A SOLDIER battling brain cancer has thanked supporters after they rallied round to help him and his family in their time of need.

Corporal Robert McCaigue, 32, from Braintree, serves with 42 Royal Engineers but has been posted to the 16 Air Assault Brigade based at Merville Barracks in Colchester.

Robert is married to wife Najette, 38, and they have two children, Harrison, aged three, and Teagan, six months.

Robert was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019, but is no longer undergoing treatment to preserve his quality of life.

He said: “My prognosis is not great, but I’m still here.

“Bad news can be dealt with by the ‘never give up’ attitude, discipline and pride, as that makes a good soldier.”

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Friends and his home community in Braintree have put on various fundraisers and sporting events for the McCaigue family.

There have been sports tournaments, raffles, and family members running marathons to raise funds.

Robert said: “We were so moved by this heart-warming gift from the town.

“All the fundraising that has been conducted on my behalf has inspired me to do my bit giving back, so I decided to write poems and create digital artwork.

“At first this collection of artwork was created just for my family for our memory boxes, but soon I decided to produce a small book of pictures and poems and it was suggested that I could sell them for charity.”

Robert has raised £1,500 for Farleigh Hospice to give something back for its help and support.

The money raised for the family will be put towards future trips to enjoy such as to the theatre, opera and a train trip to Scotland.

Robert said: “I’m determined to beat this horrific illness and I battle each day.

“I’m determined to keep working and not waste my time, not just lay in bed and accept my fate.

“Yes, my condition is very concerning, but I have so much to do so I hope to press on.”

Najette said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support from our faimily, friends, the community and the army – it has been tremendous.

“We can never thank everyone enough.”

To support the family, go to the Gofundme link at bit.ly/33pEA9L.