After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Gary was referred to Rotherham Hospice where he receives care and the support he needs. Gary is part of Emley Brass Band and they have decided to arrange a concert on the 7th October, in support of Rotherham Hospice. Here is Gary’s story.
Gary first moved to South Yorkshire for work opportunities (really it was for his wife Esther he tells us!) 15 years ago. When Gary was 11 years old, in York, he began learning to play the Tuba at school, going on to join his local band.
Gary moved to Sheffield to join Esther, where they married and began a family of their own with the birth of their son William. Whilst in South Yorkshire Gary’s love for music continued, when his path crossed with Emley Brass band after a friend asked him to lend them a hand. From this moment he never looked back and is still part of the band today.
Gary is just 39 and has lived in Aston for 12 years with Esther and their son William who is now 10 years old and is moving in to year 6 at school.
Approximately two years ago, Gary started having throat trouble. In November 2015, after a visit to his GP, he was referred to hospital for further tests.
Gary was diagnosed with a tumour on his oesophagus, and was referred to Western Park, where on Christmas Eve 2015 he began his chemotherapy treatment; a day he will never forget. 4 months later after the initial chemotherapy, Gary went to Northern General to have his oesophagus removed followed by another course of chemotherapy.
Just under a year after his initial diagnosis Gary went back to work as a Finance Partner for Tradebe in September 2016. As Christmas neared Gary was still feeling unwell and he returned to Western Park. On the day of their house move, Gary and his family were delivered the news that the tumour had returned and the illness was terminal.
The chemotherapy started again but Gary took the decision to break from his treatment to enjoy summer with his family. He tells us that he doesn’t personally react well to the chemotherapy but the tumour does and it helps with the illness.
In March 2017 Gary’s GP referred him to the Hospice and by that afternoon he had a call from our CNS team. Gary tells us “Vicky visited me at home to help manage my medication and pain relief. I feel like I always have someone to talk to with any questions I might have, but also feel supported that William has someone to talk to too.” Gary and Esther are also encouraging William to visit Sunbeams where he can be with other children and understand more about his Dad’s illness.
Gary is determined to carry on with his love for music and has decided to host a concert at Rotherham Minster to raise funds for Rotherham Hospice. “I wanted this to be an opportunity for me to give something back whilst I still can; a way of saying thank you.” Due to his illness he was unable to carry on playing the Tuba, and so from this point became a big part of the percussion team.
Join Gary, his band and his family on Saturday 7th October as Emley Brass Band play at the Minster for one night only.
You can get your tickets to Emley Brass Band on 7th October at Rotherham Minster here.