“You have cancer” the Doctor said. The moment almost past me by, I watched his lips move, I watched him utter those words but it didn’t seem real.
I am Graham Wylie, a 56 years-old full-time RAF reserve at 602 Squadron (City of Glasgow), married to Elimar and live with stage 4 prostate and bone cancer.
Elimar my wife travelled from Brazil and arrived in Scotland on Christmas Day 2009. It was the best Christmas present I had ever had. That winter was harsh, but I had a question to ask her “Would she stay?”
Christmas pop music had become bland, I remember thinking, the X Factor winner yet again was number one in the charts. Gone were the days when we used to wonder who was going to take the Christmas number one slot, who might surprise the favourite at the last minute. But I had a tune in my head, no music experience, but over the next eight years just added a bit here, a bit there.
BY JUNE 2017…
…this year my illness had progressed, I was in terrible pain, I had lost my appetite and had shed two and a half stone in two weeks. I was facing my maker, I believed my time had come.
Elimar took my hand and sobbed as she quietly sang her full version of my Christmas song, she had been working secretly to finish the song. She had changed some of the words, the ending, but it sounded brilliant. She inspired me that night to keep fighting. Within three weeks she had nursed me back to life, had helped reduce my morphine intake and had me walking again.
I went about recording her version in secret and that’s where my ClubFive55 member Greg Friel of Frielance Music offered his services for free, started to help me produce the song properly. Greg provided the instrumentation to give the composition some polish and recorded me singing the complete song in secret.
I will never forget the tears that Elimar shed when I eventually took the CD home and let her hear our ‘work of art’ – eight years in the making – for the first time. For what seemed an eternity, we slow danced to ‘our tune’ in the centre of the living room. I sang while she cried, the song playing on repeat in the background.
…was to raise money to fund treatment in Mexico, however, Elimar eventually agreed to my wish to give something back to those associations and organisations which had helped me previously. We decided to release the song free to anyone and direct people to our website where they could donate to organisations like SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, and Air Force Association), RAFA (Royal Air Force Association), Maggie’s Centres and Macmillan nurses.
With the song recorded, Greg went about producing a promotional video. He called on his industry contacts and acquired the services of the Starstruck School Choir, who brought a fresh, youthful edge to the song. Could it sound any better?
But we still had to get the composition out there to as many people as possible. We had zero budget for a global campaign, & this is where Carl Bianco of Karbon Designed (Falkirk), aided by Barry from Adamson Graphic Design (Glasgow) ClubFive55 members came in.
They offered to produce and maintain a website indefinitely for free. Our dream is now to hear our song played around the world, with people listening to the words, making Christmas a time for family get-togethers and reuniting old friends. We wanted the song to benefit, recognise and champion those charities and organisations who selflessly offer assistance, guidance and support.