Event is fitting tribute to music-lover Alan

November 02 2016

DOWNEND'S Alan Yandell was 66 when he died of oesophageal cancer, just six months after receiving his diagnosis.

DOWNEND'S Alan Yandell was 66 when he died of oesophageal cancer, just six months after receiving his diagnosis.

It is believed he may have had the condition for up to three years but because there were initially no symptoms Alan did not seek help until it was too late.

Now his partner Cynthia Travers-Capper wants to raise money and awareness to help other people suffering with this type of cancer.

She has organised a music fundraiser at Downend's Horseshoe pub on Sunday November 20 and hopes people will come along to support the event.

Cynthia, who had been with Alan for 12 years, said: "Alan had been a BT engineer for 40 years and had only taken early retirement a few years before. 

"Just after Christmas 2014 he had what he thought was a chest infection, it was a cough which wouldn't go away. He was also getting a bit of discomfort when he ate.

"The doctor treated it with antibiotics but after a few months it seemed to be getting worse. Eventually they sent him for an endoscopy to see what was going on. I'll never forget going to Southmead Hospital to pick him thinking 'Maybe it's an ulcer' but he had been told he had a tumour and they didn't think there was anything they could do."

Alan was referred to the oncology department at the BRI but after a series of test doctors told Alan the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. 

"They told him he probably had it for two or three years, perhaps even longer," Cynthia said.

Cynthia, 68, said Alan was so full of life with lots of friends and a passion for music. He also adored his beloved granddaughter Isabelle.

"He was very fit and healthy and didn't smoke. He would think nothing of walking from his home in Downend to Chipping Sodbury and back, just for something to do. He was so active, it came as a huge shock he had this illness. It was just horrible. He went through hell with the chemotherapy for several months but was told it hadn't shrunk the tumour, it was still growing. 

"Oesophageal cancer is known as one of the 'silent' cancers. You can have it for several years and not know it but when you do start experiencing problems, it is usually too late for any form of treatment which was the case for Alan."

Alan sadly passed away in June 2015.

Cynthia's fundraising evening starts at 7.30pm and includes singing waiters who sing requests in return for donations, rock band Caught on the Back Foot and a charity auction with auctioneer. Prizes include a spa treatment, full body massage and circus tickets. Riff Raff choir, of which Cynthia is a member, will also be belting out a few tunes.

"Alan used to drink in the Horseshoe and the landlord John thought it would be a good idea so we booked a date and it's really grown from that. Alan absolutely loved music and had several guitars. We thought a musical evening would be a fitting tribute."

Proceeds from the event will go to Cancer Research UK.