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Courageous mum on award shortlist

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

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A LISKEARD mother has been shortlisted for a bravery award for her courage in living with a life-threatening illness.

Victoria Marks, 40, was nominated for the Beneficiary of Courage award at the 2014 Spirit of Fire Awards by The Fire Fighters Charity after her struggle with Buerger's Disease, which has led to her legs being amputated.

The mother of one, from Park View, was diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago.

Her husband, Scott Marks, 42, gave up firefighting in Liskeard after 23 years of service to be her full-time carer in April 2013.

Mrs Marks may need other amputations in the future, as the disease causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the arms and legs, which damages the tissues. There is currently no cure for the disease.

Before she was diagnosed, Mrs Marks worked as a police community support officer for three years in Liskeard.

Mr Marks, her husband of ten years, said: "We have got worse to come and it's going to kill her eventually.

"It's been very difficult – she doesn't get up much and she can't get about.

"She can't be a mother to her daughter, she can't take her [daughter] places but the fire service has helped me cope very well and has helped us. It's a lot to deal with and I have got to look after my wife and my daughter.

"I have always worked and I find it hard not working but I have got to look after my loved ones.

"She doesn't think she deserves the award and thinks there are people who deserve it more."

The doctors have said it could spread to Mrs Mark's arms and she has had 14 operations so far, including four amputations to her legs.

The Fire Fighters Charity provides life-enhancing services for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families.

The awards are held annually to honour members of the Fire and Rescue Service and members of the public, by recognising bravery.

Keith Roszell, a member of the charity and welfare team in Cornwall, who nominated Mrs Marks, said: "I have known Victoria for a long time and because of her illness and what she's had to deal with she is absolutely outstanding. It's not about winners or losers it's a way of acknowledging what they have gone through.

"Throughout her ordeal she has always been there for others.

"The family are just outstanding – she is supported by her 11-year-old daughter, Bethany."

The Spirit of Fire Awards ceremony takes place on May 16, 2014, at the Westminster Park Plaza in London.

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