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Fundraiser is held at Nat West in Skipton to welcome back Robin
8:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A fortnight after Robin Priestley visited his doctor with a lump in his mouth, which he thought would be treated with simple medication, he was undergoing a 15-hour lifesaving operation.
Robin, who has just returned to his job as a customer adviser at Nat West in Skipton, is recovering from treatment to remove a cancer from his mouth last December, which has left him having to learn to speak again.
He was back in the office last Wednesday, welcoming representatives of Macmillan Cancer Support who had set up a fundraising buffet in the bank’s foyer to celebrate the charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The event raised £200.
The 53-year-old from Addingham said he discovered the lump last November and was on the operating table within about two weeks.
“When I visited the consultant surgeon he said to me the one thing you don’t want to hear which was ‘I don’t like the look of that’.
A biopsy then confirmed it was cancer.
“The result was major surgery at Bradford Royal Infirmary, the best place I could have been. The medical staff were very special and dedicated people – I was very lucky.
“The surgery took 15 hours from 9.30am to midnight. I was glad I didn’t know how long it would last – the news could have killed me on the spot.”
Robin, who is on a phased return to work, said: “Because I’ve lost part of my tongue, I’m having to speak in my Sunday best being careful to enunciate my words otherwise I would sound like I’m mumbling. It’s an effort but time will make it better.
“At first I couldn’t eat or talk but with help from speech therapist I’m making progress. My attitude is to look forward not backward and people have been wonderfully supportive.”
The coffee morning is Macmillan's biggest fundraising event. In 2012, 115,000 people signed up, raising a record £15 million.
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