When pianist Louise Taylor’s mum Veronika was diagnosed with the deadliest form of cancer she decided to put her nimble fingers to good use.
Louise, who has been playing piano since she was five, has recorded an album of her mother’s favourite classical pieces.
Sales of the album, ‘When Shadows Fall’, will raise cash for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF).
Because it is virtually undetectable until it is too late, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers. Just 3% of people diagnosed with disease survive for five years – and this has been the case for 40 years due to the lack of research funding.
Veronika died aged 95, but prior to the onset of the disease she had been exceptionally fit and well for a nonagenarian.
Louise, from Elland, said: “It was such a bombshell as it came out of the blue – she’d been so fit and well, then suddenly developed jaundice one day.
“I knew that there was little hope with this disease. Mum was 95 when she died – I know this is a great age, but she was so young at heart and active, she’d easily have reached 100 without her illness.”
She added: “I nursed her through her illness for as long as I could and played for her a lot while she rested as it comforted her.
“When she finally had to go into hospital, just a few days before she died, her main concern was that I kept playing.
“It helped me cope with the grief of losing her, and I think she instinctively knew that.”
The album, which includes several obscure but uplifting tracks, was recorded and produced at the University of Huddersfield by Huddersfield graduate and now professional producer Jack Henry Boyle.
Louise said: “The university had a beautiful Steinway piano and Jack really captured the sound.
“People who’ve heard it have commented on the quality of the production.”
Louise, a medical secretary at Spire Hospital, Elland, said: “I find strength, hope, companionship and comfort in music; it is a very powerful tool.
“The tracks I chose for the CD include a couple of mum’s favourites. I have had the most heart-warming responses from people who have listened to the CD.”
PCRF CEO Maggie Blanks said: “It’s wonderful to hear how many people have helped Louise honour her mother’s memory like this.
“Louise’s talents will help us to fund world-leading research into pancreatic cancer and we’re grateful for her support.”
A preview of the album, When Shadows Fall, with short clips of each track is available at https://jackhenryboyle.com/archives
To purchase a copy (£8) email Louise: firstname.lastname@example.org.