Robert Leo Stuart Anderson was only 13 years old when he died from Angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
This young man, bursting with life and full of hopes, dreams and plans for a bright future, suddenly became ill in December 2004. At this point normal life stopped. Within hours of being admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary with severe abdominal pain it became clear that Robbie had an aggressive cancer that would prove to be terminal. He died 15 months later.
Robbie was born on August 5th 1992 in Leicester. His brother, Jamie, two years older formed a strong bond with his brother right from the start. They were very close and always did everything together. Both started their education at Viscount Beaumont C of E Primary School in their home village of Coleorton and then moved onto the Wolstan Preparatoty School and Dixie Grammar School in Market Bosworth.
Robbie loved school and even when he became very ill was determined to attend whenever he could.Until his illness Robbie was very fit and enjoyed football, tennis and running. He loved karting and was a demon round the track – always wanting to beat his brother, Jamie and often succeeding! They were both members of the Willesley Golf Club in Ashby de la Zouch and he enjoyed playing with family and friends.
He was absolutely addicted to his X-Box and games, like most young men of his age and this would help while away long hours in hospital when he couldn’t move from his bed, as would his love of books, crosswords and scrabble. Just a few months before he became ill the family went on holiday to Canada where he discovered fishing. kayaking and white water rafting.
Robbie was tall for his age, with a deep voice for a twelve year old he often appeared older than his years. When he first went into hospital the nurses were always asking him when he was sitting his GCSE’s which he found very amusing!
He was the greatest fun to be with and drew people to him like a magnet. He was strong, spirited, self-possessed and courageous. His absolute unwavering courage and fortitude never faltered in public or in private. An extremely bright and mature boy he was determined to make every second count in the short time he had left to him.
Robbie’s tremendous zest for life, great sense of fun and warm outgoing personality endeared him to everyone. His 15 month battle with cancer undoubtedly changed him from a carefree, fun-loving 12 year old boy, full of promise to a charismatic young man who has become a true inspiration to all who had the privilege to know him.
Robbie was diagnosed with Metastatic Angiosarcoma in December 2004. He was taken into hospital after a short two week period of abdominal pain.
Initial radiology and biopsy revealed metastatic angiosarcoma with multiple liver lesions and lesions in his vertebral column and pelvic bones. The disease was extremely active with high fever and platelet consumption. It progressed rapidly with marked abdominal distension which compressed his lungs and made breathing difficult. Robbie was treated with intensive chemotherapy and the disease slowly responded with a reduction in the size of his liver and in the number of liver lesions. However the liver lesions never completely resolved and there were always multiple liver lesions with persistent bony abnormalities of his vertebral column and pelvic bones.
There was no effective local treatment option. A number of alternative chemotherapy schedules were tried but subsequent scans showed continued disease progression. Towards the end Robbie required morphine and daily blood product replacement. He lost the fight on March 15th 2006.