Rooting for Team Robbie

Mrs. Poe’s son battles brain cancer and needs support


Seven years ago, Mrs. Poe’s son, Robbie, was given 12-18 months to live. Today, at 26 years old, he is still fighting a battle with grade 4 brain cancer. By 2020, he had four brain surgeries, high intensity whole brain radiation, proton radiation, aggressive treatments of chemo, one experimental trial, two clinical experimental trials and is currently trying to be approved for a new clinical trial. After all of that, Robbie still lives with his battle daily and continues to fight, even while the treatments rob him of his ability to see. Robbie is legally blind in one eye and clinically blind in the other.

Robbie had to stop treatments for a few months due to liver failure and colitis. 2021 started with an additional surgery to install a shunt to control hydrocephalus in March. By June of 2021, MRIs showed dozens of tumors and by July, it showed hundreds. Now six and a half years in, a new treatment protocol will mean traveling to and from Tampa two or three days a week and family medical leave that will crush his family financially.

Before Robbie was diagnosed, he wanted to become a zoologist or veterinarian. Unfortunately, due to the treatments causing him to no longer see color correctly, he is unable to view the slides properly and can no longer pursue his dream.

Despite everything Robbie has been through, he still finds a way to brighten everyone’s day. When he was first told of his diagnosis, he replied to the doctor by asking,  “So you’re telling me this is all in my head?” He continues his wit and positivity even through the worst of days.

Mrs. Poe feels that as a parent, the whole situation is terrifying. The stress of not having any certainty regarding your son’s safety is unimaginable. That is not something that a parent should ever have to experience.

“You’re worried you’re not going to see him tomorrow,” Mrs. Poe said. “There are several times I go through the night without sleeping because I go into his room to make sure he is still breathing.”

Robbie’s father has called for action on the behalf of his son. He feels the treatments have challenged their family in countless ways.

“This battle has come with a severe burden, both in time and money,” Mr. Poe said. “Experimental treatments and medications not covered by insurance, time off work, travel expenses, one vehicle driven into the dirt, endless copays and out of pocket expenses have left us with nothing left. It is hard on the entire family and the thought of not having the money needed to keep us going is scary. Robbie is a warrior with the most positive spirit and his perseverance to fight this monster is truly inspirational.”

This Saturday, October 16, from 2 to 9pm at Homers and Hoagies and Sports Heaven Orlando, Team Robbie will be doing a fundraiser for his cause to hopefully raise money for him and his family. There will be a dunk tank, a bounce house, great food, a 50/50 raffle, and so much more. Please come out and help fight for Robbie and his cause.

“Please help us support Robbie and his battle,” Mr. Poe said. “We cannot stop now.”


Cover photo courtesy of Moffitt Cancer Center Community of Courage