Dad raises £158,000 in memory of wife and son
A devastated Hampshire dad whose wife and young son both died of cancer has raised £158,700 to help others battling he disease.
Mark Keville was heartbroken when his son, Robbie was diagnosed with a brain tumour, just two years after his wife Kate had lost her battle with breast cancer.
Yesterday Mark, who runs a property development company, presented the latest instalment of his fund raising quest to Southampton Hospital Charity.The money was raised through a fundraising campaign spearheaded by family friend Stella Wildsmith and her committee. One of the latest fundraising activities was a quiz night which raised £32,500!
The fund was created while Robbie was undergoing his final phase of chemotherapy when Mark organised a fundraising road rally, entitled Robbiesrally.
Since then, adventurer and Robbie’s hero, Bear Grylls has agreed to be the patron of the charity after visiting the youngster in hospital.
The fund has raised the cash through a series of events organised by Mark, 52, and children, Harry, 20, and Lara,18, as well as their wider family and friends.
Earlier this month as reported by the Daily Echo, their story was shown to millions as part of the Channel 4 Stand Up To Cancer fundraiser.
Hospital director of nursing, Gail Byrne said: “It is absolutely amazing to receive such a large amount of money.
“When I heard the family’s story it is impossible not to be moved.
“How someone can go through so much and still want to help others is truly incredible.”
Mark hopes that the charity will continue to grow with the aim of opening, a rehabilitation scheme for children with brain tumours.
The fund has already secured enough money to hire an allocated nurse to run the scheme, costing £30,000 a year for the next three years.
That nurse will then provide cognitive therapy, physiotherapy and psychotherapy, for the children as well as giving support for their families.
This will be the first time that this has been done in Southampton.
Mark said: “The fund is exciting as it keeps Robbie’s memory alive. He would absolutely loved all of the events that have taken place.
“Robbie was an extrovert, he was competitive, very sporty and very bright.
“But most importantly he loved to have a good time.
“So that is what these events are first and foremost, a party.”
The next fundraising is a 24 hour tennis tournament organised by Robbie’s sister Lara at 6pm on November 11 at the Bourne Club in Farnham.
If you would like to organise your own event in memory of Robbie, please message https://www.facebook.com/robbiesrally
Our thanks to the Daily Echo.