Teacher defies disease to compose music

A TEACHER suffering from an incurable disease has refused to give in to her disabilities, composing five songs to national acclaim.Rosemary Pooley, 45, from Stowmarket, has Behcet's Disease, a chronic condition where the body's immune system becomes over-active and can cause complications varying from ulcers and strokes to losing your sight.

A TEACHER suffering from an incurable disease has refused to give in to her disabilities, composing five songs to national acclaim.

Rosemary Pooley, 45, from Stowmarket, has Behcet's Disease, a chronic condition where the body's immune system becomes over-active and can cause complications varying from ulcers and strokes to losing your sight.

Mrs Pooley, who is married with three children, is a trained classical singer and before her health worsened would sing at weddings, dinner parties, shows and concerts, as well as teaching singing privately.

She is now unable to perform, has to use a wheelchair or sticks to get around, and at times slurs her words.

But she remains determined to make the most of her life and is continuing to dictate her songs onto a recorder.

Mrs Pooley entered the UK Songwriting Competition with a friend and co-writer Chris Blanch, from nearby Stowupland, submitting five pieces.

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The friends concentrate on themes, including love and loss, and have just heard that two songs got as far as the semi-final, while two were highly commended and one commended.

The competition is organised by the BRIT trust and the Music Aid Organisation to promote songwriting and help new writers break into the business.

Mrs Pooley, who is married to 51-year-old carpenter Eric, said: “People must believe in themselves. There is always something you can achieve, whatever challenges you face.

“I do not want to be defined by my illness and that's why these competitions are so important to me. I am being judged on my ability, but my disability.

“I am absolutely thrilled to receive recognition. Writing songs is something that I absolutely love to do. It takes my mind of things and is very therapeutic.”

Have you overcome adversity to achieve great things? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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