My dad survived cancer... so can I

Robert Farrington, 65, with his dad, Arthur, 91.
Robert Farrington, 65, with his dad, Arthur, 91.
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A great-grandfather who was told he has incurable cancer is determined to defy the odds – inspired by his own dad’s fight against the disease.

Robert Farrington, 65, was told he has life-limiting stomach and pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

Robert Farrington, from Garstang, with his five generation family and wife Kath.

Robert Farrington, from Garstang, with his five generation family and wife Kath.

But he said the experience of his 91-year-old dad, who he spent 55 years searching for, is giving him hope.

Separated when Robert was 10 after his parents divorced, the Garstang resident searched the country trying to find his dad, Arthur.

He had almost given up hope when in 1977 a knock on the door saw his luck change.

“It was my dad’s old army friend and he told me my dad had been trying to find me,” Robert said. “He told me my dad had moved to Australia and gave me a number to get in touch with him.”

It was a really strange and emotional feeling, seeing him after all that time

But despite keeping in contact with his dad, it wasn’t until 2010 they were finally brought back together.

“It was a really strange and emotional feeling, seeing him after all that time,” Robert said. “Then he told me he’d survived lung cancer when he was in his 60s and it was incredible to see him going so strong at 91.”

But in August of this year, Robert was given the news he had incurable cancer. He refused to accept the news and found an experimental treatment in a German clinic which claimed it could cure him.

“I was absolutely devastated when I found out,” he said. “They told me they couldn’t cure me but I don’t want to take that. This treatment isn’t available in the UK and it’s expensive - but I’ve got a lot to live for.

“I’ve got my wife Kath, two children, six grandchildren and my great grandchild was only born in August so I don’t want to break the chain of five generations. Knowing my dad got past something similar gives me hope I can do the same.”

And so Kath set up a GoFundMe appeal, hoping to raise £100,000 to fund a lengthy run of treatment.

She said: “We are aware that other people who have attended this clinic with the same ‘no hope’ diagnosis are now either in remission or even cancer free despite being told their cancer was terminal.

”Bob has worked all his life and, whenever possible, has selflessly run around making sure everyone else is OK.

“But today what he needs is for us to return this favour.”

• To support Bob’s appeal search ‘Bob’s Cancer Treatment Fund’ on www.gofundme.com