Mark still strong after 50 years

FIFTY years ago 19-year-old Mary Williams gave birth to her first-born at Albury Base Hospital.

The baby, born with a scar on his brain, weighed just four pounds and the outlook was grim.

“The doctor came in and said ‘Look, I think the baby needs to be baptised’,” she remembered.

The priest from St Matthew’s was ushered in to bless the newborn but five decades later that baby is still beating the odds.

East Albury’s Mark Williams has survived two bouts of cancer and another terminal prognosis from the doctor.

Mr Williams spent nine “terrible” months in the Royal Melbourne Hospital about five years ago after being diagnosed with leukaemia and had half a lung removed.

Then, 10-months ago, he was diagnosed with mouth cancer but beat that too.

The avid North Albury and Carlton Football Club supporter said he got his birthday present early this week when he braved a trip back to hospital for his check up and was told his blood tests were “perfect”.

If his local team could get a win in its Anzac Day clash that would be icing on the cake.

“I like Aker, he’s a good coach,” Mr Williams said.

“They’ll give Albury a good run for their money on Thursday.”

Despite having epilepsy and an intellectual disability, Mr Williams drives, cooks and works for Aware Industries in Wodonga.

And he attends every North Albury training session and game.

Mrs Williams said she was proud of her son for making it this far and had lashed out on an electric shaver for his milestone birthday.

“He’s got his loving ways. Before he goes to bed he says ‘Good night mum, I’ll always love you’,” she said.

Mr Williams said his mother has always been there to support him when needed.

“When I had cancer she’s the only one who said I would live. Everyone else thought I would pass away,” he said.

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