A drummer battling cancer is preparing for a different type of fight – to top the music charts.
Abe Vincent, 20, is a member of a unique band made up of young cancer patients.
The group, You 62, takes its name from the Young Oncology Unit at the Christie’s Hospital in Manchester, where they met during music therapy sessions. The number 62 is the sum of the dates members were diagnosed.
Now the band have written and recorded a charity single called Blue Sky Day to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust, which funds the unit.
Abe, of Grasmere, on the Ivy Farm estate, is being treated for bone cancer.
Doctors discovered a tumour in his thigh bone after he broke his leg playing football with friends two years ago.
Initially the tumour was found to be benign but when Abe’s leg failed to heal doctors found the tumour was cancerous and they amputated last October.
Abe said: “It was a shock to hear I had cancer. I thought that was something old people got because they smoked too much. When I was told I might lose my leg it was hard to get my head around it and a real shock when it happened.”
Abe, a former All Hallows student who has played the drums since he was young, was introduced to John Blaycock and Stephanie Furness, music therapists at the Christie.
He said: “Getting behind the drum kit was great. I had to learn to work the bass drum with my other foot. It really cheered me up and took my mind off things. I got to meet loads of people from different backgrounds with different tastes in music so we played loads of different styles.”
Through the music sessions Abe met other patients enduring their own cancer battles and they formed a band.
His bandmates include vocalist Rick Tweedie from Wilmslow, singer-guitarist Emily Hutchinson from Burnley, bassist Gemma Long from Altrincham, and guitarist Peter Garner from Manchester.
The project proved such a success they began playing live and were offered a chance to go into the recording studio.
The result of those sessions is Blue Sky Day, which Abe hopes will raise some money for Teenage Cancer Trust – or at least a smile on those who hear it.
Abe, who is studying maths at Lancaster University, said: “Our aim is to raise as much money as we can for the trust and raise awareness of teenager cancer.
“I hope it reaches the top 40 and gets on the radio, but I’m not expecting a lucrative record contract to come our way just yet.
“We’ve just had a great laugh doing it.”
Blue Sky Day will be released on Sunday, July 21, and is available on iTunes and Amazon for download.