Community to the rescue for Mark

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A community is coming together to raise money for a man with a rare medical condition after the council was unable to help.

Mark Fenton suffers from Multiple Mitrochondrial Deletions – and is the only person in the world with this form of the disease – which means he cannot walk and he does not have proper use of his arms.

Mark’s wife, Andrea, is his full-time carer, and applied to Kirklees for a £2,200 grant for a hoist to help her move him around the house.

But despite also having three dependant children, the council told Andrea the family was earning too much money to be given the grant.

Andrea said: “They said we were earning too much money, but our youngest son, Harvey, who is seven, has never even been on holiday.

“They told us to get a loan or to save up for it, but we don’t bring in enough money to do that.”

A council spokesman said: “The council has no discretion over the way the financial assessment for the Disabled Facilities Grant is undertaken as it is bound by legislation.

“The current assessment is that the family would have to make a substantial contribution to funding the hoist, however, we would urge them to complete the application as whatever they fund themselves in this instance may be taken into account when they apply for more adaptations in the future.

“The council has worked with the family in the past to help provide other adaptations.”

After hearing of Andrea and Mark’s plight, a group of parents at Headlands Primary School, Liversedge, decided to step in.

Kelly Young, who is one of the main organisers of the event, said: “We got together and decided to have a fundraiser for them.

“They are such a nice family – my children go to school with her boys and they are all a credit to Mark and Andrea.”

When Kelly approached Andrea and suggested the fundraiser, Andrea was overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the parents.

“I cried for about two weeks,” she said. “I usually keep myself to myself, so when Kelly asked me whether we wanted them to do this, I felt so grateful.”

The fundraising disco is at Bailiff Bridge Community Centre on Friday April 5, and will feature a raffle and entertainment.

Tickets are £3 per person and £10 for a family (two adults, two children), and includes hot food. For more information, or to book a ticket, contact k-young10@sky.com.