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Cancer victim has a song in his heart; GIFT OF LOVE: Elias records moving thank-you to wife who has helped him through.

Byline: By Poppy Brady

CANCER patient Elias Pharoah has found a unique way of thanking his wife Doreen for all their happy years together - by writing a song and dedicating it to her.

The moving single, called Thankyou, is sung by their older daughter Louise and includes words of love for Doreen, who he married 32 years ago.

Now 51-year-old Elias hopes the single will raise funds for St Mary's Hospice which has supported him since he found out he had cancer four years ago.

"It's my way of thanking Doreen for being my rock and supporting me through three major operations and chemotherapy," said Elias, who has been involved in the music business all his life and runs Pharoah Records from his Stirchley home.

He once played with a reggae group called Beshara.

"The last few years have been very hard for all of us, but the love of my family and my music has got me through. When I feel down I play my guitar and listen to my music."

A malignant tumour weighing 20lbs was removed from Elias's stomach in 2002 but he endured more surgery as it returned. Now he may face more operations and chemotherapy.

"Everyone at the hospice has been wonderful and I hope to make an album if I'm well enough. One of the nurses, Stella O'Hagan, has promised to sing on it."

Doreen, who met Dominica-born Elias at the Tulip Festival in Cannon Hill Park more than 30 years ago, said: "When Elias first played me a rough copy of the song I had to turn it off because I got so upset.

"He's a typical man and does not often show his feelings, but he has revealed his true emotions in this wonderful song." The track includes the words: "You are my best friend and my lover too, I just wanted to say thankyou."

Daughter Louise, aged 32, who has a seven-year-old daughter Chloe, said: "I used to sing a lot with dad but making this single has been very hard because it's an emotional time for all of us." The couple, who have another daughter, Vanessa, aged 26, and four-year-old granddaughter Aryiah, had planned to retire to Elias's Caribbean homeland before his illness struck. He is busy arranging a fundrais-ing music show for the hospice on Friday, September 22, from 7.30pm at Rowheath Pavilion. Tickets are pounds 55 on the door or through Elias on 07739 747 166. His CD can be bought at any of the hospice's six shops in south Birmingham or by contacting Elias.

CAPTION(S):

WITH THANKS... Elias Pharoah and his wife Doreen with daughter Louise. Picture: Loretta Brennan' FUNDS...the CD is for sale.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Sep 16, 2006
Words:450
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