RORY the Robot will transform prostate cancer surgery in Worcestershire – and on Sunday a group of some 30 cyclists rode out from the Alexandra Hospital to raise money for the cause.
While some tackled the longer 52mile ride, Redditch Standard editor Ross Crawford joined those doing the 18 mile route along some of south Warwickshire’s most tranquil lanes.
The fund raising campaign is led by Redditch businessman Ian Jukes, himself a survivor of prostate cancer.
In the five years since its launch he has seen the entire county come together in one massive fund-raising effort, with the Rory fund now standing at some £415,000.
The robot, which will cut the stay in hospital for patients from six days to just one, was originally projected to cost £1.6million.
Now with a price tag of more than £2m, the plan is to lease the machine and site it here, at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.
“We’re hoping for some positive news soon,” said Ian.
“At the moment patients from Redditch requiring robotic surgery have to go to Wolverhampton.
The QE has one, but it was one of the first and is quite old,” he added.
“Ideally they are looking for a robot to serve a catchment population of one million and there are only 600,000 in Worcestershire.
“Even if we add in Herefordshire that’s just over 700,000 so we are now looking to work in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire.”
If this were to be the case, Redditch is ideally situated – close to the Warwickshire border and 18 miles from Worcester.
“Once it’s here it will be fantastic for the Alex,” he said.
To make a donation to the Rory the Robot campaign, visit: http://www.rorytherobot.com/
ON average 600 men a year will be diagnosed in Worcestershire with prostate cancer and the aim is to make sure they get their treatment right here in Worcestershire.
It’s at about the age of 50 that the signs of prostate cancer are usually detected and the number of people it is affecting is increasing.
“When I started five years ago the figures were one man was dying from prostate cancer every hour in this hour, now it’s one ever 45minutes.