A THORNBURY man who shared his fight against cancer with others has died, aged 33.
Rob Hale passed away on Monday, days after going in to St Peter’s Hospice after being unable to live at home any longer, a week before what would have been his 34th birthday.
A year ago he was given months to live – but he decided to fight on and document his journey.
Since then he had posted uplifting, and often heart-wrenching, stories and photos, determined not to let the illness prevent him from making the most of his time.
His parents told the Voice that Rob passed away on Monday evening. Tributes and messages of support have flooded in to his social media pages.
Rob was keen that the Voice share news of his illness, and treatment.
His parents said: “Rob has always been keen to share his experiences, and many people have said that it helps them deal with their own experience with cancer.”
Rob, an aerospace engineer, became ill in February 2021 with coronavirus, and when his symptoms persisted, he at first thought he had long covid.
But after having a blood test he was diagnosed in April 2021 with acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer that affects cells in the bone marrow. He had three bouts of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and then stem cell treatment.
In December last year Rob was told he had only months to live, so he hosted a “living funeral” to say goodbye to friends and family.
Since then Rob had posted almost daily on Facebook, counting up the days added on since his terminal diagnosis, in order to give others hope.
Well-wishers donated thousands of pounds and many gifts, to help him realise some of his bucket list dreams.
In one of his final posts, last week, he announced that after so long being cared for at home by his parents, he had finally agreed to go into St Peter’s Hospice.
He said he had a chest infection which could not be treated.
Rob posted: “I’ve made the inevitable and incredibly tough decision to throw in the towel and say enough is enough.
“I’ve fought so hard to outlive this disease, and 327 days isn’t a bad go it. This will be a time for family to come together, and that is about all I can handle.
“Thank you for all the support you’ve given me over the past 327 days and in some cases longer. It’s been a hell of a journey!!”
Rob urged people to donate stem cells to help patients with cancer through the Anthony Nolan Trust https://www.anthonynolan.org/help-save-a-life/join-stem-cell-register