Rockabilly singer inspires rock ‘n’ roll fundraiser

Bookmark the page. Photo c/o Brain Tumor Research.

Submitted by Brain Tumor Research

Julie Walkey will hold a rock ‘n’ roll fundraiser at Tottenhill near King’s Lynn in memory of Mark Page, a rockabilly singer from Norwich known as Polo who sang with bands The Hal Wrayzer Combo, The Leopard Trio and The Smalltown Giants.

The Shouldham mum-of-three, who is headmistress of Marham Village Pre-School, said: ‘Polo knew everyone and everyone knew him. He was really nice and liked by everyone. My husband worked with him and my sisters knew him from rock ‘n’ roll weekends, so I sort of knew him in two directions.

The 53-year-old added: “I went to see him play one day and he completely forgot the lyrics to a song. I think that’s what made him go to the doctor. survived less than a year after his diagnosis and died a week before lockdown so no one could attend his funeral which was just awful.

Network Rail signal engineer Mark was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 2019 after suffering from short-term memory loss. He was identified as grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) following a biopsy performed on his daughter’s wedding anniversary the following month.

The location of Mark’s tumor, in his left frontal lobe, rendered it inoperable, but he underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Sadly, he passed away in March 2020 at the age of 57, leaving behind a wife, three children and four grandchildren.

Her mother, Jacqueline Page, said: “The loss of Mark has left a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. I am grateful that money and awareness are being raised in his memory.

The event in his memory will take place at Tottenhill Retail Park from 3pm to 12pm on July 16 in aid of the charity Brain Tumor Research. It will feature rock ‘n’ roll bands The V8 Rockets, whose drummer used to play with Mark, and The McCurdy Brothers, as well as DJs Little Tom, Neil, Daffy, The Mailman, The Landlord and Two Tons of Rock’ n’ Roll .

There will also be a classic car display, refreshments and a raffle with prizes ranging from singer Danny Reno’s signature electric guitar to King’s jeweler Lynn Francis Wain’s £175 men’s Rotary watch and a day with family at Watatunga Wildlife Reserve.

Anyone wishing to donate raffle prizes can contact Julie via the Tottenhill Rock ‘n’ Roll Facebook group where entry tickets, priced at £10, are also available.

Julie, who is organizing the event with her husband Richard and two friends, said: “I’m really nervous because I want us to sell a lot of tickets so we can raise a good amount of money and make Polo proud. He and I organized a similar event together five years ago and he loved it. He was also really good at doing charity stuff and often performed for free at charity concerts, so I know he would be all for it. I’d like to beat what we raised last time, which was £1,500.

Charlie Allsebrook, Community Development Manager for Brain Tumor Research, said: “We were very sorry to learn of Mark’s untimely passing. Unfortunately, his story is not unique; Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in children and young people under 40, but funding for this area is pitifully low – historically, only 1% of national cancer research spending has been allocated to this devastating disease. We are truly grateful to Julie for organizing this fundraiser and wish her every success on this day.

Brain Tumor Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centers in the UK. He also campaigns for the government and major cancer charities to invest more in brain tumor research to speed up new treatments for patients and ultimately find a cure. The charity is driving the call for a national annual spend of £35million to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukemia and is also campaigning for greater drug reuse.

To help Julie reach her fundraising goal, click here


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