My name is Mark Keeley and I have been a professional singer with my band Good Rockin Tonight for 22 years. We are a Rock n Roll band that travel all over UK and Europe. Over that time we have released 16 CD's and the band is still very busy!
About 2 years ago I noticed that my voice would become tired easily and some notes I couldn't reach now and then, falsetto mainly. As time passed, this slowly got worse and although I could still sing well, I was always conscious of this fact. In September 2014 I decided to see the doctor who referred me to a throat specialist who could see a cyst and then referred me to someone else. I went home and immediately and booked a private appointment to get a second opinion. I was soon told I had a polyp and was to undergo surgery on my vocal chords, an operation costing £2,500. The surgeon reassured me he had done this operation many times and although there was a small risk, I should make a full recovery. He was certain it wasn't benign and the tests showed it wasn't, as this was my biggest fear.
He explained about costs and I was surprised to learn the final bill, including consultations was to be around £4,500. I had so many questions... What was I going to do? How would I pay for it? How can I go for 6 weeks earning no money? They told me I couldn't talk at all after the operation for 2 days and I would need at least 6 weeks rest, which meant no singing!
A friend had told me the Musicians Union might help, so I contacted them, and was offered a small donation. Following this, Paul Burrows from the MU said to get in touch with Help Musicians UK. I spoke briefly on the phone to them and they asked me for some details and sent me an application pack. After a meeting, they agreed to help and pay for my hospital treatment and cover some loss of earnings. I can't tell you how much this helped me as I was very worried about my gigs and was at a loss on how I was going to pay the bills.
It's been a scary path as I didn't really know what to expect, but things are looking up! My first gig was in January this year and it was a wonderful feeling when I really let go and could sing how I used to. I can now say I am fully recovered and recording a new album, called "Make The World Go Away" which will be out very soon. There's more information about it on my website.
I would like to thank Help Musicians UK from the bottom of my heart for their support and kindness. It is a wonderful charity that is very professionally run and is there purely for as it says, to Help Musicians in the UK in many, many ways.Back