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Mark Gunter is one of our contributing photographers and his work is well known and respected throughout the cycling world. More than that, Mark is a father, husband, friend, and an outstanding man.
Mark was in New York with his family earlier in the year and on August 30 he sent out an email letting us know he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer of the oesophagus. As soon as he found out he and his family came home to Australia to seek treatment as quickly as possible.
Rumours ran wild on social media yesterday that Mark had passed away. My heart immediately sank and I felt sick when I read the rumours. As I began looking for more information it became apparent that there were conflicting stories about his condition.
Got a second confirmation that Mark Gunter is still alive. Prayers, thoughts, fingers crossed for him – everything you've got
— Shane Stokes (@SSbike) November 24, 2015
Indeed, an upsetting rumour on social media had got out of hand with one person after another spreading the news and sharing their condolences.
Rob Arnold from Ride Magazine saw Mark on Sunday and posted this update on Facebook:
“People, this what I know: Mark is very sick. We visited him on Sunday and although he was very tired, he still had good humour and even suggested we “go for a ride, or maybe hit the town next week, or what about do some fishing soon mate”. Even moving is very difficult for him at the moment but he has people who love him nearby. His parents are staying nearby and his sister is also in town to help look after him. He is at Leeanne’s parents’ house and there have been a lot of visitors over the last few days.
Please send him, Leeanne and Lucas all your love and wishes and energy and positivity. They need all the support they can get at the moment. The diagnosis is not good but for now, from what I saw only three days ago, he’s still fighting the good fight…”
You can read Rob’s full update here with more information.
I spoke to Mark last week and I’m not going to lie, he didn’t sound great. But he was positive and I’m happy to hear that he has his loved ones around him. I’m not a doctor, however from what I understand, Mark’s prognosis is not good with the disease in stage 4 and an inoperable tumour in his spine. I tried contacting Mark and his wife Leeanne yesterday with no avail. We don’t know Mark’s condition today.
From Mark’s email to his colleagues on August 30:
“I love my photography, in particular bike racing and cycling photography. So my number 1 plan is to get well so I can continue shooting at a race near you soon.
“I’m in good spirits but just very tired and nauseas due to the treatment. I will of course will be accepting all of your good vibes to help me heal.
“I hope you are well and I look forward to working with you again.
Please join us in sending Mark and his family our prayers, love, thoughts and good vibes.