'Tired' roland had just a week to live

PUBLISHED: 07:05 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 15 June 2010

A 40-year-old Axminster man died of cancer one week week after he was diagnosed with the disease.

A 40-year-old Axminster man died of cancer - one week week after he was diagnosed with the disease.Roland Moore, of West Street, was told he had multiple myeloma, a form of cancer which affects plasma cells in the bone marrow, and only days later he died.In a cruel twist of fate, his mother, Roberta, also died of cancer in similar circumstances, aged just 49, 18 years ago.Roland's sister, Rachael Moore, 37, said: "It was such a shock. I'm stunned. Roland lived life to the full, but he was so young. It's so unfair."He had been tired, but nothing more serious than that. He had terminal cancer, but had no idea until he had a blood test."It is not clear what cancer their mother, Roberta Moore, suffered from, as by the time it was diagnosed it had spread and she too was only given a short time to live.And only a few years later, their father also died - of a heart attack.Of the family's tragedy, Rachael said: "I still don't think I have come to terms with it yet. I just have to take each day as it comes."I feel Roland came to terms with his own cancer quite quickly. My mother's diagnosis was a bigger shock for us as we'd never come across cancer before - or losing someone so close. Neither of us were ever the same after she died. It was devastating for the whole family."Roland, who Rachael describes as "off the wall" worked as a barman in the town for many years, and most recently at The Castle Inn.Roland's funeral service at St Peter's Chapel, Exeter, was packed by young and old alike. Rachael believes he touched many people's lives. During her reading at the service, she said: "What can I say about my big brother - conventional? Not a chance! Fiercely loyal and protective to friends and family? Without a doubt!"I never expected Ro to live to a ripe old age, he never wanted to. But I still need my big brother and Sammy still needs her Uncle Ro. We will always miss him."Although Roland's cancer was incurable, Rachael advises people to be vigilant. She said: "If you feel something is wrong, get it checked out. Especially for men, they tend to put things off."I've had friends who had lumps on their breasts but didn't get it checked out immediately. By the time they did, it was too late."Rather than flowers at his funeral, Roland's family requested donations be made to Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre Exeter (FORCE), who cared for Roland during his last week.FORCE is an established cancer charity based in Exeter. Its work finances improvements in patient care through research, the purchase of advanced equipment and the new Information and Support Centre conveniently situated within the grounds of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.Rachael said: "The hospital was wonderful in their care for Roland and very sensitive to the feelings of his family and friends."And FORCE is fantastic. It's a support group for people with cancer, with others who are going through the same thing. Although the doctors and nurses were great, if somebody hasn't experienced cancer for themselves, they can't really understand what you're going through."Licensee at The Castle Inn Dan Eccleston said: "Roland was well liked by everyone. He was very helpful, 100 per cent reliable and will be missed by all."In a poignant turn of events, Roland's ticket was drawn during the Easter raffle at the pub. The giant chocolate prize will be donated to the children's ward at the royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.Only four days after his funeral, three of Roland's friends won a quiz night held at Swans in Axminster and donated the prize money to FORCE.Prize-winner and friend Kerry Burke said: "Roland was an unselfish person who never complained. He looked after his friends and was a good confidant. Everyone appreciated his life and celebrated it at his funeral. He would have loved it."I am grateful to have had such a friend, even though his life was cut short.

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