lasted an hour. The doctors dont really know why it happened but after lastng an hour I've been left feeling very tired this week although still okay in myself and have managed to return to work.
I'm finding training for the Bath Half Marathon a little harder this time around but have managed 8 miles so far so am still on to complete it with the other 66 runners in Team Friends of Huck!!!Even if you cant run please do come along and support us, there is a childrens fun run too for little ones to get involved.
If you can sponsor our team please give as much as you can.
We value every penny which is given to our charity so please dig deep even if it is only a pound or two we are very greatfull.
35-year-old Mark Hucklebridge (Huck) has been a dominate figure in the Motocross industry for the last 20-years, as a rider and also a race organiser plus one of the top ACU trainers in the UK. In 2010 his life changed when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, read his story here.
He started riding at the tender age of 10 after watching his Dad and Uncle Mike race he got the bug, a good bug for him to catch as he went on to have a very successful Motocross career. It saw him race for some of the UKs best teams – MJ Church Kawasaki, Factory VOR, TM UK, KTM UK, Honda UK, Motoxtreme Kawasaki, Chambers KTM and Hockey Honda, he became a very popular and well liked rider within the racing community.
His list of his Motocross achievements are below
British School Boy Champion 1994
Winner Coupe de l’Avenir
Winner Patchquick Trophy
Winner Ken Hall Trophy
Winner Weston Beach Race 1998 (youngest ever winner at the time)
Winner Weston Beach Race 2000
British SX Champion 2001
Won First British Championship Race 2002
Winner First Round British SX Round 2002
Winner First British Championship Round 2003
KWS Champion 2003
Third Overall British Championship 2003
18th World Championship overall 2003
KWS Champion 2004
Winner British SX Championship 2005
UK Flood Lit SX Champion 2006
KWS Champion 2008
Huck retired from professional racing at the end of 2008 and in 2009 he was offered a great opportunity by the ACU. One door shut and another opened, Roy Barton who at the time worked with the ACU offered Huck the opportunity to work with the ACU training and developing young Motocross riders. In 2009 Huck had a fantastic year and the three trained riders Josh Waterman, Ryan Houghton and Ben Watson – won every group in the British Youth Championship that season, all three riders have gone on to further their career in Motocross with the skills and knowledge taught to them by Huck.
In the process Mark and his wife Emma set up the now very established Hucklebridge Events to teach the Academy riders, run their own events and also a practice track near their home in Marshfield.
Mark gained his NVQ teaching course of excellence working with the MSA (Motor Sports Association) at Loughborough University; this enabled him to teach young riders the art of becoming professional on and off the track and was fully funded by the government. Mark set up structured training for the track and a curriculum was written for every MX technique.
In 2010 Marks life took a drastic turn, Mark had experienced slight bleeding whilst going to the toilet. He sought medical advice and after a number of tests and scans he was diagnosed with stage 4 (spread beyond the original tumour) bowel cancer, a huge blow for the Hucklebridge family.
He was told that the tumour in his bowel had been in place for between 5-10 years and had also now spread via the lymph nodes into his lungs.
Just before Christmas in 2010 Huck started his first dose of Chemotherapy which was given to him via a Hickman line which went straight into a vein near his heart. It was an extremely difficult Christmas for the family as Emma was struck down with swine-flu and Charlie was sent to stay with relatives so he did not get poorly and Mark went to stay with other family. The family were able to see each other for only an hour on Christmas Day with Mark having to wear a hospital face mask to ensure he did not pick anything up, as his immune system was weak due to the intense course of Chemo he was receiving.
After three months of Chemo, Mark endured five weeks of intense radiotherapy with more chemo to shrink the tumours. This was carried out every day at his local hospital, the RHU in Bath. After a short break, just six weeks Mark had his first major operation in June 2011 to remove the tumour in his bowel. Over a foot of the large bowel was removed and he was left with a colonoscopy bag for a while.
Mark then had to go through three more months of chemo and then the doctors reversed his colonoscopy. In May 2012 he went in for surgery again for another major operation where the middle lobe, around a 1/3 of his right lung was removed.
In the September of that year he was back in again for yet more surgery, this time to remove a quarter of his liver after routine tests showed a tumour was present there. As a family at that stage they really believed that Mark had beaten the cancer and that he was on his way to a full recovery.
He went for three routine blood tests over a period of nine months and his blood levels began to drop and everything was looking very hopeful. In January 2014 the blood test increased rapidly showing that the cancer had returned and had been growing at a fast rate for the past three months.
Sans showed that Mark has nine metastasis (small tumours) spread between both lungs which has now made his cancer inoperable/terminal. He also has an inflamed area in the lymph node in his groin, very close to the original tumour site, this is also inoperable.
Mark is determined to fight and hold back the cancer as long as possible and enjoy every minute with his family and friends. Mark wishes to say to anyone that might be slightly worried about anything to go and get checked out. If you are still not happy ask for a second opinion as it is easier to treat the earlier you can catch it.
Before Mark starts his next batch of intense Chemo, him and Emma will be competing in the Bath Half Marathon to raise money for the Forever Friends Appeal, Bath RUH. You can donate here -
This was posted by Mark Hucklebridge on his Facebook status on the 30.01.14
“Family and friends. I had the worst news last night that my cancer has come back in both lungs and in my pelvis. I can't have surgery as there is too much; I have to hope the chemo can hold it back for as long as possible.
I am feeling fit and well at this time and am still training for the bath half in 4 weeks’ time. Then start my chemo the week after.
I am still myself and don't expect to be treated any different or be scared to talk to me. We are as a family holding it together and going to enjoy the valuable time I have left. I don't know how long but be sure I am going to fight it all the way to the end to see my little man grow up and be a big part of Charlie and Emma life for a long time to come.
I am so lucky to have such good people around me that love me and care about me. Thank you to all who have helped me over the last 24 hours.
written September 2014
As most are aware 35-year-old ex-top Motocross rider Mark Hucklebridge is suffering from terminal cancer. He recently went for a scan and has sadly been told the cancer has spread and his blood levels have risen again. Despite this setback Huck being his usual positive self has decided to race at Farleigh Castle in the Vets MX des Nations – (http://www.vetsmxdn2014.co.uk/) this weekend before restarting intensive chemotherapy next week in the hope to keep prolonging his life.
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