Raynes Park cancer fundraiser honoured in Evening Standard’s list of influential people

A late doctor who raised thousands for Cancer Research UK has been honoured with a place on the Evening Standard’s Progress 1,000 list.

Mark Sims, who worked at Croydon, St Helier and Kingston hospitals, was recognised for his work in cancer awareness and fundraising before he died in January last year at the age of just 28.

Dr Sims made it into the health category of the list, which recognises London’s most influential people of the year.

An event spokesperson said: “The junior doctor and melanoma patient raised a fortune for cancer research, and his posthumous diary was both a moving memoir and a unique insight for medics treating cancer patients.”

During his two-year battle with cancer, Dr Sims raised thousands for Cancer Research UK. He also candidly shared his fight on his blog, which his family turned into a book called P.S. I have Cancer.

The book has sold about 950 copies, with proceeds going to Dr Sims’ Just Giving Page which has now raised £208,000.

His mother, Sue Sims, 59, and his identical twin Dave Sims, 30, attended the event in Southbank not knowing if Mark had made it onto the list after being nominated.

They were delighted to find him on the list of 1,000 people, which also features Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Meghan Markle.

They toasted to his legacy and were proud to see Mr Sims recognised in a category that also featured paediatricians, researchers, and a trauma surgeon whose work helped victims of the Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park terror attacks as well as Grenfell victims.

Mrs Sims said: “I think he’d be quite amazed that they thought to nominate him, and he’s in very illustrious company.

“I think he’d be quite touched that he was included amongst them.”

Dr Sims was recognised with three awards in 2016, winning Outstanding Alumni of the Year for Leicester University, Ambassador of the Year from Cancer Research UK, and the British Citizen Award.

His mum continues to work with cancer organisations and raises funds in her son’s memory.

She said: “It keeps his memory alive, because he was only 28 it can seem such a waste, and it was a waste, a waste of a life and a waste of all his talent.

“But by carrying on with all this I feel like his life has meaning.”

P.S. I have Cancer can be bought from, and donations can be made here.

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