A couple’s life was changed forever after Justin Larner was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.

Mr Larner- whose fight against the condition has earned him the nickname Rocky- was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer in February 2021.

Sarcoma cancers can affect muscles, bone, tendons and tissue and often requires extensive surgery to remove it, but awareness of the condition is low, research by the charity Sarcoma UK shows.

The decision to drum up support through a fundraiser came after Hannah Robinson, Mr Larner’s partner, realised how little people know about the condition.

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“From the day of the diagnosis Justin himself still remained positive about everything, but for me our lives changed quite a lot.”

“He is slowly on the road to recovery after having a years’ worth of treatment, ie chemotherapy, surgical procedure and radiotherapy treatment.

“We’ve had to support him so much as he has had to adjust to his new ways of life by not only learning to walk again, but also talk and eat.

While currently not at hospital, Mr Larner is waiting to go back there for a surgery under general anaesthetic to remove a mass on his lung, Ms Robinson said.

Bucks Free Press: Justin Larner suffers from a rare form of bone cancer (Credit: Hannah Robinson)Justin Larner suffers from a rare form of bone cancer (Credit: Hannah Robinson)

“Which we currently are unaware is if this is the spread of cancer or not.”

The surgeries Mr Larner has had to undergo have changed their family.

“Still to this day he cannot eat anything that has to be chewed.”

Seeing her loved one struggle has had an impact on Ms Robinson’s own health, including her anxiety and eczema.

“At times I have thought about giving up as I felt I couldn’t cope, but with the help and support of Macmillan team and specialist nurses, who I contacted at any time with concerns.

“I was able to hold my head up high and be there for my partner every step of the way whatever challenging times we faced.

Despite the struggles, the couple are hoping to travel to New York and Philadelphia “as he is a massive Rocky aka Sylvester Stallone fan”.

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Ms Robinson said: “We are awaiting for all clear from hospital to allow him to travel that far, but fingers crossed he will be well enough.

“Rocky has been his nickname we have all used as, like Rocky, he's been a fighter throughout this and he's our champ.”

Figures from Sarcoma UK show over 5000 people are diagnosed in the UK each year.

While the five-year survival rate for patients with sarcoma is 55 per cent, almost eight in 10 people diagnosed with it live up to a year.

So far, Hannah Robinson’s fundraiser on behalf of Sarcom UK has raised nearly £200 and it can be found at here.