RCT Blog

Not all heroes wear capes

Germ Cell Cancer

Founder and Super Mum, AKA Lorna Freeman wrote some beautiful words about Robin – our namesake – for our Superheroes Walk last week. We thought we’d share them with you.


That word can conjure up many images to many people.

Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman, Captain America to name but a few, admirably fighting crime and defeating evil.

Of course, they are all fictitious characters and in a make believe world it is easy to be victorious because the author of those stories is the person who dictates the outcome.

Reality begs to differ.

The true superheroes are those like Rob, who had cancer enter his life story at the age of 23 yrs old, uninvited, in January 2011 and had no choice but to fight against the disease by going through chemotherapy and coping with all the side effects that ravaged his body during the process.

This is where heroism took over.

Rob was scared, terrified in fact, of returning for his second round of treatment because he’d already experienced how ill the chemo would make him feel, how it would definitely make him lose his hair, take away his appetite so he would lose weight as well as sap him of his strength but mostly because it would take him away from home and any sense of normality for weeks on end.

Despite all of those fears, he faced up to them and continued to do so during the next three rounds of chemo until April of 2011.

In July, cancer decided to add a twist to his story by adding leukaemia to the plot.

Back to hospital, for another two grueling rounds of chemo, along with worsening side effects, plus a stem cell transplant.


Of course he was, Rob was only human after all.

By the end of October, aged 24 yrs old, Rob received the dreadful news that nothing more could be done for him. Rob was no longer the author of his life, there was no happy ending with a miraculous plot twist at the very last minute, just in the nick of time, to save the day.

This was real life, stark, raw, and unforgiving.

This chapter was being written and played out relentlessly in front of him, with the stamp of ‘Final draft’ emblazoned in neon lights across his life story.

Which is when his heroism kicked in once again.

Cancer may have robbed him of most of that year but it wasn’t going to dictate what little time he had left.

To give himself back the control he’d lost, he made plans such as having a zoo keeper experience at Colchester Zoo, went to Wembley Arena to see one of his favourite bands, ‘Machine Head’ with his friend Matt and brother Ad, he saw as many friends and family members as he could, planned his own funeral, wrote a final letter to us and his friends to be read after he’d gone…..the list goes on.

You see what I mean-heroism doesn’t mean wearing a cape, flying through the air or swinging a hammer- it’s having the courage to keep going when the odds are against you in real life.

Rob is our Superhero and I’m sure that many of you know people that you consider the same, otherwise you wouldn’t be here today helping us to try and write a better ending for somebody else by raising awareness and for that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Rob – our son, our brother, our uncle, our cousin, our nephew, our friend – our inspiration.


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