Long time seasonnaire Marcus Parrott describes how receiving his cancer diagnosis set him down the fundraising path. And he reveals plans for the 10th anniversary of his charitable foundation.
In the summer of 2005, having just been diagnosed with skin cancer at the age of 21 it made me realise that life is short and you should do what makes you happy whilst you can. For me, that was going skiing everyday, meeting new people and having a few beers in the pub after work!
One more season…
Having done a season working in La Plagne in 2004/05, I knew that the light at the end of the ‘chemo tunnel’ for me was returning to the Alps when my health allowed. In 2006/07 and in remission I came out to Courchevel to work for Le Ski as a chalet host and had probably the best 5 months of my life. To say that I was excited to return the following winter would be a monumental understatement!
A week before coming back out in November 2007 one of my regular CT Scans flagged up a lymph node irregularity. Thankfully the cancer hadn’t spread too far and could be treated with 12 rounds of chemo. When you’re young a year seems a long time, and facing the prospect of not returning to the Alps for 12 months was a massive set-back. Thankfully, and with the help of many, many people the Centre Hospitalier in Chambery agreed that it was in my ‘best interests’ to have my treatment there during the winter season. This allowed me to continue working as a chalet host in Courchevel 1650 whilst taking 4 days off every three weeks to receive my chemo and recover, before heading back to the chalet (just in time for transfer day!)
Good comes from bad
It was a tough season, but the great days definitely outnumbered the bad ones and it left me with a huge feeling of gratitude towards the hospital and their staff. As a way of saying thanks I wanted to raise a couple of hundred Euros to help improve some of the rooms where I received my chemo. The idea I had in the summer of 2008 was to create a number of t-shirts with the phrase ‘Huck Cancer’ on the front. If you don’t know, ‘Huck’ is an extreme sport phrase which refers to taking on a large jump, often without knowledge or regard for risk or consequence and therefore a strengthening of resolve. It also rhymes nicely which another phrase which I’m sure you can figure out!
Over the following winters, and with the help of many friends in the resort, we put on a number of events ranging from race days, pub golf, valley rallies and fancy dress nights in various pubs in the area. Fast forward 10 years and the Huck Cancer Foundation has raised a little over €100,000 which is split between the Centre Hospitalier in Chambery and Macmillan Cancer Support in the UK.
Celebrating 10 years
For the 10th Anniversary celebrations during winter 2018/19 the brand has been revamped with a number of new clothing styles and a new online store; created to make it easier for customers to purchase the merchandise and to donate. The foundation remains a 100% non-profit organisation so you can be sure that every donation made supports the fight against cancer in France and the UK.