A devoted dad who has lost “too many” friends and relatives to cancer is aiming to raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK.
Neil Fitzpatrick is releasing a CD single, Apart, and hopes to raise at least £25,000 for the charity.
Neil, who lives in Scarborough with his wife Ellie and two-year-old son Charlie, had his first brush with the disease four years ago when a good friend’s sister died of bowel cancer, aged just 42. Inspired by her battle against the disease, he wrote the song, but his busy career as a graphic designer and musician meant he didn’t have time to do anything with it.
Then in 2012, Neil’s mother-in-law Penny died of breast cancer at the age of just 59, followed last year by his dad, Derek, who died just two days after Christmas of lung cancer.
“It’s just so sad that Charlie is going to grow up without three of his grandparents,” says Neil. “I’ve lost too many people to this terrible disease, and I wanted to do something to help in the fight against it. When I’m not at my desk designing, I play the piano professionally – so a CD seemed the obvious move.”
Apart features Neil on piano with lead vocals from Michelle Lawson from Warrington, who has also lost family members to cancer, and Wakefield Gospel Choir. Helium Strings, a string quartet from Leeds, also play on the single. All the musicians gave their services for free.
Neil has invested over £2,500 of his own money towards the cost of recording and producing it, and has received generous donations from friends and supporters. He is still seeking donations towards postage and packing of the CDs and a launch event, with any money left over after all costs have been met going directly to Cancer Research UK.
He has also had much support in kind from the creative community at Scarborough’s Woodend Creative Workspace, where his business, Fitzpatrick Design is based.
Cancer Research UK is a charity which carries out pioneering research to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. The charity receives no government funding.
The single, titled “Apart”, will go on sale for a minimum donation of £5 per copy, with proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. It is available to buy online at www.apartsong.co.uk, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/apartsong or at Woodend Creative Workspace, Scarborough.
You can follow Apart on Twitter: @apartsong