Wigan dad creates song for cancer charity encouraging people to have Covid-19 vaccine

Martyn Starkey, from Spring View, has produced Get The Vaccine in aid of the Teenager Cancer Trust (TCT).

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 7:00 am

The charity’s work is something Martyn has first-hand experience of as his son Joel was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 23 and became extremely ill.

Despite fears he would not pull through Joel has now been in full remission for five years.

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Martyn Starkey has written a charity song for Teenage Cancer Trust

He was inspired to create the song, which also has a video, by Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 track which encouraged people to use sunscreen.

Martyn, 54, said: “I was conscious of so many charities that will have been subject to reduced income due to the Covid-19 pandemic and wanted to use my time to help out where I could.

“With the Covid-19 vaccine rolling out, I wanted to encourage as many people as I knew to take it up and therefore wrote an updated version of the song to support Teenage Cancer Trust.

“They were a great support to my son Joel and our family when he had leukaemia. Joel got better and now I want to give something back.

Martyn Starkey with his son Joel during his leukaemia treatment

“It is just brilliant that he is in full remission considering how bad he was.

“He was due to have a bone marrow transplant and the donor pulled out, which was really bad news, but fortunately he went down a different treatment route.

“The odds weren’t great at all but he pulled through.

“The song and the advice contained within it seemed pertinent in that we have to make the most of life now, while we can and to be grateful for what we have.

“I think with in the last year people have put a better value on life and realised that life is short. You don’t know how long you’re going to be around for so you need to make the most of your family and friends while they are here.

“I’ve had the idea to do an updated version of the original Baz Luhrmann song for a while and decided I would use it now with what has been happening.”

Martyn, of Chatsworth Fold, was able to donate some time to creating the charity track as his workload as a tutor at Edge Hill University has been lightened distinctly due to the pandemic and in-person teaching at degree level being cancelled.

Martyn has not set a fund-raising target for Get A Vaccine but simply says he hopes to raise as much money for the charity as he can.

Martyn has used his musical talents for good causes a number of times over the years, including putting on gigs for Cancer Research UK and writing a Christmas song.

Teenage Cancer Trust says seven young people and their families are rocked by a diagnosis of the disease every day.

The charity supports young people who may be frightened, confused or isolated because of their health battle and their parents and relatives.

It has 28 dedicated cancer units meaning patients aged between 16 and 24 can be treated in their local areas. The charity also offers age-appropriate nursing and support as well as running outreach work.

Get A Vaccine, by Martyn Starkey, is out now, with proceeds going to Teenage Cancer Trust.

To purchase the track, visit https://ditto.fm/get-the-vaccine

A video is also available to view on YouTube.

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