Paul’s robot fund gets helping hand

Cheque presentation from our A Helping Hand fund to Paul Brinkley, of Cockfield. Graham turner to be in pic along with ian turner from St Edmund's Wheel.
Cheque presentation from our A Helping Hand fund to Paul Brinkley, of Cockfield. Graham turner to be in pic along with ian turner from St Edmund's Wheel.

A 70-YEAR-OLD cancer survivor who owes his life to a robot is the latest recipient of a Helping Hand grant.

Paul Brinkley, from Bury St Edmunds, will hand over the £500 donated by the Bury Free Press and St Edmund’s Wheel straight to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) after it helped him overcome prostate cancer.

Paul’s recovery came after an operation using a remote-controlled da Vinci robot and now he wants to see more people benefit from the state-of-the-art treatment.

Having received the all-clear, Paul also wants more men to take the Prostate-Specific Antigen Test (PSA) to find out whether or not they have the illness.

“I just want to help other people with the problem that I had.

“I recommend that men over 50 need to get down to the hospital and get the PSA. I had absolutely no symptoms and if I hadn’t had the test I probably wouldn’t be here now,” he said.

Paul, who previously lived in Cockfield, raised £1,020 for ACT at his 70th birthday celebrations.

Rather than ask for presents, Paul asked that his 100 guests each donate cash to the robot fund – resulting in a number of very generous donations.

Paul’s appreciation of the da Vinci robot is emphasised by the fact that his two older brothers suffered with cancer before him, but were unable to make use of the modern technology.

“They had injections and pills and all sorts but the robot hardly left a scar on me,” he said.

The robot – which costs around £1.1 million – is operated by surgeons via remote-control. Paul’s surgery was carried out by Professor David Neal.

Paul received his cheque for £500 from Ian Turner, from St Edmund’s Wheel, and Bury Free Press deputy editor Graham Turner, who said: “Paul’s inspirational fund-raising efforts really caught our attention and we’re delighted to pick him for this month’s Helping Hand.”

St Edmund’s Wheel, which organises the annual Bury Bike Ride supports the A Helping Hand fund and gives thousands of pounds each year to local good causes.

n Organisations, charities and individuals can apply for A Helping Hand grant.

Simply fill in the form, right, then on a separate sheet of paper, in not more than 200 words, tell us what the money will be used for.

Send your completed application to: A Helping Hand, Newsdesk, Bury Free Press, King’s Road, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3ET.