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A Success Story - Robert Bates

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Robert Bates 

Robert graduated from the University of Illinois in 2011, majoring in Advertising.  Although Robert has not decided his future career path, he  feels it is his duty to be of service to those that are less fortunate than he.  He has survived Osteosarcoma.  In his own words:


I had never before experience both the true ups and downs of life before my diagnosis in early June of 2006.  Yes, there had been times when I felt like I was on top of the world, and times when I felt like the whole world had its back turned to me.  Yet, none of my past experiences prepared me for what I went through when the oncologist told me the disappointing news: I had cancer.

I began my fight to become a cancer survivor in June of 2006.  I just completed chemotherapy February 16, 2007.  This battle initially tested my belief in my inner-strength, but has shown me that I have the intestinal fortitude and tenaciousness necessary to overcome the obstacles we all face in life, and the compassion to be a caring and giving member of society.

'Be committed to excellence in all that you do,' my father says.  'It is very important that you always try your best at everything that you do, without fear of failing.  If the effort you put forth is anything other than your best, you will find that the only person that you failed is yourself.'  These 'gifts' that my father has given me have stood out in my mind in recent months. 

I tried my hardest to beat cancer, and with the support of those who love me I have.  I now feel that it is my duty to come to the service of others.  I enjoy spending time with friends and family.  An activity that I find extremely appealing is drawing.  It is a natural talent of mine, and it is the one that I am most proud of.

I remember feeling helpless at certain points, but then, after seeing how everyone around me started to help out, I stayed strong.  It was nice seeing how even in rough times, people that I least expected to help surprised me by being the most supportive of me in my situation.

I continued with school, and even going through the trials and tribulations associated with chemotherapy treatments, I finished my first semester with the highest GPA in my high school career: a 3.5.

I received an unexpected gift at Thanksgiving when my sister handed me the video of the mass that was held for me at school on the morning of my surgery, November 2nd, 2006, by the senior class and the rest of the St. Ignatius Community.  The church was filled with many familiar faces.  I was surprised to see how many people had supported me at that time.  At a time when I felt I was going through my struggles alone, I did not realize that I truly did have the whole world, my whole world, behind me.  One thing that I also learned was that I inspired a lot of people.  I have always seen myself as a person of great character and strong moral values, and I have a strong sense of compassion for those who are less fortunate than myself, and more so for those who are going through rough times.  I now realize God had, and has, a plan, and I have a purpose.

I know it is my duty to be of service to others who are less fortunate than me.  I have grown as an individual in many ways.  Knowing that the steps I take today can change the outcome of tomorrow, I am careful not to set limits on my unwritten future.

Cancer Survivors' Fund is anxious to help Robert see the sky is the limit on his unwritten future.

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