Family hoping for dying wish
A DEVASTATED Ipswich sister is today trying to give her dying big brother his final wish before she says goodbye - to meet a music disc-jockey.
HE has just a few precious weeks to live but Mark Woods is today one of the happiest men in Ipswich after his lifelong dream came true.
Mark, 42, has cancer and his distraught sister Dawn Sudeene recently contacted The Evening Star to see if we could help make her brother's dream come true.
Mr Woods suffers from severe mental health problems which have limited his development to that of a four or five-year-old. But throughout his life he has been addicted to radio and has always dreamed of meeting a radio presenter.
And thanks to BBC Radio Suffolk presenter and Star columnist Stephen Foster, Mark has now lived that dream.
After Mrs Sudeene, 34, of Marlow Road, Whitehouse, contacted the Star, we asked Mr Foster if he would be able to help and he jumped at the chance to invite Mark to visit the radio studios in St Matthew's Street.
On Wednesday, Mark, his mother Valerie Woods, Mrs Sudeene and her husband Chris met Mr Foster for a personal tour of the studios.
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Mark, who has bowel and stomach cancer, was given the chance to sit in the presenter's chair, try on some headphones and have a go at tackling some of the complicated radio equipment.
Mr Foster said: “I explained how the studio works and showed him all the music I would be playing on the show and then let Mark have a go at being a presenter.
“It's always nice to show people around and reveal a few of our secrets, people are often surprised by the amount of controls and gadgets - it looks a bit like the cock-pit of an aeroplane.
“We often have people who are interested in radio come in, but I have never seen someone's eyes light up so much as his did when he saw the controls and was able to have a go.
“It was a real pleasure for me to meet him and help make his dream come true.”
Mr Foster added that meeting Mark had reminded him of his early days as a radio presenter.
He said: “We can take for granted what we do every day, but some people would give their right arm to be doing it.
“It made me remember my first steps into a radio studio and how excited I was, it was a humbling experience for me.”
After the visit, Mark, of Edward Close, went away with armfuls of goodies and his sister said the visit had been an amazing experience for him.
She said: “He had such a lovely time and it was a really great thing for him to be able to do.
”He knew he was going and was so excited about it and is so happy that he's met Stephen Foster.
“He listens to the radio every day and will certainly be tuning in every day from now on. This is something that he'd always wanted all his life and this was something very special for him - it is great to think his lifetime dream has come true now.”
n. Has someone made your dream come true? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHEN Foster is one of Radio Suffolk's longest serving presenters and joined the station shortly after it first went on air in 1990.