Falkirk families unite to raise cancer cash

Robert Marshall
Robert Marshall

Cancer is a horrible and often deadly disease, but having it is not necessarily a “bad thing” according to one brave young survivor.

The dreams of Robert Marshall from Avonbridge were shattered in September 2010 when he was told he had bone cancer in his left leg.

The promising 18-year-old had just been accepted by the Royal Navy for a career as an engineer on the high seas, but his aspirations were swept away after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his thigh.

However, despite the life-changing setback, Robert has kept a very positive outlook throughout his ordeal.

“I’ve never seen cancer as a bad thing,” said Robert, who works part-time in Falkirk’s Smyths toy shop. “There have been so many good things that have come out of it for me.

“I’ve met so many amazing people and have had so much support. Joining the navy was my dream job, but that’s not going to happen now so I just have to accept that.

“My mum (Carol) told me to be strong and I think I’ve taken it quite well generally. I never let it get me down.”

To treat his cancer, Robert underwent a major operation to rid his thigh bone of the cancerous tumour as well as going through harrowing chemotherapy, which left him in intensive care for a month.

He currently walks with a limp after leg surgery, but is determined it will disappear once he builds the muscles up again.

Robert’s girlfriend, Kerri Graham (16), who comes from Reddingmuirhead, has been by his side every step of the way throughout his ordeal and is helping his family organise a massive fundraising night in Larbert’s Dobbie Hall in February.

She said: “He has never once felt sorry for himself. Robert’s family, friends and various charities have always been there for him. That’s why we want to raise as much as we can for the likes of the Teenage Cancer Trust, Clic Sargent and Make A Wish Foundation.

“Both our families are involved and the support we’ve had from everyone has been brilliant. It’s something we want to do for years to come, certainly make the Dobbie Hall event an annual one.”

To raise awareness of cancer Robert talked to youngsters at his former school, Braes High School, which now helps raise money for cancer charities as a result.

Robert’s family is in the process of setting up a charity, Carmar Charity Fundraisers, which has a Facbook page. The fundraising night for the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Dobbie Hall is on February 25.