Woman sings powerfully through chemo to “show people they can live their life through adversity”

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Amy Swales
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A singer going through gruelling cancer treatment has continued to gig five nights a week, determined to continue doing what she loves.

Now a video of her singing from her hospital bed while undergoing chemotherapy is racking up shares, likes and views on Facebook.

Abi Flynn was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma last September after suffering chest pain, and started treatment the following month.

She’s now on her third round of chemo treatment.

While she says waiting for the news to be confirmed was obviously distressing, she turned to music to cope, and has continued to do so throughout her repeated rounds of chemo.

“[Doctors] thought I might have had a collapsed lung so I was sent for a scan,” she explains. “They told me they found a mass in my chest and I didn’t know what that meant. They then told me it might be Hodgkin and I didn’t know what that meant either. I was meant to be doing a gig on Brighton beach that night.

“I was really scared but all I knew to do was sing and so I went straight down to the beach, had a drink and sang and as I did I thought ‘You’re going to do this, you’re going to be OK.’”

The Brighton-based singer, 27, signed a record deal in May this year, and posted the video to “try and show people they can still live their life through adversity.”

“I want people to try to choose living over fear,” she says. “The reaction has been phenomenal, for me it affirmed everything I believed; that by living your truth and letting your passion shine through – no matter the circumstances – you will attract more positivity and love.”

Flynn adds that the success of the clip – in which she belts out What the World Needs Now is Love – has touched her, with commenters praising her strength and positivity during such a difficult time.

“On a personal level I was beyond touched and felt like I was being bathed in love and support. It was incredible. I was in hospital at the time in quarantine and the support I received made me grin ear to ear each day.

“I received so many kind messages. I felt great and I was able to leave hospital much sooner than planned to perform at my favourite festival, Love Supreme.”

Flynn, who has also written on her Facebook page about the starker realities of treatment, has a debut EP, Ambiguous, set for release this month (7 July) and wants to record a second album of songs inspired by her experience.

She hopes her video going viral will draw attention to Cancer Research UK’s Stand Up To Cancer national fundraising campaign, which she supports: “It gives those with cancer a chance to take back their identity and live their passion despite the disease, which I feel is the way to kick cancer’s ass!”

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.