Friends of Shanklin Theatre

Meeting Martin

In April this year, we received a message from Kathryn Grimes who was instrumental in setting up the Wight Brainy Bunch Charity Organisation. Kathryn set up the charity following her husband's diagnosis of a brain tumour back in 2015. The charity is designed to provide support for Isle of Wight families affected by brain tumours.

Kathryn asked us if there was any possibility of meeting Martin Kemp and having a picture taken. Having undergone surgery himself on two brain tumours, she said it would be inspiring for our support group members to see a success story and know they can go on to achieve amazing things.

With the help of our theatre MD Mr Vic Farrow & Martinís management team (OEP), we successfully arranged a special meet and greet for Kathrynís Husband Mark during Martinís show back in May this year. Kathryn goes on to write;

“We were lucky enough to meet Martin Kemp prior to his show “An Audience with Martin Kemp” at Shanklin Theatre on the 7th May.

Having been a fan of Martin during his days with Spandau Ballet in the 80’s, our interest recently has been on a far more personal note.

Martin himself underwent surgery for a brain tumour in 1995 and reading his story there were similarities to our own story…. A man in his early thirties with a young family, struck by the same awful disease and life as you know it changed forever!

We set up our small Island Charity “The Wight Brainy Bunch” following Marks diagnosis of a brain tumour in February 2015, to help raise awareness and funds for brain tumour research. Realising the distinct lack of support here on the Island, our aim is to provide a support network for patients and their families, both emotionally and financially, who have been affected by brain tumours here on the Isle of Wight.

Having Mark and Martin in the same room was both inspirational and encouraging for the families we meet through our support group to see someone doing so well, two years and twenty two years following surgery and it was very interesting to hear that Martin (worlds apart from us) felt the same lack of support and loneliness at this time in his life.

Through our ongoing fundraising, The Wight Brainy Bunch hopes to be able to support many more Island families coping with this devastating disease. 

Thank you to OEP and Shanklin Theatre for giving us this opportunity.”

www.thewightbrainybunch.org.uk

 

Ivan Needham Blue Plaque
Image above: Mark & Kathryn Grimes, Martin Kemp middle.

Story, text & images courtesy of Kathryn Grimes & Michael Beston.


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