When former RAF chef Mark Sully-Metters needed time off work following a shock cancer diagnosis, the RAF Association alleviated his financial worries so he could focus on his recovery.
Mark, who lives in Saltash in Cornwall with his husband Baz and dog Tilda, found out that he had prostate cancer following a routine health check after he turned 60 in 2022.
“I feel quite lucky in a way because the cancer was really only found by accident – I didn’t have any symptoms at all,” said Mark, who joined the RAF at 17 and served for 10 years.
Mark opted for surgery but knew it would take several months to recover and return to work. Being self-employed as a sports massage therapist, and with the cost of living crisis still ongoing, Mark was anxious about how he and Baz would make ends meet.
“I started to really worry about the financial situation. My husband works and he has got an income, but it was definitely going to be tough,” said Mark.
It was at this point that Mark reached out to the RAF Association for help. Following a conversation with the welfare team, Mark was awarded a financial grant to help cover the cost of energy bills and other household bills.
“The grant took that financial pressure off enough that I didn’t have to worry and stress about it. I could stop worrying about money and concentrate on my recovery,” said Mark.
Mark’s health continues to improve and has begun a phased return to work. He feels the help he received from the Association allowed him to focus on getting well.
“Honestly, the grant really helped. I think without that, the struggle would have been much harder.”