By Luke Kenton
During her last chemotherapy treatment, this young cancer suffering singer-songwriter bellowed out her own inspirational anthem of courage from the confines of a hospital ward.
‘Courage’ is the word reverberating around the room in the cancer ward of the Royal Sussex Hospital, in Brighton, UK, as 27-year-old singer-songwriter Abi Flynn celebrates her final day of chemotherapy.
Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer commonly associated among young people, the Worthing-born troubadour belted out her self-written ballad of positivity as a testament to the resilience she’s show in the face of adversity over the past year.
Despite facing three agonizing rounds of chemotherapy, Abi insists her condition is still yet to get the better of her, singing, ‘There is so much beauty in this heart…a warrior, I’ll make a brand-new start’.
Penning the track in the hope of inspiring other cancer suffers to ‘shine brightly’ through even the darkest of times, Abi said: “I was still hooked up to the chemo drip at the time, so it felt like a powerful statement to make.
“The song came to me from a rare place of stillness when I was feeling totally tuned into myself and all that was happening in the world.
“It’s about how each and every one of us has the power to overcome more than we ever dreamed possible, by surrendering to our deepest, darkest fears.
“Singing about my experiences through chemo whilst being on it is me taking back my power and not identifying with my disease.
“I’m instead accepting and owning it, and taking whatever good can come of it by channeling the experience through my art and honest expression.
“‘Courage’ is about my journey in discovering this idea and how it gave me fuel to shine brighter through my hardest times.
“The performance was very spontaneous – on a whim I found an empty room down the hall and called some of my musician friends to come a play this song with me.
“It was such a beautiful thing to combine my music and passion with having what I once saw to be terrifying and unpleasant treatment.
“That’s why a performance in the hospital seemed like the perfect idea, a metaphor to show this idea of light in the darkness.”
Before her diagnosis in 2016, Abi admits to being a ‘typical millennial’, feeling slightly lost from direction and contends that is was actually her diagnosis that provided her with the drive-in life she desperately craved.
Feeling a severe pain in her chest one day that Abi had ‘never felt anything like’ before, scans later revealed the source of the discomfort to be caused by an 11cm cancerous tumor.
Abi now hopes she can use her experience to help inspire other cancer sufferers to find their own strength and courage to channel into their passions.
Abi said: “I was a full-time professional singer, working eight times a week before my diagnosis, but I wasn’t really living.
“I had fallen into a ‘numbness’ in which I worked and worked, striving to be great without really addressing who I was at my core.
“Cancer has been a catalyst for facing those buried places within myself, and in doing so I’ve been more creative than ever before.
“I’ve been performing live tirelessly during treatment and I’ve even managed to sign a record deal.
“I want to devote my life to healing others through my own experience and the music ties in with that completely.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work with cancer charities, like ‘Stand-Up to Cancer’, to spread my message of transformation through adversity, and I hope to continue that.
“I’m also hoping to record an album in London this year.”
After exhausting all avenues of chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Abi now faces several months – or maybe even years – of radiotherapy with a chance a stem-cell transplant.
Though the next steps for her own road to recovery remain uncertain, Abi’s priorities very much lay with how she can help better the lives of others.
Abi said: “Until I get my scan results at the end of the month, everything is a little bit ambiguous still.
“My cancer could go on for years or months yet, but I’m pretty confident it will be the latter.
“The reaction to the song has been so touching.
“The best thing is when I hear, ‘When I heard your music, I realised I could achieve so much more than I allowed myself to believe.’
“This is exactly what I’ve always aimed for, to show others we have the power to do whatever we want, no matter the circumstance.
“I’m currently raising money to help fund additional treatment for my cancer, as well as my music.
“Each leg of this journey had brought me new, incredible discoveries and I wouldn’t trade any of it for a thing.”
To donate to help with Abi’s treatment, please visit HERE.
Her music can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/abiflynnsinger