Rob Attfield, an accomplished musician and membership chair for the Rotary Club of North Muskoka, has inspired his fellow club members by embracing life and community involvement during a personal health crisis. 

Rotarian Jim Schiedel was so moved by Rotarian Rob's tireless efforts and perseverance, he reached out to him to talk with him to talk about his health journey and continued positive outlook on life: 

Jim: Rob, you’ve have been such an inspiration to our Rotary club. Where does your positive outlook come from?

Rob: Thank you for your kind words. I imagine that most people under difficult circumstances would try to make the best of it. I’ve tried to make a bit of lemonade from my personal “lemon.”

Jim: Last year you had a major health scare. Can you tell us what happened?

Rob: I began to experience some memory loss, difficulty telling the time and some general confusion. A visit to the doctor led to tests and a diagnosis of a terminal brain tumor.

Jim: I understand that the tumor is inoperable. What treatments are you taking for it?

Rob: I’ve had five rounds of chemotherapy and three weeks of radiation. The brain swelling has been alleviated to some extent.

Jim: What are the prospects for shrinking or eliminating the tumor?

Rob: A brain tumor (glioblastoma) is usually fatal. Apparently, only 1 per cent of tumor patients survive.

Jim: Death is inevitable for all of us, but you are staring it in the face and continue to have a positive outlook. How do you do this?

Rob: I console myself the with the knowledge that, ultimately, we’re all headed down the same path. I remind myself how lucky I have been to live my whole life in Canada, and that I’ve had 74 years to enjoy life on this planet. I’m also very buoyed by the compassion and kindness of my friends and family.

Jim: During a time when many would have fallen into depression or worse, you have put together a fabulous CD featuring your piano and organ expertise. And you are donating proceeds from club member purchases for the CD to our club. Can you share some of your reasons for this generous gift?

Rob: I wanted to leave a small legacy behind as a way of showing my thanks. Rotary is a wonderful organization that does amazing work all over the world. And music really speaks to the soul!