Snappy days for Devon GP

Snappy days for Devon GP as he gets up close and personal with sharks to help cancer charity

A Devon GP is set to spend half an hour up close and personal with six Tiger sharks – including a 12ft female who weighs in at more than 300kg and goes by the name of Storm – in order to boost the coffers of a national cancer charity.

Dr Mark Eggleton, a GP at Lifton Surgery, on the border of Devon and Cornwall, will be taking part in a charity shark dive at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Manchester this Friday [February 24].

Mark, who lives in Northlew, near Okehampton, will be raising money for the Christie Charitable Fund, which is based at the Christie NHS Hospital in Manchester. The Christie is home to the largest cancer treatment centre in Europe and treats more than 40,000 people from across the UK, including hundreds from the Westcountry, every year.

Mark has set himself a target of raising £1,000 and with the Exeter-based Devon Doctors organisation, for who he is a part-time medical director, offering to match the amount he raises from elsewhere he is optimistic of realising his goal.

“As someone who, as a child, was traumatised by Jaws, this is going to present something of a psychological challenge – at least it’s all in a good cause,” joked Mark, who has just completed a crash course in basic scuba diving in preparation for venturing into the 3.4 million litre ‘shark tank’.

“Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer and, being a GP, I know an awful lot of people who have been affected by this terrible disease and, that being the case, am delighted to have this opportunity to raise funds for such a thoroughly deserving cause.”

Skydive veteran Mark was moved to take up his latest challenge to support his friend Celena Wolfe. As Ms Cornwall Galaxy 2016, Celena is working with other Galaxy finalists from across the country to raise funds for the cancer charity, which not only supports the hospital’s pioneering research work, but also funds the purchase of equipment that cannot be supplied by the NHS and is instrumental in ensuring the provision of cancer support services, such as counselling and complementary therapies.

“While these might sound a little less glamorous than the high-tech research and futuristic new equipment, they are in fact the things that make a huge difference to individual sufferers and their loved ones,” said Mark.

To sponsor Mark, visit his fundraising page at