Thursday 23 May 2019

Take That's Mark Owen takes time out to meet terminally ill fan ahead of 3Arena concert

Tina Potts meets her idol - Mark Owen of Take That
Tina Potts meets her idol - Mark Owen of Take That

Sarah Slater

A terminally ill woman who has been told by doctors she has only months to live was met with a hug and kiss by one of her idols from Take That.

Band member Mark Owen went out of his way to ensure he met mum-of-two Tina Potts, from Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow, prior to Monday night's sold-out concert.

Take That in action at the 3Arena during the first night of their Greatest Hits Live Tour in Ireland. Pic Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That in action at the 3Arena during the first night of their Greatest Hits Live Tour in Ireland. Pic Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That in action at the 3Arena during the first night of their Greatest Hits Live Tour in Ireland. Pic Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Rick Astley performing his greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019
Take That performing their greatest hits at the 3 Arena in Dublin. Photos by Steve Humphreys 29th April 2019

Despite being bedridden in hospital for the past week, 40-year-old Tina, who has ovarian cancer, summoned the energy and - with the approval of her medical team - saw her favourite band live in concert.

Ms Potts has been given a 30pc chance of living until Christmas as she bravely fights the illness.

The mum had bought standing tickets for the concert, but recently became so unwell that she is now using a wheelchair.

The 3Arena's disability access section had already been filled, and so a campaign started to help Ms Potts see the band.

Take That on stage at 3Arena
Take That on stage at 3Arena

Cancer awareness advocate Vicky Phelan also supported her, calling on concert and venue management to help Ms Potts.

Thanks to a friend, Laura Ryan, Ms Potts's devastation about not being able to go turned to utter excitement as concert promoters MCD turned her standing tickets to wheelchair accessible following a successful Twitter campaign.

On Monday, the band made contact with Tina to say singer Mark wanted to meet her.

Ms Potts and Ms Ryan became friends after queuing to see the pop group in their heyday on RTE's The Late Late Show decades ago.

"I've never felt so accomplished about anything in my life, to be honest. I've never in my life been happier for anyone than I was for Tina when she told me they were on the way to meet him," a delighted Ms Ryan said. "I was standing in a queue outside the 3Arena for 12 hours waiting to go in when I got the call to say she was meeting Mark and I just cried my eyes out when I heard the wonderful news."

Ms Potts's cancer was diagnosed at a late stage, when she was suffering from symptoms including fatigue, bloating, bowel changes and a build-up of fluid in her abdomen.

Ms Potts, who has been urging women to get themselves checked out by medics for peace of mind, had also been promising her partner Johnny Harris for 13 years that she would marry him.

They tied the knot on Daffodil Day in March, after learning of her diagnosis.

After the concert, Mr Harris tweeted: "I just want to thank all of you who helped and tweeted the boys about my really sick wife. Your hard work paid off. Not only did she get her tickets sorted but she met Mark!

"It was organised so quickly that we just made it to the meeting with a minute to spare. A huge thank you to Laura, who made it all possible. I can never repay what you've done."

Take That played a second show at Dublin's 3Arena last night as part of their Greatest Hits tour.

Read more: 'They're like family, I love them' - dedicated Take That fans start queuing seven hours before 3Arena gig

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