£6,200 raised for Facebook page editor after live streaming news he has incurable cancer
- Credit: SPOTTED IN ELY
More than £6,200 has been raised for an Ely man after he live-streamed on a Facebook group he has run for eight years that he has incurable cancer.
Since its launch in 2013 Mark Cooney, 50, has seen his Spotted in Ely ‘baby’ grow to an online audience of more than 26,000.
He shared news of his terminal illness in a poignant Facebook post when he spoke of wanting to use his remaining time to “make memories”.
These will include a wedding at Ely Cathedral in February to his long-term partner Alison Powell after special permission was obtained.
And Ely College revealed they, too, wanted to thank Mark for his work over the years. The college is to launch an annual ‘Mark Cooney Community Spirit Award’.
Mr Cooney has said that Dean Mark Bonney and Canon James Reveley "pulled out all the stops to ensure the marriage takes place as soon as possible".
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The award from Ely College comes after the college leadership team spoke to Mr Cooney in an online meeting to pass on their best wishes for his forthcoming wedding and cancer treatment.
The college team also surprised Mr Cooney, who is a father of two, over the video call, informing him of their intention to establish the new award in his honour.
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Richard Spencer, executive principal, said: "Mark Cooney has had such a positive effect on our community through his work and management of Spotted in Ely.
"He has led by example, and this new award will embody the community spirit that he represents.
"His kindness, talent and enterprising commitment to the city sets a fine example to our young people as they become citizens of Ely.”
The award is described as a "personal thank you from Ely College" and that "year on year, it will allow students to celebrate their peers’ important contributions to our local community".
Mr Cooney was presented with a framed copy of the idea of the award and said: "This is a major privilege and honour that will be around for a very long time and I hope I get to be able to be a part of the first ceremony.
"I had a feeling something was happening but I never expected this. Thank you to Mr Spencer, Mr Mawby and Miss Martin who organised the honour."
The award will be given each year to students who "go the extra mile and do something special for their community, as Mark has done for years," Mr Spencer added.
"We have seen that the Ely community spirit is stronger than ever this year, and it is this strength that we hope to pass on to Mark as he moves forward with his treatment."
Ely Standard editor John Elworthy said the award was well deserved and added "Mark has always struck me as ambitious, enterprising, and community-focused.
"Through Spotted in Ely, he has delivered an extraordinary product, much loved and highly respected across the city and beyond."
The GoFundMe page was set up by Sally Bibby “to show Mark and Alison what they mean to us and hopefully give them some extra money to treat themselves and make some memories”.
On the GoFundMe page she says that before creating the fund raiser, she was spoke with Mark “who was very emotional about the idea; he did say that he would be very grateful to anyone who donated but wouldn't take more than needed.
“Any remaining money would be used on the Spotted in Ely project to keep it running”.
Sally added: “It would be great if we could all send our thanks and support to Mark. Let's show him how much Spotted in Ely has helped us all in the last eight years.”
Donate to the fundraiser via the GoFundMe page