This Memorial webpage is dedicated to the memory of Mark Robert Willey (18 July 1975 - 26 January 2016)
Mark was born on Friday 18 July 1975 and from the moment he entered this world he was hounded by ill-health. He was diagnosed during his first six months as having a very serious kidney problem and in those days there was nothing that could be done-it was decided that he would be treated by a special sodium free diet which seemed to work until he was 10 years old. He then commenced Peritoneal Dialysis with the first daily treatments as an in-patient at RVI Newcastle. He was then provided with a dialysis machine at home. He then had 2years of 8 hours per night 365 nights per year home dialysis, being confined to his bedroom from early evening until school time the next morning. Never complaining, he still managed a happy early childhood surrounded by his wonderful friends and devoted family. His friends willingly gave up their time to play pool and other games and chat in his bedroom. Mark had his first kidney transplant at age 12 but unfortunately it began to fail after a couple of days and despite treatment to save it, it had to be removed, and dialysis treatment recommenced. At age 15, in 1990, he had another transplant, this time the kidney being donated by his mother, Margaret. This kidney lasted for a good number of years but again, unfortunately, the anti rejection drugs that were used eventually killed it. This then started his life on Haemodialysis which was to continue for the rest of his life. In spite of all of this he led a very happy and positive childhood and endeavoured to do all the normal things a healthy child would do-
School and Further Education
Mark started primary school life at Richmond Methodist School and then on to Secondary school at Richmond School. After successfully passing exams with sufficiently high grades he went on to Newcastle University to study building studies but after a term he decided it was not really for him!! He returned home and got a job at the Kings Head Hotel washing up!
Work and Professional Acievements
After the King's Head Hotel, Mark went on to train as a chef with the Army, he received an NVQ in catering and hygiene, and went on to work in various barracks at Catterick Garrison and eventually became a chef-trainer assisting in training army and civilian chefs. Things again started to become difficult for him health wise and after losing the second donated kidney, his return to dialysis changed everything, he initially took an administrative post with the catering company, despite having to travel three days a week to Newcastle for dialysis. He then decided on a change of career. He decided on Clinical Hypnotherapy. He got a degree in clinical hypnotherapy and then went to London and got a degree in auricular acupuncture at the Chinese School in London. He was then able to practice hypnotherapy and acupuncture from his apartment between sessions of home-dialysis. After a few years of this he again diversified and started a career in Event Management and Music, creating a company "VIP Music and Event Management" managing numerous bands and individual performers/artistes and organising and running numerous events and functions for all sorts of occasions. He was also latterly appointed Hon. Secretary of Richmondshire Conservative Club. Mark was still fully involved in all these activities at the time of his sudden, untimely death.
Mark was very much a people person and had many many cherished friends.
Although he was restricted in the sports he could play, he attended many sporting events and after he received his kidney from his mother he was selected for the Newcastle Team and went to Crystal Palace London for the Transplant Games and succeeded in being awarded several medals. Including snooker and badminton. He was also selected the following year for the Glasgow Transplant Games and was again awarded medals and also that year for golf.
During his early adulthood Mark was a keen motorcyclist and went on many road-trips on his beloved (very noisy) Khadija Raptor with his like-minded friends. Sadly in later years he was unable to manage any but the shorter trips, so his enthusiasm turned towards his cars. Jaguar, BMW, Chrysler and VW.
Mark also began flying lessons, completing 15 hours pilot training with Teesside Aeroclub before it was realised he'd never pass the medical for solo piloting but continued to fly with his father on many trips, the last one in Oct 2015 to Glenrothes, Fife with his Dad, Bill and his beloved fiancée Rebecca.
Mark adored music and was a proficient and prolific writer of music and lyrics and a self taught guitarist. His apartment has a music room containing his collection of guitars, amplifiers, mixers etc etc.and he wrote music and songs for many (some famous) singers.