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Gala dinner to be held in memory of Robert Stella

Posted by: Fundraising 13 April 2015

A fundraising gala dinner is set to be held in memory of 26-year-old Robert Stella, who died of pancreatic cancer in January last year.

Robert’s Mum and Dad, Ann and Phillip, and his brother Sean, set up the Robert Stella Cancer Foundation in his memory, and along with many of their friends, have so far raised an incredible £11,000 for us and Pancreatic Cancer Action.

The black tie gala dinner is being organised by Robert’s former PE teacher, Gareth Cousins, and will be held at the Wentworth Club in Virginia Water on Friday, 16th October. It is the latest in a series of fundraising events and challenges taken on by Robert’s family and friends, including half marathons and 10k runs, tough mudder events and the Three Peaks Challenge.

Robert Stella Gala dinner poster

Robert was diagnosed after having problems sleeping, a great deal of back pain and rapid weight loss. He went to A&E and a few days later, on his 26th birthday, he was told he had pancreatic cancer which had spread to his lungs, lymph nodes, kidneys and spine. He died in January last year.

Robert’s Mum Ann, from Camberley, said: “Robert had been sick for three or four years and we took him to the doctor many times for his back pain. About this time two years ago, we started to notice a big change in him. He was 6 foot 3, but weighed only 74 kilograms when we took him to A&E.

“Robert suffered unbearably. He was in such pain. It was absolutely horrific, and such a waste of his life. We lost our beautiful boy, and we still can’t really believe it. Before he died, Robert asked me to try and help others with pancreatic cancer. He said ‘No one deserves to go through this, you have to try and make a difference’. So we have been doing lots of fundraising in his memory as well as spreading the word about pancreatic cancer. Robert’s friends have been amazing, and local business have also got on board and supported us.”

Tickets for the gala dinner are £100, which includes champagne cocktails on arrival and a four course dinner. There will also be two guest speakers on the night, footballer and TV presenter Matt Le Tissier and BBC broadcaster Rob Nothman, as well as live music from The Slaves. To buy tickets, email Gareth Cousins on cousinsg@salesian.hants.sch.uk