Cancer sufferer gets joy back with charity choir
SINGING has helped Adrian Hockin get back the positivity he lost when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
And then the 53-year-old from Gotherington joined the unique choir, The Big C, made up of people with cancer, and found even more support.
On Monday, his experience hit the nation's TV in an uplifting documentary as part of Channel 4's Stand up to Cancer week.
The 32-strong, Cardiff-based choir was formed by Welsh cancer charity Tenovus specifically for the programme.
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There were no auditions – just one criteria – every member had to be undergoing cancer treatment.
Mr Hockin, who was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2009, travelled every week from his Gotherington home for 12 rehearsals.
He said: "I'm convinced the amazing and positive feeling you get from this choir does help.
"All through my illness I never felt I needed support but the choir's like a family and a support group. We share each other's joy of a good diagnosis and our pains when people go through bad times. Tenovus is an amazing charity – it was their idea singing can have a therapeutic aid.
"When we were told we'd perform at the Albert Hall it was mind-boggling."
Mr Hockin didn't have the classic symptoms of prostate cancer, but a bad pain in a rib.
Tests revealed a shadow on his lung and a biopsy showed it was a malignant secondary tumour which had spread into his bones. That wasn't all he had to cope with. "My wife Lynda contracted breast cancer in her mid-40s in 2004 and as a family we went through all that trauma," he said.
"She's in remission, but last year she was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia. They don't need to treat it and can monitor it but she needs regular blood checks.
"I've lived with my terminal prognosis for four years and had chemo sessions and hormone treatments. But treatments stopped working and I gave up work as a Royal Mail senior manager last summer to spend all my time with the family."
Then Mr Hockin went onto a new drug, abiraterone, which had an "unbelievable impact" on how well he felt and he heard about the choir on Twitter and decided to sign up.
The choir features tomorrow on Channel 4's final telethon from 7.30pm.