Singer helps raise £1million for cancer cause – then contracts the disease herself

Singer Maggie Ross who is raising funds for the Charlie Bear Appeal.
Singer Maggie Ross who is raising funds for the Charlie Bear Appeal.
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A SINGER who helped raise £1million to help people suffering cancer has been diagnosed with the disease.

Blues singer Maggie Ross, of Washington, recorded a song in 1981 to help generate cash for the first whole-body CT scanner for the North East.

Called Come On In, the tracked helped the Charlie Bear for Cancer Care Appeal smash through its £1million target.

In June, Maggie was diagnosed with terminal lung and brain cancer.

Doctors have now given her just months to live.

The 63-year-old said: “Thirty years ago, when I was asked to record the single Come on In for Charlie Bear, we were hoping to raise money for the scanner appeal and I was delighted to help.

“Then recently, when I went for palliative radiotherapy treatment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, I noticed the Charlie Bear fund-raising shop in the atrium and the charity was still raising money.

“It is very poignant that 30 years on I came across Charlie Bear again when I was receiving cancer treatment.”

The original Charlie Bear campaign was launched by Daisy Clark in 1978.

Daisey, who was suffering from cancer, sewed teddy bears named after her late husband Charles.

The campaign reached its target in 1982, with thousands of people since benefiting from the scanner, which is at Newcastle General Hospital.

Maggie is now backing the appeal again as it looks to buy the region’s first cyber surgery machine, which will deliver high doses of radiation to small tumours.

Maggie, who is married to John, 66, will now host a fund-raising event in aid of the campaign, featuring herself and other musicians.

Maggie, mum to Melanie, 43, said: “People keep saying that I’m very brave, but it is a situation out of my control.

“I can either sit around thinking ‘woe is me’ or I can get out and live my life.”

A fund-raising event is taking place at the Washington Gardneners Club this Thursday, from 7pm to 11pm.

Proceeds from Maggie’s album, Don’t Mess With Me, will be donated to Charlie Bear.

For more about Maggie go to

Further details about the charity night can be found by calling John Chaytor, of the Maggie Ross Band, on 07976 373982.

Twitter: @davidallison88