So here’s the 2nd amazing story – thank you so much to those of you that are sending them in – they are so inspiring for others to read and really challenging for those of us who identify with the stories.
The next story is from the lovely Angela Kirton-Davies who by all accounts has become rather famous in Wales since she began singing with Sing & Inspire and the Tenovus Cancer charity. We founded the original ‘SIng For Life’ choir with Tenovus way back in 2010 and Angela who had been suffering with ovarian cancer was one of the very 1st members. In Angela’s words she said singing in the choir ‘literally saved her life!’
As all of the story’s on the blog are, this one is unedited in the name of authenticity. If you feel compelled to do so, please comment after reading the stories, as so many of the contributors have been very brave in sharing their journeys..
Get the tissues ready – here’s the beautiful Angela’s story…in her words.
Hi everyone my name is Angela Davies – I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, April fools day would you believe. I had a family to look after consisting of a husband – 21 year old son – 9 year old son and a mum and dad who needed a lot of care – dad had Parkinson’s disease and mum had dementia. We all lived together and had done for 15 years so that we could give a little back for all that they had done for me – they had always encouraged me in everything that I had done and I was not going to desert them in their time of need! As you can see this extra news was a bomb shell and I fell apart- I was already dead in my mind as I needed a massive operation to remove what the negligent gynaecologist had missed whilst under her care for 6 YEARS! So I had everything that could be removed – taken out and had some chemo which did not work. I then needed another type of chemo – and this held what had become a secondary inoperable and terminal cancer – back just for a while. I asked if it would eventually kill me and they were honest and said YES and that I had about 2 years to live!!!! -
I fell to pieces and my husband contacted the cancer charity TENOVUS. My second counselling call came and whilst we chatted my counsellor asked me if I liked to sing – my reply was yes – in the bath or shower. She then told me of a company called ‘Sing and inspire’ who – had impressed the Chief Executive of Tenovus so much so, that she thought it would help her clients and therefore she was setting up a choir. I thought – no way – I’m not going! But deep down I really wanted to go and by the third week my husband had set up some care cover for my parents and he and Joshua bundled me into the car and I am so glad that they did. When we walked through the door it was as if we had all known one another all our lives – now I am a hugs and kisses kind of person and that’s just what I got from perfect strangers who felt like old friends it was weird but wonderfully so! It didn’t matter that the three of us couldn’t read music we were given sheets of words but also CD discs to take home and play until we knew our parts. I used to sing to mum and dad and they loved it – I loved it and started to look forward to Thursdays like never before. The team of Andrea, George(ina) and Dave had so much enthusiasm that it was infectious and of course we all started to jell as each Thursday went by. We even had some tests done on us by a lady called Nicola from the UHW – now these tests proved that our lung capacity increased as did out tolerance to pain and of course it proved that the happy chemicals in our bodies started to work more efficiently. It was fantastic and then came the sad news – our singing was so good and loud that the other people using the centre couldn’t hear their bingo caller and we had to move!!!
We now sing in a huge church in Pontypridd!! It’s fantastic we have had so many new members join us and we call ourselves -The Sing For Life Choir (family) I can honestly say that I don’t know what I would have done if singing had not come into mine and my families lives in fact I dread to think about it – it has given me something to look forward to and something to take a pride in – I want to give my all in every performance and that’s what we all do. The Princess Royal is our patron and at our very first performance I noticed that she had a little giggle as did we, because whilst we did give our ‘all’s’ we were not that wonderful – but just a few months later on a meet and greet with her for the ‘Love light Candle Concert’ – I reminded her of her giggle and told her that the difference between this now ‘maturer’ choir and the ‘baby’ choir that she had heard just a few months earlier would blow her away and it did just that I saw her as did others – wipe away a tear.
Singing is definitely good for your health and I am living proof of that – from that frightened shell of a woman given 2 years to live in 2008 – here I am in 2013 still belting out the most uplifting songs- giving interviews on TV and radio as well as the tabloids and magazines talking about cancer and the choir and I have even stood on the stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London – no not to clean it – but to sing in front of thousands of people all standing and cheering and dancing with us and the likes of Alice Cooper and Brian May!!! I still have to pinch myself about that one!
But the biggest thrill I had was when one of our musical directors – Patrick called me over and told me that I had one of the best soprano voices that he had ever heard – well that’s up there with marrying Glyn and having my 2 boys Christopher and Joshua and the best parents in the world. Thank you so much ‘Sing and inspire’ and thank you Claudia for believing in ‘Sing and inspire’ and the affect that they would have on our lives. I can be in terrible pain for a few days and in bed but when Thursday comes around something inside me thinks now just get one foot out at a time and have a rest then get up and wash and get dressed and by that time I’m already and waiting to get through the doors to be hugged and kisses by my loving ‘Sing for life’ family. Thank you so much ‘Sing and Inspire’ for bringing me and my family so much fun – love and laughter, all my love Angela and the boys xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Angela, you’re an inspiration – I love how your whole family are singing weekly and you’re still here spreading joy and love to everyone you see. Thank you for being you and sharing your story with me – I really appreciate it as I’m sure many others will after reading this!
Here are some links some folk might find useful
Until the next time…….keep singing, keep feeling and keep being in the moment…..amazing things can happen in your life if you do….