A LOVING brother says the pain of losing his sibling to germ cell cancer is still as raw as it was more than six years ago.

Today would have been Robin Freeman’s 31st birthday.

In a public post, his brother, Toby - who has spearheaded the Robin Cancer Trust - described how his grief has changed over time in a bid to help others.

He wrote: “It’s been six-and-a-half years since he passed away and I still find absolutely no solace in the old adage - time is a great healer.

“The pain of his death is as raw today as it was at 3.45pm on December 10, 2011 - the difference is the grief isn’t as all-consuming.

“Not simply because of the linear passage of time but because I’m consumed by many different things that distract me - my charity work, my hobbies and mostly, my wife and daughter.”

Although the tumour was found in Robin’s chest, doctors later discovered he actually had testicular cancer which had remained in his chest from before he was even born.

The family-run Robin Cancer Trust strongly campaigns for greater testicular and ovarian cancer awareness.

To celebrate his brother’s birthday, Toby wrote he would focus on charity work and family - “raise a glass and share stories about Rob - nothing too over-the-top. I think he’d like that”.


He added: “In years past I’ve been a boiling pot of negative energy leading up to the anniversaries... but more recently, especially since getting married and the arrival of my daughter, I’ve found myself in a different mindset.

“This doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of Rob in between these dates - I still feel the heartbreak of him not being at my wedding, not knowing my daughter or missing out on milestones - but they’re accompanied by positive thoughts.”

He added: “My life has grown around my grief [and] as much as I wish I never had it, I’ve learnt to embrace it and be thankful for the lessons I’ve learnt from it.”


St Helena Hospice offers bereavement services, whether or not you have been involved with the charity.

  • Contact the bereavement support team Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on 01255 258240 for an informal conversation or email patient@sthelenahospice.org.uk with the subject ‘Bereavement’.