Cancer death at 24 leads to Wivenhoe family charity

Toby Freeman with a picture of his brother Robin

Toby Freeman with a picture of his brother Robin

First published in North Essex by

THE family of a man who died at 24 after a battle with cancer want to prevent similar tragedies.

Robin Freeman, of Queens Road, Wivenhoe, died in St Helena Hospice, Colchester, on December 10.

He had a form of germ cell cancer that developed into a grapefruit-sized tumour in his chest.

Now his parents and two brothers have formed the Robin Cancer Trust to help raise awareness of the condition in young people.

Brother Toby, 22, is the acting chairman of the project, which is applying to become a registered charity.

Dad, Mark, will act as treasurer and mum Lorna and brother Adam, 28, make up the board of trustees.

Toby said the trust hoped to encourage more young people to get medical check-ups.

He added: “We knew something positive had to come out of Robin’s passing. We found all the information on germ cell cancers was spread out on the internet and wanted to put it in one specific place.

“It is early days, but we hope we can help save lives.”

The trust is looking to hold fundraising events and publicise the symptoms.

Germ cell cancers affect the reproductive system, but can develop elsewhere in the body.

Symptoms include night sweats, persistent coughs, irregular bowel movements and prolonged periods of feeling unwell.

Toby, who works at Colchester’s V Bar, said: “For me it is also part of the grieving process. I’ve taken on a lot by becoming the chairman, but it has been helpful.

“Robin was the fittest guy I knew, down the gym ever day. But this can happen to young guys.

“Because it is reproductive – testicular, ovarian – there is a stigma. People need to get checked out.”

Robin, a former Colchester Institute student was a music fan, playing drums in metal band Idle.

Find out more by visiting RobinCancerTrust or following the Twitter account @The_RCT_Charity

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