Bob Mitchell shares why he has been inspired to donate to Oxford Hospitals Charity, and how others can also make a difference through donations, fundraising and gifts in Wills.

‘My name is Bob Mitchell and I've been a cancer patient at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and the Horton General in Banbury for over ten years now.

I never thought I’d say these words, because my life expectancy following the original diagnosis was a matter of months.


So I owe everything to these hospitals and the staff who work in them. They’ve given me these ten years - a second life.

Initially, when I was diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma, ten years ago, everything looked pretty bleak; a local doctor said it was: ‘Inoperable, terminal, but modern-day drugs will make you comfortable.’ I thanked him for his bedside manner!


Although I live in Northamptonshire I was fortunate to be referred to the Oxford team who thought I might be a good candidate for immunotherapy and radiosurgery trials.

But I decided early on after my diagnosis to live every day as if it might be my last.


So I planned and attended my own wake in Ireland a fantastic affair filled with over 80 people from 10 different countries who I hold dear. I also travelled widely, visiting new places and old and saw friends I’d worked with during my long career in sales of shoe components.


Best of all, I invested time in really getting to know my beautiful grandchildren. The relationship I have with them is truly precious.


And during it all, I put my absolute trust and faith in the team caring for me.


“I’ve enjoyed these extra years I’ve been gifted, and am amazed that I am still here,

but prepared for the day when I am not.”


Getting the chance to say thank you to my medical team – I call them the magnificent seven – has meant so much to me. Just as I have visited friends to say my farewells I have been keen to do the same with the medical teams who have helped me.

I will always be grateful to Professor Middleton, Dr Nick Coupe, Specialist Nurse Theresa, Dr Payne, Dr Vinny Cheung, Dr McCauley, Dr Yanis, Dr Hobbs – their care has meant so much to me. 

But I also wanted to go a little bit further.


In recent years I have donated regularly to Oxford Hospitals Charity. I’ve read with interest the many stories the charity shares in its magazine, TORCH,  that show just what a difference donations like mine make funding the best possible medical equipment and research, making wards more comfortable and welcoming and – importantly to me – also giving extra support to the wonderful NHS staff who care for us all.


So I am making a larger donation, to show my gratitude and have made arrangements for this to be gifted to the charity even if I am not around to see it.


I want to make sure the clinicians who have cared for me – saved me – know just how grateful I am for all they have done.


It’s a comfort to me to do this, and perhaps it could be to you too.


We'd like to thank Bob for sharing his story. If like him you are inspired to say thank you it is easy to make a donation, of perhaps you might consider leaving a gift in your Will?

Legacies continue to be the most important area of funding for our charity, the keys that unlock so much innovation and improvement across our NHS Trust.

If you wish to support us in this very special way you will need our name, 'Oxford Hospitals Charity', and charity number – 1175809.

All the information you or your solicitor require is here

You will also find there links to a free Will writing service which you may find helpful.

If you have any questions please give us a call on 0300 373 1188