Help Musicians UK
Ros Hawley
Music for Health Training Officer at the Royal Northern College of Music
14th February 2014
Help Musicians UK

"We cannot thank Help Musicians UK enough for their support.
My husband and I are both musicians, often working together.

Several years ago, he was told that his kidneys were failing and eventually he would need dialysis. Such as life is, this happened a lot sooner than we expected.

Ros Hawley Image

We tried hard to maintain our independence but gradually it became more and more difficult to balance our freelance work schedules with the new routines dialysis brings– gigs became increasingly difficult and my husband became more and more fatigued as his kidneys became weaker and his body tried hard to fight the effects of such a brutal life saving regime.

At the start of the year things were turned upside down even further when we were approved to go ahead with a live donor operation - I was to donate one of my kidneys to my husband. Due to further complications, our operation was put off several times, with my husband spending most of the beginning of the year in hospital until his body was fit enough for the transplant.

Throughout all of this - all our fears, worries and uncertainties - Help Musicians UK provided him with support that meant we were able to get through our situation.

Two of our work friends (both musicians) suggested we get in touch with Help Musicians UK when things were becoming difficult and we were preparing for the transplant. Initially we didn’t really think we should; there were people who may be in need of help more, and we were fighting hard to be ‘normal’ and independent, but eventually, we got in touch.

We received support from Help Musicians UK that meant that not only were we able to focus on our health at this crucial time, but we knew there were people out there who really understood what it was like to be a musician in this situation – we found that unique.

A musician’s life is not always understood, but Joe and Help Musicians UK instantly had an empathy for Mark and the debilitating effect his illness was having on his music making and in turn, the effect that his loss of ability to be involved in music was having on him as a person.

Help Musicians UK helped us in a way no-one else could. They understood and made things bearable.

We have now had our transplant and things so far are going well. We are taking every day as it comes, but will never forget the help and support we have received.

Thank you Help Musicians UK."