People with the chronic illness cystic fibrosis* (CF) definitely know that nothing is forever… here’s why…
A book has recently been published which lifts the veil on Alice Martineau, a CF heroine and brilliant singer and songwriter who has been a shining beacon for so many for what she achieved despite her health.
Alice was born the year after me and would have been approaching her 45th birthday in June. I didn’t directly know Alice but would know her better than most because of being the same ‘CF vintage’. We would also share a mutual battle with CF and a disdain for being called ‘brave’ while feeling a heightened desire to make every moment count.
Alice’s life reinforces the sentiment of Nietzsche that the person who has a ‘why’ to live can bear any ‘how’.
The book, ‘A Song for Tomorrow’, reveals Alice’s path to recording and securing a music deal with Sony for her album ‘Daydreams’ while featuring her songs ‘If I fall’ and ‘Inside of You’. Sadly the album was released only a few months before her premature death. The prose is underpinned by unconditional love – both with her family and her boyfriend.
‘People born with a weakness to fall are born with the strength to rise’ Rupi Kaur
The book uncannily depicts the highs, lows, hopes and frustrations of a CF life as well as my own memoir.
It also highlights what it feels like to have the chronic condition not just for the sufferer but for those around that person who equally immerse themselves in the CF rollercoaster ride. It also doesn’t hide away from sharing the bigotry and unkindness that CF people have to endure on a regular basis from ignorant strangers.
This book will make readers laugh and cry in equal amounts. It is poignant, thought-provoking, grounding and life-affirming. Importantly, it will increase the knowledge and understanding of the illness to a wider population; which from my daily experience is extremely helpful.
Both my mum Margaret and I met with the author of this fine book. Alice Peterson, a charming lady and exceptional story-teller, used our CF insights and the testimonies of others to fashion an epic book which fuses Alice’s life and fiction. Indeed, there’s an indirect reference to me in the book and my mum and I are kindly referenced in the Acknowledgements section.
Requiem for Alice
Everyone involved in this book – from Alice’s family, to my fellow CFers, to the publisher Simon & Schuster and especially to Alice Peterson – should be immensely proud of what they’ve created.
I believe that when you read this, and I strongly encourage you to, you’ll be delighted that you’ve got a tomorrow to look forward to. This is a Story for Today; A Song for Tomorrow…
I will keep you posted on my life-affirming moments, trials and tribulations as and when they happen. Please keep reading and sharing my blog and sign-up (on the right hand side tab) if you have not already done so.
Yours cup half full.
Tim Wotton (author of Award-Winning CF Memoir ‘How have I cheated death?’)
* Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common life threatening inherited diseases, affecting over 10,500 people. The condition affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food. Each week, five babies are born with the condition, however, each week, three young lives are also lost to it. There is currently no cure for CF. However, existing gene therapy trials in the UK are bringing people with the illness closer to a form of cure but CF is not that well known and would benefit from more public donations. For more information and to find out more view the CF Trust Website.