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Help for a charity close to his heart.

Byline: By MARIE LEVY

WHEN Mark Fisher agreed to dress as the British Heart Foundation mascot for a charity relay challenge he knew it was all for a good cause.

Mark, 24, of Thornaby, lost his mum Christine, 56, to a massive heart attack last year.

The news came as a shock to all Christine's family including her husband, Dave, five children and seven grandchildren.

But the tragedy inspired Mark to raise hundreds of pounds for the British Heart Foundation.

The Ringtons Tea employee kick-started his fundraising efforts by taking part in a charity relay which provided the half time entertainment at a Newcastle Falcons v Bristol rugby match.

Dressed as Mr Hearty, the dad-of-two teamed up with the Ringtons' mascot to take on Flash the Falcon and MENCAP mascot Dennis the Menace to help raise awareness and funds for the two charities.

Ringtons director, Jon Malton, completed the obstacle course as the Ringtons teapot.

Mark said: "We started off under the goals and had to jump over tackle bags, rugby tackle a tackle bag, go in and out of cones, over a ladder, spin round a pole and then finish off by kicking a rugby ball over the goal.

"It was quite difficult doing it in the costumes, my feet were massive, but it was good fun."

Vicki Johnson, public relations manager at Ringtons added: "We are very proud of Mark here at Ringtons.

"The two charities are both admirable causes."

Mark also took part in this year's Great North run, collecting more than pounds 1,400.

CAPTION(S):

LOSS: Mark's mum Christine Fisher, above; FUNDRAISING: Mark wears his heart mascot costume, above at the event, and right taking part in this year's Great North Run for the British Heart Foundation
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:292
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