31.07.2019

Reverend braves the shave to raise money in memory of husband who was piano tuner to the stars

Lawyer by training but lover of music, John Phillips found his vocation as a piano tuner for Newcastle City Hall, where he tuned pianos for the likes of Queen, Elton John and Tom Jones - to name but a few.

Sadly, John died of Oesophageal Cancer in January of this year.

On Thursday 25 July, to mark what would have been John’s 69th birthday, wife Adele had her head shaved to raise money for the Northern Oesophago Gastric Cancer Fund.

The fundraiser took place at Mercedes Benz in Newcastle where friends, family, fellow patients and carers who looked after John, attended to show their support.

To date, the fundraiser has raised almost £5000 for the Northern Oesophago Gastric Fund, 666% more than Adele’s original £750.00 target.

“If the fundraiser saves just one person’s life by raising awareness of the symptoms then I will be extremely grateful” says Adele.

“The symptoms of Oesophageal cancer are extremely rare and early detection is key. Before John was diagnosed he was getting indigestion, the feeling of food being stuck in his throat and pains in his chest through to his back, but overall he felt well and didn’t think it was anything to worry about.

“It wasn’t until one morning, whilst reading the newspaper with his morning coffee that he came across an article about cancer of the oesophagus and turned to me and said- ‘I think I’ve got Oesophageal Cancer’, days later his worst fear was confirmed.”

The fundraiser is a birthday present to John from wife Adele, to show solidarity to those who lose their hair through chemotherapy and raise vital funds to help other suffers and their families.

On what John would have thought about the fundraiser, Adele says; “He would be so astounded by the support we have received and the amount of money we have raised.

“I spent a lot of time on cancer wards and in waiting areas with John and we met so many people battling cancer who had lost their hair, shaving my hair is nothing compared to the bravery they show every day.”

John received chemotherapy at the Freeman Hospital and despite being unwell, he loved meeting new people and trying to cheer up the other patients. His famous motto was ‘If I can cheer up at least one person a day, then my day has not gone to waste!’

Adele is so grateful to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital for the amazing care her and John received and hopes to return to the hospitals as a volunteer in the future.

To donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adele-phillips1

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