Together, we keep shining through
Together, we keeping shining through.
Cancer is still here, so we are too. But this year of all years, we need your help to shine…
“I think for a lot of people when they first get a diagnosis, you can just think ‘I’m going to die’. I went through a sort of grieving process. I was shocked, I was so angry…I felt guilty too. Looking back I realise I went through a sort of denial, as well. But I survived. It was awful, and complicated, but I got through. And Weston Park Cancer Charity was there for me, so when I felt up to it, I thought “right, it’s time to pay it back.”
I went into the charity’s support centre and asked if they had a choir, because I thought singing would help. They said no, so I asked, “do you want one?”. The Sheffield Cancer Choir wouldn’t have happened without Joanne Hockney, our musical director and Liz Clay, our choral master – we did this together. And I don’t know how, but within six months we had songs, recordings, rehearsal space, a pianist the University had found for us, and the most amazing choir ever. Singing together is just pure joy.
And from there nothing could stop us. I got the launch covered by The Star and BBC Radio Sheffield, ITV Calendar showed us singing live at the Master Cutler Challenge launch. Some of our members had never sung, or been on a stage. Within six months, we were performing on live TV! The joy and the confidence is unbelievable…we were a bit giddy.
“The magical thing is that people who have hidden after cancer, lost that confidence and energy, not wanted to get out of bed…singing together has got them going again…it’s been a light to the dark side. It’s brought us all together, lifted us up and given us each other.”
Some members don’t want to talk about cancer, but we have an idea of what everyone’s feeling. The main thing is that this has given us all something, like a light to the dark side. It’s been a normality and something to look forward to. The future is a difficult thing with cancer – so often it’s something to be afraid of. But this gives us good things to look forward to – we can’t wait to get back together in a room. We really miss each other.
We kept singing, doing our rehearsals online, and managed a socially distanced garden party which was so lovely. We’ve even done singing therapy online that’s open to the public, and we had singers from across the country. The magical thing is that people who have hidden after cancer, lost that confidence and energy, not wanted to get out of bed…singing together has got them going again. We sing Abba’s ‘Thank You For The Music’ at the end of every rehearsal, and we mean it. It’s brought us all together, lifted us up and given us each other.”
When we shine through for our patients, it’s because our supporters shine through for us. Can you help us this Christmas?
£25 could fund a Sheffield Cancer Choir workshop. Activities like these are not just great for wellbeing but a vital opportunity for people to be more than their illness.
Image courtesy of The Sheffield Star