Thursday 25th July 2019
When music is such a big part of your life, it's inevitable that it'll be there for the downs as well as the ups. That's what happened for Joseph Doran, a musician and Ed Sheeran tribute act from London who'll be performing at this weekend's CarFest North.
Joseph first noticed things weren't right on a music trip to Austria. "I was finding it a struggle to breathe. One day I woke up and the bed was soaked through with sweat," said Joseph. "When I got back to London, my breathing felt okay again, but then I started to become aware of a sharp lump in my throat."
After a visit to A&E and a CT scan, doctors found a 12cm mass in Joseph's chest. But it wasn't until he was on an observation ward, 'surrounded by six other men, all about 50 years older than me' that Joseph was told he had stage 4B Hodgkin Lymphoma.
I felt like it couldn't be cancer, like they had put two and two together and made five.
Treatment started quickly and Joseph had six rounds of chemo at his local hospital, where he was 'the youngest by about 30 years'. "They all looked like they were at the end of the road, so it affected me psychologically," said Joseph. But things changed when Joseph moved to be on our unit at UCLH. Not only was he surrounded by people his own age, the instruments on the ward meant he could turn to his music as a distraction.
Music kept me going during the treatment and gave me something to focus on every day so I don't have to dwell on things.
As well as performing as The Ed Sheeran Illusion, Joseph writes and performs his own original music. "Writing music helped me cope," said Joseph. "Some of the music was too dark or too personal to put on the album that I produced, but it was therapeutic to write it all down."
This weekend, Joseph will wow the crowds with his songs at CarFest North, which this year has chosen us as a beneficiary charity. As well as performing in the Inspiration Tent with Teenage Cancer Trust, Joseph will also be taking to the Main Stage!
Getting to play on the main stage is a massive opportunity. It will be one of the biggest things I have ever done.
Can't make it to CarFest North? Joseph will be taking over our Snapchat this weekend, getting you as close to the action as possible. Don't miss out - search for teenagecancer or scan our Snapcode now to follow us now!