Brave: Mark Collie left feeling ‘on top of the world’ by Friends of Anchor team

© DC ThomsonMark Collie is preparing to take to the stage for Brave.
Mark Collie is preparing to take to the stage for Brave.

More than 20 years after he was diagnosed with cancer, one of this year’s Brave participants can still remember how staff at Friends of Anchor left him feeling “on top of the world” in what should have been his lowest moments.

Mark Collie used to spend his evenings raising the roof by DJing at Aberdeen nightclub Amadeus.

But in 1998 he was told he had acute myeloid leukaemia – prompting a lengthy series of treatments and hospital stays while he recovered.

He was then told that the steroids he had been given had led to him developing diabetes – and further complications meant both of his legs had to be amputated.

At that time Friends of Anchor was still in its infancy – having only launched in 1997 – but Mr Collie said the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary-based charity was still able to make a very large difference.

He said: “The staff all work tirelessly and they made me feel fearless. I got the feeling that I could conquer the world.

“It’s a special place.”

© DC Thomson
Mr Collie would regularly be found behind the DJ decks at Aberdeen nightclub Amadeus.

Mr Collie, who lives in Mintlaw, is marking 20 years in remission by taking part in Brave next week.

And he is hoping that his story might help some of the other men involved who are struggling with their health.

He said: “When you experience something like cancer you don’t think there’s going to be an end to the treatment and all the stuff that comes with it.

“And a lot of the people taking part are going through it right now.

“But with me, they have someone who’s been through it and has been in remission for this length of time, so maybe it will give them some hope they didn’t have before.

“We’ve become really good friends and it’s almost like we’re a little support circle.”

And while stepping up on the Beach Ballroom stage in front of his friends and family is a daunting prospect, Mr Collie is ready to take on the challenge.

“It’s been good and we’ve had a good laugh so far,” he said.

“I’m a little nervous knowing that it’s just a week away but I’m really looking forward to it.

“It’s been quite a journey for me but it’s been amazing meeting the guys.

“And all these years later, even after losing my two legs, I’m not letting it get in my way.”