A DAD’S brave battle with cancer that has left him unable to talk has inspired a feat of fund-raising.
Ray Rodda, 63, of Silksworth, recorded emotional messages for his family prior to life-saving surgery to remove his voicebox.
Just months after the surgery, Ray and his family ploughed their efforts into hosting a charity night at the Royal County Hotel, Durham, in aid of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Newcastle.
Wife Shirley, 53, said: “The centre were such a great help and we wanted to give somebody else the chance to have the same level of care Ray had.
“We had a wonderful night and couldn’t believe how much was raised. Ray was over the moon with the amount, and how many people came along.”
Ray had recorded messages such as “I love you” and commands to his dog before his surgery so that his family could still hear his voice.
He now communicates via a machine and pen and paper.
The former Sunderland Echo graphic designer was told the cancerous lump in his tongue was so big, surgeons would need to remove a third of the organ to clear him of the disease.
He then discovered his whole tongue would need to be removed, as the cancer had progressed to the lymph nodes and both sides of his throat were severely swollen.
After being diagnosed in December, the dad-of-three had undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which was unsuccessful, before his surgery.
Ray is now recovering at home.
Shirley said: “He is doing really well at the minute and the surgeons are happy with his progress. We are getting out and about and Ray is driving again.”