Bristol

CLIC cancer charity boss Bob Woodward dies aged 85

Bob Woodward OBE Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Bob Woodward was made an OBE in 2014

A charity founder who made it his mission to help others after losing his son to cancer has died aged 85.

Bob Woodward, from Bristol, set up Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood (CLIC) in 1976 after his son Robert was diagnosed at eight years old.

Mr Woodward, who was appointed an OBE in 2014, said he wanted to "change the world" for young cancer patients.

He was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in 2003 and died on Sunday.

At the time of his son's diagnosis, only three out 10 children diagnosed with cancer survived.

Mr Woodward said he was shocked at "the appalling lack of resources and facilities" for young cancer patients, and had been moved by what he saw while his son was being treated at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

'Great humanitarian'

Parents "struggled to hold their families together - often sleeping on hospital ward floors while their child was undergoing treatment", he said.

A successful property developer at the time, Mr Woodward created a residence where families of young cancer patients could live while their child was receiving treatment.

Dubbed a "home-from-home", CLIC has 10 such properties in the UK.

CLIC became an international organisation, raising funds for the pastoral care of families around the world, as well as research and treatment programmes.

Mikhail Gorbechev became its President at Mr Woodward's invitation and described him as "one of the world's greatest humanitarians".

Mr Woodward was CEO of CLIC for 21 years.

Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, described Bob Woodward, OBE, as 'a truly unsung hero who takes your breath away'

When receiving a Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, research showed he had been personally instrumental for raising more than £100m for charity.

Kate Lee, the current chief executive CLIC Sargent said: "Bob's caring nature and his drive to not stop until every child and young person suffering from cancer receives better support, lives on in our charity's values today."

Eight out of 10 children diagnosed with cancer now survive.

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