ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Positive Angel

In memory of my dear friend Marc Rushton who passed away tonight after a sudden brain haemorrhage that would have left him paralysed and possibly brain damaged had he survived.
The news that his life support machine was about to be switched off came to me by way of a text message from his distraught mother as we were having the first AGM for Thrivine our HIV support group for which he was a founder member and also a trustee. We were re-electing the trustees at the time and I had been unanimously voted in again as Chair.
Marc was what I described as my ‘main man’ in regard to Thrivine. I was aware that he was seriously ill and that this was likely to happen, I was ready for the bad news, but where there was life there was hope I believed. I am sure that Marc chose his moment, that he was with us at that point saying goodbye to us all. To his positive comrades in arms.
Only days before we’d been talking and laughing on the phone about our plan to start an old folks home for people with HIV. We tried to come up with a name incorporating Thrivine or HIV – HIVEN, CLOSER TO HIVEN, HIVEN ON EARTH. We decided it would have to be in Blackpool so that we could ride up and down the prom on our mobility scooters and go to ‘Funny Girls’ and all the drag shows, play bingo and eat fish and chips wearing our “Kiss me quick if you dare,” HIV hats.
I know how much Thrivine meant to him and how important it would be to him that we carry on. We always laughed together even when he was going through what to other people would be considered as insurmountable health problems. On the many times he was laid up in hospital he even managed to do things for Thrivine, in fact he signed the new constitution when he was having a blood transfusion – and me so squeamish sitting at his side. I could only do that because of his optimism and sense of humour. He could always make me laugh even when I was at my lowest ebb by doing his Dame Edna Everidge impressions. Marc had an unfailing optimism that denied how ill he really was. I knew how ill he was but somehow I thought he’d survive.
“We made it through the rain,” was Marc’s theme song and we adopted it for Thrivine as our group rallying song. We sang it at my sixtieth birthday holding hands in a big circle. Sadly Marc didn’t make it through the rain, but like his name he did make his mark and I will make sure that his mark, that this Marc, Marc Rushton will never be forgotten. Thrivine will go on and do what we set out to do, which is to raise awareness and combat HIV related stigma.
Marc very bravely spoke out on World AIDS Day and revealed his positive status to the media in order to raise awareness in the hope that it would stop other people contracting this terrible anti social disease. In the newspaper article he said, “I feel like I’ve been given this for a reason and I have to talk about it now.”
I think he knew in his heart he didn’t have much time. His time may have run out but his legacy will never be forgotten. I will make sure of that.
Marc missing you already possum. 


  kat wrote @

a truly inspiring guy, rest in peace and may your spirit live on within thrivine for your positive energy and goodness you brought our thoughts are with Marcs Mum and family and friends god bless you all

kat x

  Phil Caton wrote @

I won’t easily forget your easy charm, sense of humour and bravery during your final days, RIP Marc

  Peter Channon wrote @

At times like these I can never find the words to justify and inspire. I do know that THRIVINE, Adrienne and all the group members were very important to Marc. I remember giving him lifts home and the discussions we had about life and its challenges. I also remember the cheeky twink in his eye that never failed to make me and others smile. My thoughts go to his mother and family. Marc you will be very much missed and never forgotten. Rest in Peace.

  obi wrote @

What a sad loss. My condolences to his family. Marc will be sorely missed by us all members of thrivine. however, I know he will always be with the group in spirit as it soldiers on.

  Nicola Walmsley wrote @

What a guy Marc was! He used to make me laugh all those years back when I was only 18. (I’m now 37) Seems so unfair that someone with such much life about them has gone. Marc never did anything by halves. sorry for gatecrashing this site, RIP to the most brilliant boss i ever had Nicola xxxx

  les wrote @

So sorry you had to leave us Mark. But you will never be forgotten. You were a lovely guy and i will miss you. Lol. Les.X

  John Cookson wrote @

Strength is one thing i think of when i now think of Marc, a strong minded guy who put so much energy into the Thrivine. A guy who raised awareness, yet even though the last time i saw Marc he had only been out of hospital a few days he still had his spirit. A guy who will be sadly missed at Thrivine and my thoughts go with Marc and his family at this time. RIP Marc xx

  mark (the bobby) wrote @

Only knew Marc for a glancing moment but you know its one of those glancing moments that stick with you for ever.I believe quality is better than quantity and yet a small memory of Marc is now embeded in my thoughts.Although in body he is not here but his spirit is here and each one of us who knew him has a little bit of his personality and when people get together he becomes the whole again as we bring him to our thoughts.You enjoy yourself Marc amongst us when we talk and thing of you and laugh with us

  willo wrote @

Adrienne, you’ve said it all. Marc was (I find it so hard to talk about him in the past tense) an invaluable member of our group, always, even in the face of adversity, trying to push it forward. I recall very recently, on one of his particularly bad days when he came to a meeting – him still popping into the office of our landlord, and trying to negotiate a rent reduction for next year! He described himself as ‘an entrepreneur’ – and that is exactly what he was.

Although he told us his future was bleak and although we often saw some of his devastating symptoms, we couldn’t accept his prognosis. He always bounced back and somehow I always felt that he always would.

As you said earlier, he would entertain us with his Dame Edna impressions – and exceptionally good they were. Likewise his sense of humour which often had us holding our sides. One of those occasions being once when I visited him in hospital; I had entered the ward all graven faced, as I knew just how ill he was. By the time I left I was still chuckling down the corridor – but hadn’t a clue what we had been laughing about. Maybe it was ‘the way he told ‘em’!

The last time I saw Marc was here in my house just ten days days before he died. I didn’t think he would pitch up, as he was going through another bad patch, but turn up he did, but had no time to chill-out after the meeting, as he had to be back for the district nurse who was coming to treat him! I think ‘dedicated’ is the word!

Marc we will miss you – our Positive Possum!

My thoughts are with his mum and family – and you as well, Adrienne – as you were especially close to him – and him to you. XX

  Fabienne wrote @

Where to start?

I have so many fond memories of Marc. I still have a little angel in my purse that he gave me many years ago. I have pictures in my mind of Marc on the QE2 and what a fabulous time we had, in Barbados and all those times at ‘the mansion’ and in Ripley.
There is a lifetime of laughter and good times to keep his memory going for a long time. So many phrases he used that bring him back whenever mentioned. May his new journey take him to a place he likes in the knowledge that he did make a difference. My kindest thoughts to his family and Adrienne who saw him through the tough times. ‘God bless’

  Rachael Garkow wrote @

This post makes a lot of sense !

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