Spotlight on… Simon Robinson, Guy’s Cancer Ambassador
Meet Simon Robinson, a patient who has been so impressed with his cancer treatment that he’s recently become a proud Guy’s Cancer Ambassador.
With his wife Selina, he works tirelessly to raise funds and spread the word about the incredible care and research the staff at Guy’s Cancer are providing every day.
At the age of 63, Simon was diagnosed in September 2017 as having a neuroendocrine tumour of his bowel. This is a rare type of cancer that generates hormones which cause a range of unpleasant symptoms and can put a big strain on the heart. Surgery wasn't an option because Simon's tumour had spread to his liver, so he was referred to Guy’s Hospital for treatment under Professor Val Lewington in the nuclear medicine department.
His team decided to treat him with targeted radiotherapy using a radioactive medicine designed to recognise and attack tumour cells in the body. The treatment involves a course of four injections given every eight to twelve weeks.
Unfortunately, Simon also needed an operation to deal with heart problems caused by the tumour, which temporarily interrupted his cancer treatment. Once he'd recovered from the surgery he finally had his last treatment in September 2018 and is doing well.
Becoming an Ambassador
When Simon was approached by the fundraising team about becoming a Guy’s Cancer Ambassador, he was immediately keen to be involved. He says that along with having the support of his wife, the amazing nuclear medicine team and overall optimistic attitude at Guy’s Cancer is what’s helped get him through his experience.
‘When you arrive at Guy’s there’s nobody you see who isn’t positive with you,’ says Simon. ‘The psychological effect of it is that you then feel positive yourself. So for your next visit, when you get on the train to London Bridge you don’t set off thinking it’s going to be negative. And when you arrive at the hospital, you hear the positive attitude that you will be cured and you will get better – but also why you’ll get better.
‘That’s what sets Guy’s aside from every other hospital I’ve been to during this process. It’s like a different way of life, never mind anything else.’
Simon and Selina’s work
The couple have multiple plans in progress to fundraise, including regularly holding stands at car boot sales and donating all takings to Guy’s Cancer. They maximise on these events by advertising Guy’s Cancer at their table and starting conversations about the hospital with anyone who visits.
Selina is organising a sponsored walk that will take place next year, which they have both already begun training for. And to help raise awareness of Guy’s Cancer, Simon has been approaching organisations through his business networks about giving talks about his experience.
‘Often I’m talking to people and they have a relative or friend who’s been treated there, it’s surprising how many people have,’ says Simon. ‘It’s good to be able to let people know about fundraising and tell a positive story with a positive outlook.
‘I just want everyone to know about that attitude the staff at Guy’s Cancer have towards their patients: that you’re coming to an amazing place, we will make you better, and you will make it. The whole place is just exceptional.’
Do you have a personal relationship to the hospital and would like to share your story? As an Ambassador you can get involved by inspiring your family, friends, colleagues and online networks to support the charity, attending cheque presentations and thanking our supporters. Contact email@example.com for further information.