Cancer survivor from Skegness makes music to give hope during lockdown
‘Beyond the C’ was set up by singer/songwriter Cameron Love who was diagnosed with tonsil cancer four years ago and suddenly found himself unable to sing live anymore
He searched for an outlet where he could collaborate with other musicians instead and unable to find anything, decided to set one up himself while going through radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
With the help of Macmillan Cancer Support, who provided him with a financial grant for the equipment needed to get the group up and running, Cameron launched a website where musicians affected by cancer could share their experience and make music together.
Cameron, 59, from Hogsthorpe, said: “I was a vocalist unable to sing live for the foreseeable future but I could still write and create music, so I thought wouldn’t it be great if there was somewhere to go where people like me can collaborate with others.
“Music really helped me while I was going through treatment. I used to get up at 2 in the morning and play my guitar. I found music to be therapeutic. It takes your mind away from things for a bit. Even after treatment, it has helped me to build my confidence again.”
The virtual group now has 130 members from Lincolnshire and further afield who have been affected by cancer in some way. Some have posted song lyrics, shared videos or played music together.
“I’m used to playing in live venues but Macmillan introduced me to a digital way of doing music. This has enabled me to return to singing and recording and I look forward to returning to live performances in the future.”
During the pandemic the group became a real lifeline to musicians who were not only dealing with cancer but also the complete closure of the live music industry.
Cameron said: “Having cancer can be very lonely – it’s a bit like being in lockdown – but this gives people a creative outlet and a community to be part of where their usual networks are perhaps not available as a result of the pandemic.”
Emma Townend, Macmillan Engagement Lead for Lincolnshire, said: “Cancer can be an incredibly isolating experience so when Cameron told me about his idea to create a virtual community where people with a shared love of music can collaborate I thought this is definitely something Macmillan can support.
"Since it launched the membership has kept on growing and the group has been invaluable to people shielding during the pandemic, providing a much needed creative outlet.”
If you are interested in gaining funding for a community group or activity to support people affected by cancer please contact [email protected]