The Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, was officially opened on the 24th May 2010 by Sir Ian Botham OBE.
The centre is dedicated to Stephanie Marks, a young girl who dreamed of becoming a doctor and who tragically died from complications from the disease in 2002, aged just 17.
The official opening was hosted by Trust Chairman Aileen McLeish, and attended by around 70 guests, which included major fundraisers for the Appeal (from local community groups, the pharmaceutical industry and others), the Mayors of Runnymede, Woking, Surrey Heath and the London Borough of Hounslow, staff from Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust, other local health organisations and patient representatives, followed by a wider open afternoon to members of the local community.
Sir Ian Botham OBE opens Stephanie Marks Diabetes Resource Centre at St Peter's Hospital
Unveiling the plaque to mark this special occasion Sir Ian - Patron of the Stephanie Marks Appeal which raised over £1 million to build the centre - spoke of his admiration for everything that had been achieved: "I am really proud to be a small part of this - what a tremendous achievement, and what a great and fitting way to remember Stephanie." Sir Ian went on to explain his own personal connection with the disease: "I myself have a daughter who has diabetes and I know the problems it causes." He went on to say that Becky has recently presented them with their fourth grandchild, despite having Brittle Diabetes, the most aggressive form of the disease.
Dr Mike Baxter, the Trust's Medical Director and Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at the time, who first suggested the idea of building a resource centre in Stephanie's name, went on to speak of the pride and sadness that the day had brought to those in the room. "I have been on an incredible journey, as have the Marks family and my team. It is a testament to the human spirit that such negative energy from such a tragic event has been transferred into something so meaningful and significant."
Summing up what the new centre means to him and his family, Stephanie's father Chris Marks said: "Stephanie was a beautiful, talented, courageous girl whose dream to become a doctor was cut short by complications of diabetes. Our deep sadness is not diminished by the passage of the years but today is about moving forward and improving standards for people with diabetes in our community, linked with GPs and other health colleagues, away from the melee of the main hospital. This resource centre is really going to make a difference. We can all say that this is a job well done."
The main number for the Stephanie Marks Diabetes Centre is 01932 722789 and the building is located by the main entrance to St Peter's Hospital.