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Abseiling in support of the fight against bladder cancer

09.05.18 Categories: Patient stories, Supporter stories,

In Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, a team of brave abseilers are taking on a momentous challenge at St Thomas’ Hospital in memory of Graham Roberts, who was treated for bladder cancer by Dr Simon Chowdhury. Simon is joint lead of the TOUR (Translational Oncology and Urology Research) team at Guy’s and St Thomas’, and will be abseiling alongside them.

The team consists of Graham’s goddaughter, Clare Carrion Ruiz, her husband, Emilio, and her father, Paul Fothergill, who was a close friend of Graham’s.

‘Graham always played a significant part in my life,’ says Clare. ‘He provided me with unconditional love and support throughout all my ventures – be these academic, professional or personal.

‘He was a very kind and generous person, with an unwavering positive outlook on life. The most important lessons he taught me were about living life to the fullest through gratefulness, kindness, laughter and good nature.’

Graham sadly lost his battle with bladder cancer in July 2016. The kindness and generosity that Clare speaks of is apparent through his and his wife Dianne’s wonderful donation of £1.79 million to the TOUR team, which was made to help support the fight against bladder cancer.

Clare is continuing the support further by taking part in this exciting event.

‘When I saw Graham in the last few months of his treatment, he was still the kind and positive Godfather I had always known: he met cancer head on and was eager to beat it,’ recalls Clare.

‘Unfortunately the gold standard treatment that I know he received from Guy’s was not to work for him.  Funding bladder cancer research is the only way to ensure other people don’t have to go through what Dianne and Graham had to go through.

‘It is about making a difference to other people’s lives and this was very much what Graham wanted to leave behind as his legacy.’

The event takes place on Friday 11 May, when Clare, Emilio, Paul and Simon will join many others in the leap from St Thomas’ Hospital to abseil 160 feet down.

Find out more about TOUR and their work in the fight against bladder cancer.

Inspired to take on a challenge for your hospital? Pick an event and sign up today!

Lead image: Clare Carrion Ruiz and Graham Roberts