Roger lives in Shropshire with his wife, Sheelagh. They have three daughters and four grandsons. Since being diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma in 1999, Roger has had ten operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These have included a lower leg amputation in 2007 and two thoracic metastectomy operations in mid-2013.
Three years after his diagnosis, Roger and Sheelagh started work on what has become Sarcoma UK. Initially, it acted as a hub of information but with an increasing number of patients and carers becoming involved, it grew to provide a wider range of services. This included helping to start the British Sarcoma Group (BSG), the educational association of the specialist doctors. In 2010 Sarcoma UK was re-launched based in London with CEO Lindsey Bennister and a staff team.
Roger’s own journey has involved working as a patient representative across cancer. He had the privilege of working with Professor Sir Mike Richards, the former National Cancer Director, as a member of his Advisory Board for five years. Roger has a special interest in research, has been a member of the NCRI Board and chaired the national patient group in research. He has also been active with NICE, most recently as the patient expert on the development of Quality Standards for Sarcoma.
Roger continues to act as an advocate when necessary. He believes that the more patients can be empowered to speak out, the better we can make the landscape for all sarcoma patients.
Roger is currently involved with a number of national and international organisations:
- The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Sarcoma Clinical Studies Group
- The Sarcoma Reference Group for the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN)
- The Sarcoma Patients Euronet (SPAEN)
- The NCRI Consumer Forum.
Prior to being diagnosed with sarcoma in 1999, Roger worked as a journalist and consultant in the competitive TV and telecommunications industry. Earlier in his career he worked in production for BBC TV (1964 to 1980) and as an independent producer (1980 to 1990).
Roger received a CBE in the New Year Honours list in January 2011 for services to healthcare. He also has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sheffield and Lancaster. He was elected a Member of Cancer Research UK in 2015.