Singing in spite of shock illness

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For as long as she can remember, Linslade gran and mum-of-two Trish Abey has always loved singing.

But then 61-year-old Trish was given the devastating news that she had an aggressive strain of Motor Neurone Disease, progressing at an alarming rate.

Determined to leave a legacy of her voice behind before the illness overtook her, Trish has recorded an album of songs, produced by her friend Richard Gleave.

Trish, of Stoke Road, said: “Obviously it’s one heck of a curveball to be thrown at you.

“Once I got over the initial shock, I was thinking what can I do as a family legacy for my children, sisters and close friends.

“I thought, ‘I can sing and I know a very good guitarist’, so I approached Richard to record a few songs.”

Retired geophysician Richard, of Golden Riddy, is now a full-time musician and was only too happy to help.

He said: “As the project developed and we heard the quality of the finished songs, Trish became keen that we might make the CD available to a wider audience.”

The pair now plan to release the CD online and in local shops, with all proceeds going to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, who have supported Trish since her diagnosis in April.

Richard said that initially Trish was able to record songs at his home studio, but after she lost her mobility recorded songs from home. They managed to finish recording “just in time” in October.

Trish said: “I have to say, the recording of this music has been a tremendous distraction so that one doesn’t dwell too much.”

Trish chose a collection of tracks that she had sung in pub sessions over many years, including “The Carnival is Over”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “Summertime” and others.

She said: “These songs have been part of my life for more years than I care to remember, not only for their beautiful melodies but for the messages behind the lyrics.”

In addition to husband John, daughter Alex and son Christopher, Trish wants to thank Martin Plumb, Andy Powell, Jonathan Gimm, Sally Barnes and Delia Gleave.

Richard added: “Trish is a very brave and determined lady whose health and strength are rapidly fading. We would all like to see that her efforts are appreciated. Her struggle against this cruel disease is an absolute inspiration.”

The CD will become available on website www.frenchlessons77.com/trish.html with a Facebook page out soon.