Mark and Lisa had just arrived home with their second baby Emma. Lisa had a difficult pregnancy but Emma was now thriving and the couple were delighted.

A few weeks later Lisa had some problems breast feeding, she thought nothing of it but her health visitor advised her to get some tests. Within a fortnight she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mark came to Gateshead Carers at crisis point. He worked as a BT Engineer and they needed every penny they could get through his overtime. He was now caring for two children under the age of 5, his sick wife who was suffering badly from her chemotherapy treatment, and trying to hold down a full time job. They had no family in the North East and couldn’t work out where to turn.

With the help from Gateshead Carers, Mark negotiated some time off from work and applied for funding so that the children had nursery care while he was back at work. Not an easy task, Gateshead Carers approached over 40 charities to try and get this help but it was a problem that we could take away from Mark and Lisa, relieving them of some of the pressure they were both feeling.

Lisa has been in treatment for three months now and things are getting easier but Mark is still in touch when he needs a friendly voice at the end of the phone. Gateshead Carers have also helped with benefit claims for Lisa and managed to get extra help from Social Services.