Brave young Scout beats cancer to earn top award

Scout Robert Johnston
Scout Robert Johnston

A brave young Scout who beat cancer was part of a major event at the weekend.

Robert Johnston was only 11 years old when he was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012.

The shock news understandably rocked the youngster and his family - and a gruelling 18 months of chemotherapy and other treatment at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow was to follow before he was given the all-clear by doctors.

It was obviously a difficult time for Robert, his parents Robert and Grace, and younger sister, Victoria, but the family rallied round determined to face it together.

But what they went through was put behind them on Saturday when Robert attended the Scout Association’s annual St George’s Day national service parade in Windsor after being awarded The Medal of Meritorious Conduct for his exceptional service to the Antonine Explorer Unit in Falkirk.

The event was fitting reward for the 15-year-old from McNab Gardens near Slamannan who bravely beat the odds.

Robert joined 1st Falkirk Cubs when he was eight and the Scouts at the age of ten and was looking forward to ‘moving up’ to the Explorer Unit when he started to feel ill.

He said: “I was tired after school. My mum and dad took me to the doctor and he found small tumours on my neck. I was then told I had stage four Hodgkin’s.

“It was a shock, but from the start I was determined to take a positive approach, we all were. My family and my Scout leader, Donna Denny, all encouraged me to keep a strong mental attitude and look ahead and with their support I got though it.

“I was quite surprised to be awarded the medal, I didn’t think I was doing anything very special, but it’s a great honour.”

Robert’s mum said: “It was not an easy time for him, but Robert took everything in his stride and faced his illness with courage.”