In May of 2015 I bit into a sandwich, heard a click inside my head and found myself in severe pain. I went straight to my dentist who sent me to hospital. So began a summer of tests and biopsies. In August of that year I was told I had a rare cancer in my jaw. I discovered a world I didn’t know existed, full of strange new words-maxillofacial surgery, oncologists, phlebotomists….
It was ironic that the cancer was in my jaw. I have made my living telling stories for 30 years. Though I had travelled the world performing, I couldn’t open my mouth without drool trickling into my lap. It was a long tough journey, but I am clear of cancer and working again.
I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone, but if it happens I can assure you that you will be well looked after by the Windsor Suite at Nevill Hall and University College Hospital Cardiff. I can’t imagine how a doctor brings him or herself to say the C word to a patient for the first time, but all through my treatment I was looked after so well. I shudder to think of what my care would have cost in America, and I will always be grateful to the staff who looked after me.
So when I heard that the Mayor Tony Konieczny had chosen Nevill Hall’s Windsor Suite as his charity following the lengthy and expert treatment that his wife Sue received for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I was delighted to agree to perform a benefit show at The Borough Theatre. The event takes place on Saturday 25th January at 6.00pm. The start time is early because it is aimed at families. TWICE UPON A TIME is suitable for anyone over 7- including grownups!. There are singalongs, bad jokes, sudden jumps and moments of mystery and danger. I will be joined by another local resident, Oliver Wilson-Dickson, who accompanies my stories on violin. We have been working together ever since we first met in 1993 at a folk club in Gilwern. We have performed at the Borough many times, as well as the Wales Millennium Centre, National Theatre, The Barbican Centre and venues all the way from Cornwall to Cumbria.
I hope you can join us for this unique event. You will have a great night out and your money will help local residents receive the first class medical care they deserve at a time when the Windsor Suite needs larger premises to cope with the increase in the number of patients requiring treatment.
TWICE UPON A TIME– Saturday 25th January 6.00 at The Borough Theatre. Tickets £8.50 tel 01873 850805 boroughtheatreabergavenny.co.uk