Running for dad who ‘just got on with life’

By in Local People

A WOMAN who grew up in Minehead is running a half marathon in memory of her father who died there last month of asbestos-related cancer.

Mark Tereszczak had lived in Bampton Street ever since the family moved to Minehead in 1993. He died of mesothelioma, asbestos-related cancer, aged 57.

Now his daughter, Natasha Hawker, 29, is running the Tewkesbury Half Marathon in aid of Mesothelioma UK, St Margaret’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.

She has reached her initial fundraising target of £600 and hopes to raise more by the time she does the run on May 14.

“My dad was passionate about work. He worked incredibly hard all his life, often foregoing his annual leave,” she said.

He was self-taught in electronics and went on to become a leading expert in the UK and worldwide for his contributions to radio-frequency identification (RFID), which uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects, such as cattle.

He developed a number of patents in this field, but previously worked in construction in Switzerland and later in industrial buildings at Wheddon Cross.

Natasha said it was not known where he contracted the asbestos poisoning.

Her sister, Laura Tereszczak, returned to live in Minehead to help look after their father when he became ill, while her other sister Maida White lives in Withycombe.

After he was diagnosed, Mark and his daughters went on a special family holiday in Jamaica.

“Our father just got on with life and did not let it get in his way – he didn’t want people to know and treat him as if he was ill,” said Natasha.

A keen runner, she decided to do the half marathon in her father’s memory, as well as to raise funds to help fight mesothelioma.

For more information about the fundraising run visit justgiving.com/teams/MarkT.