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Singing keeps Angela strong

18 May 2011

A Welsh mum with terminal cancer loved singing for a choir aimed at improving the well being of sufferers so much that she persuaded her husband and teenage son to join too.

After receiving the devastating news that she had ovarian cancer in 2007 Angela Davies from Caerphilly learnt that the disease had spread, affecting many of her organs.  After a serious operation, the 50-year-old underwent a course of chemotherapy but later developed inoperable secondary cancer and was given two years to live.

Angela (left) with her friends from the Tenovus Sing for Life choir

Angela (left) with her friends from the Tenovus Sing for Life choir

“They gave me two years about three years ago but I have not taken any notice of that – I have a future and I’m not going to give in,” Angela said. “I have a boy of 14 who wants to be a pilot and I want to see him get his wings so I’m not going to give in no matter what they say.”
During her treatment, Angela was put in contact with Tenovus and received counselling that she found extremely useful but still struggled to have the confidence to leave the house. 

The Tenovus counsellor told Angela about the cancer charity’s Sing For Life choir.  Angela told her husband, Glyn, and 14-year-old son, Joshua, about the choir but wasn’t sure if she was ready to attend.  However, she was soon persuaded and joined the choir just three weeks after it started.

Read a transcript of Angela’s podcast here

Angela now attends the choir each week with both Glyn and Joshua.  She has found that it has made an enormous difference to her life and finds the choir a huge support.  Angela says the choir has given her the confidence to get out of the house and meet a new “family”.  The choir has given her a new purpose and no longer feels that she is battling with the disease alone. 
Angela has now gone past the two years that she was given and is full of life and a fully accomplished soprano in the Tenovus Sing for Life choir.

“The choir has given me a purpose but not just a purpose because obviously my children and my husband have given me a purpose to live, but it has given a purpose for me,” she said. “It’s something I can do – I can sing with a group and I’ve never looked back. I’ve put on the old Angela again – the old outgoing Angela not this shell of a person that was sitting at home waiting to die.”

Tenovus cancer charity was among 30 Welsh groups sharing in the Big Lottery Fund’s £20 million AdvantAGE programme aimed at improving the lives of older people. A grant of nearly £1 million will enable Tenovus to establish fifteen new Sing for Life choirs for cancer patients over 50 years old, their families, carers, friends and those who have been bereaved through the disease across Wales. This project has developed following the success of the Sing for Life pilot project in Pontypridd.

For more information about the choir visit the Tenovus choir website

Visit  the BIG website for more news about the AdvantAGE programme and please do share your inspiration and interesting stories with us via the comments on this blog.

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