A Lehman Brothers executive director is holding a huge charity fundraiser in Canary Wharf to mark his first year in remission from bowel cancer.
Robert Chapman, 48, was diagnosed with cancer in February 2016, and asked to be transferred from his local hospital in Essex to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea.
He underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy last year without taking a single day off work, and is now fundraising to support the hospital’s bowel cancer unit to celebrate his first year in remission.
An employee at Lehman Brothers for almost 20 years, Robert is currently working with PwC on the final stages of the company’s administration. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February 2016.
Robert said: “I want to be open about bowel cancer and not be embarrassed. People should be talking about things like this.
“I’m not knocking the doctors in Essex, but the Royal Marsden are the world leaders in cancer. In Essex they were looking to remove my anus and put a bag in, and the Marsden spared me from that.
“When I was having chemo and radiotherapy I spent a few days working from home, but usually I would come in to Canary Wharf, work my day, head to the hospital for 3.30pm and then be back in Canary Wharf the next day.
“It was exhausting, but I was fit before I got ill and I didn’t want to just stop my life because of cancer.”
He added: “The Royal Marsden do amazing work. They changed everything for me, and back in 1989 they saved my brother when he was ill as well.
“I want to raise as much money as I can, and all of it will go to their research team who are so close to changing forever the way bowel cancer is treated.”
Robert is now holding a fundraising event in Canary Wharf to raise money for the Red Trouser Day charity , which was founded by fellow patient Paul Finch and supports the hospital’s colorectal department.
The charity was founded in October 2016, and is aiming to raise £100,000 for the Royal Marsden by the end of this year.
The fundraising will support the hospital's research in early detection of bowel cancer through blood tests, technological improvements in the operating theatre and a fund to support patients.
Robert said he has been “overwhelmed” by the support shown by businesses around Canary Wharf for his fundraising event, which he is hoping will raise £15,000 and will include live music, competitions, an auction and a raffle.
Donated prizes include a pair of tickets to a West Ham home match, a years membership to Nuffield Health’s Canary Wharf Health Club, a guided tour of Billingsgate Fish Market followed by a Champagne breakfast, cookery demonstration and lunch for four at Chamberlain’s Restaurant, a Chelsea shirt signed by the current team, a boxing glove signed by the late Muhammad Ali, an iPad and and a signed snooker cue from sporting legend Ronnie O’Sullivan, as well as many, many more.
The Red Trouser Day fundraiser will be held from 7pm on Wednesday, June 21, at The Sports Bar and Grill in Crossrail Place. Tickets cost £10 and can be bought here .
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook