A CAMPAIGNER who battled prostate cancer for more than five years has left £10,000 to charity to ensure the diagnosis is not a “death sentence” for others.
Former Scottish Building Federation president Ian Robb initially ignored the twinges of pain in his back, and put down the increasing number of toilet trips to simply growing older.
A man was diagnosed early when he went for a test after reading the leaflets. Ian was so pleasedDIANE ROBB
But, in March 2009, the pain became so acute that the 55-year-old was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where doctors informed him that he had secondary spinal cancer that had spread from his prostate.
Later that same day he lost the use of his legs due to compression on his spinal cord.
Diane Robb, his wife of 18 years, said: “They said they would never know how much mobility he could regain. He was amazing really, as he was so determined to succeed.”
Showing remarkable determination, Ian slowly taught himself to walk with a crutch and over time he regained his full mobility. This determination spurred him on to warn others not to ignore the signs of prostate cancer.
While undergoing treatment at the Western General Hospital’s specialist male-only cancer centre, he came across leaflets on prostate cancer which he believed could have saved him.
Diane, 69, said: “He said to me, ‘If I had read these leaflets, I wouldn’t have been in this position. It wouldn’t have been a death sentence. It might have been something treatable’.
“He got it into his head that he wanted to help others.”
The grandfather-of-six created his own leaflet, which he shared widely through the Scottish Building Federation and among friends and family.
Diane, of Fairmilehead, said: “We heard that one man was diagnosed early when he went for a test after reading the leaflets. Ian was so pleased, as he felt that even if one person was saved then that was good enough.”
Ian continued to speak out about prostate cancer until his condition deteriorated in 2014 following an unsuccessful bout of chemotherapy.
Diane said: “He lived as he had always done, he never put off anything. He made the most of trying to do the things he wanted to do.”
On his death last September, he left £10,000 in his will for Prostate Cancer UK and his wife intends to match his donation.
James Beeby, deputy director of fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Ian’s story is a true inspiration and the charity is delighted to be able to continue their work in Ian’s honour.”
n Remember A Charity Week runs this week where anyone can make a gift in their will to support the charity’s work. Visit www.prostatecanceruk.org/legacies