Sunday, September 25, 2016
Jackie Storrar loses her fight
The former Radio Tay, Smooth Radio, and CMR Nashville presenter was first diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2010 aged just 43. After getting the all clear, she learned it had returned in December 2013 - just as she and husband Steve were due to head to the Caribbean for a five-month working cruise. This time, doctors advised Jackie that her cancer was terminal.
“Being diagnosed first time round is devastating for anyone but when they say you have it for a second time and it’s incurable, its unbearable”, Jackie explained in an interview earlier this year. “Some of the hope goes and you feel lost, but you can’t give up, and now it’s about making memories - and squeezing out of life as much joy as you possibly can.”
And Jackie certainly didn’t give up. She expedited her bucket list of things to do, and achieved many of her goals. Having toured the world singing on cruise ships for many years, there were places she still wanted to visit, so, whilst still fit enough to travel, she and Steve went travelling. Altogether Jackie visited 82 different countries around the globe.
Although she worked in radio, her love was singing. She had recorded two albums.
The first, “Somewhere Between” was recorded in 1996, whilst she was in Malta. She followed that up with “Cross The Border” in 2007.
But Jackie had a final wish. She wanted to record another CD - something that she could leave as a legacy. One which, perhaps, said more about her, than her earlier albums. The money raised from the album would be donated to the Maggies Centre in Fife, which had given so much support to Jackie. A crowdfunder was set up, and, backed with local and national press coverage, quickly raised enough to cover studio time to get the project underway.
Between rounds of chemotherapy, Jackie headed into studio to make the most of her time away from hospital. She continued to build on the interest created by the project, by doing interviews with local press and radio, and highlighting the amazing work done at Maggies to support people like her.
Jackie was thrilled when she received the hard copies of the CD. Her dream was fulfilled. She had made the final album that meant so much to her. The release date was set as September 1st, but the week before, she hosted a meet & greet at The Maggies Centre in Kirkcaldy, giving her local supporters the chance to get the CD first.
That was to have been followed by a public launch in Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall, a venue where Jackie had performed previously. It’s also where Jackie & Steve marked their recent wedding anniversary by exchanging “Named Seats”, which will ensure they’re together for the next ten years.
Unfortunately, the public launch came too late. After her brave battle, Jackie lost the fight on September 14th. She passed away peacefully at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital.
Her story inspired many. She never let her cancer stop her pursuing her dreams. Even in her last few months, she spend every moment that her body would allow her being active, whether in the studio, or even shopping with her mum.
She passed away in the same hospital where she began her radio career at VRN. After 12 years at Radio Tay, she moved to Malta, where she worked on the island’s main station, Island Sound, as Breakfast presenter and Programme Controller for 4 years. She also developed her singing during this time.
She went on to spent many years singing on cruise ships all over the world. It was on the high seas in 2000 that she met husband Steve, and they married in 2003. They performed as a duo, “Foreign Affair”.
They set up home back in Kirkcaldy, performing locally as a duo, but still working the cruise ships regularly. Even after Jackie was diagnosed with cancer, the couple would travel near & far.
Stuart Cameron has been following Jackie’s story, and is putting together a documentary of the making of the album. In the meantime, Stuart has released a video tribute to Jackie, featuring the closing track on her album, “A Beautiful Night”. Check it out at https://vimeo.com/183293408
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