This morning, at Sobell House in Oxford, my step-father Robert Ross died peacefully aged 63. He’d been ill for many years although for much of that time one wouldn’t have known on account of the tremendously postive attitude he showed towards his illness. Diagnosed with cancer in 1996, he underwent major surgery and was later diagnosed with secondary cancer of the lungs and liver. Given a year to live, he started work on a book ‘Counselling as a Career’ which he later published, and continued to appear in musicals, plays and pantomimes put on by the Lime Walk Players; some of which he wrote himself, namely; ‘Climb Every Mountain,’ ‘The Awkward Squad,’ and ‘The Rub of the Green.’ He also wrote a play inspired by his experiences, ‘The Guiding Hand,’ which he put on at the Old Fire Station in Oxford. I myself was privileged to see him perform the title role in a musical I myself penned entitled ‘Merlin!’ in February 2004.
With the second diagnosis proving incorrect, Robert was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2003. Two years ago, the stress of his illness began to take its toll and increasingly over the course of last year, despite moments when his health picked up a little, his condition, as a whole began to deteriorate. This deterioration increased at the end of the year and just over a week ago he was admitted to The Sobell Hospice.