Robin Wilkinson

4 min read

Sci-fi fan Robin Wilkinson, from Rotherham, was only 50 when he died from a glioblastoma (GBM) in July 2023. A few years earlier, he had collapsed on several occasions, prompting him to get an MRI scan which revealed the tumour. Robin, dad to Gemma, 23, and Kyle, 25, had an operation, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In June 2023, his condition deteriorated and he needed carers to look after him at home until he died.

Robin’s niece Eve Huckbody tells his story…

Uncle Robin was such a kind-hearted man who would do anything for his children, Gemma and Kyle. Everyone loved him because he was such a fun character who was always being silly.

He absolutely loved sci-fi, things like Star Wars and the Marvel films, but he was mad about Doctor Who. When the Christmas special was on TV, he would be totally focused on it and nobody in the room was allowed to speak!

During summer 2020, Robin went to hospital after collapsing and “blacking out” several times. He went to Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield.

He had an MRI scan, but it took so long to get the results. During that time, his mum said he was babbling a lot and wasn’t making any sense.

“His emotions were really up and down. I actually called the local mental health team because I thought he was having a breakdown.”

That same day, the hospital called to say the MRI scan showed Uncle Robin had a brain tumour. It was really hard because he wasn’t very alert and didn’t really understand what was being said. It was devastating news, and I just didn’t want to believe it, but I had to stay strong to be able to break the news to Grandma and my mum.

The hospital sent Uncle Robin steroids in the post to reduce the swelling on his brain.

“We were told the tumour was terminal and would grow back. He was told he would get an extra 12 months if he had an operation; it was a really hard decision for him to make but he decided to go for it and had surgery in February 2021.”

He then had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but it made him really poorly; he was sick, dizzy, and had no appetite. I wondered if it was the right thing to do, but it did mean we had a family Christmas and Uncle Robin got to celebrate his 50th birthday, which was a big milestone for him. He wanted to go to Cleethorpes for fish and chips, so that’s what we did.

 Uncle Robin lived for another year after the treatment, but there were times when we thought we were going to lose him. In January 2023, he had a really bad few weeks; he was given steroids and was fine again for a few months.

“At the start of June, his condition deteriorated. The brain tumour took over his life, leaving him with no energy.”

Uncle Robin didn’t want to go into a hospice, so we arranged for carers to go into his house to care for him. That was difficult for him though because he had always been so independent.

 He tried to maintain his independence even three days before he died as he kept trying to go up the stairs, even though he had had a few falls.

Uncle Robin died on 9 July 2023. My mum, Paula, Auntie Helen, Grandma Patricia, and his son Kyle were at his side. It was the day of my daughter’s christening; after the service, we lit a candle for him in the church, and the vicar said a prayer for him which was really nice.

It was really hard to see Uncle Robin go through what he did. It is such a cruel disease; he didn’t deserve to die like that.

I’ve got so many happy memories of him, including his final farewell at the funeral. Uncle Robin was sci-fi mad, so he was cremated in the Tardis, the Dr Who police box with a Star Wars light saber by his side! It was massive and weighed a tonne. It was too heavy to be carried, so it had to be wheeled in while the Dr Who theme tune was playing!

“It was brilliant, I could just imagine him laughing his head off. It really summed him up.”

His ashes were scattered into the Irish Sea at Sandscale Haws Nature reserve at Holverston.

I’ve took on the 100 a Day, Your Way in November Challenge to raise vital funds for Brain Tumour Research. Other cancers receive so much more funding than brain tumours; more needs to be done because it seems there is no way of surviving this.

I did the challenge, not just for Uncle Robin but for everyone affected by brain tumours.

Eve Huckbody
November 2023

Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer... yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Brain Tumour Research is determined to change this.

If you have been touched by Robin’s story, you may like to make a donation via or leave a gift in your will via

Together we will find a cure.

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