Alan G Finding Hope Through Music

"Although the emotions I was feeling were so challenging, the song ended up finding a positive light. That, in turn, enabled me to feel hopeful during such a dark time."

In a matter of seconds, a person’s whole world can change upon learning he or she has cancer. But the patient isn’t the only person whose life is altered: Family members feel the effects, too.

That’s exactly what Bridgewater resident Alan Grant, his mother, brother and three sisters experienced in 2010 when his father Bill, now 78, was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer. “It reprioritized our life in a flash,” Grant says. “We were instantly thrown into this world that was very unfamiliar to us. There was this spiral of gathering information, absorbing information and figuring out what to do next. It felt like every day, for a year and a half, was consumed by tests, surgery, hospital visits, treatments, side effects and chemotherapy.”

Grant quickly learned that although his family’s experience felt deeply personal, it was hardly unique. “Everybody who called to see how my dad was doing had a cancer story. I came to realize that what we were going through was, unfortunately, very common.”

From Darkness to Light
Shortly after his father had surgery, Grant, a songwriter for more than 25 years, found himself awake at 3 a.m. one morning penning a song called “A Brand New Day of Hope.”

“My dad was in the hospital for about five weeks and I couldn’t think about anything else during that time. Although the emotions I was feeling were so challenging, the song ended up finding a positive light. That, in turn, enabled me to feel hopeful during such a dark time,” says Grant.

In the moment, he never intended to do anything with the song. “It was so very private, but I realized that maybe this song could help others feel less alone,” says Grant, who has now performed the song at numerous benefits and events at Somerset Medical Center. “From there, the song took on a life of its own.” Friends and bandmates stepped in to help him play, produce and record it. “A Brand New Day of Hope” is now available for sale. All proceeds will benefit Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center, which provides patient-focused, compassionate and comprehensive cancer services.

The Perfect Catch
Although Grant’s family had always been close, this experience pulled them tighter than ever before. “We were in constant communication every day making sure my dad had everything he needed and got to all of his medical appointments and treatments,” Grant says.

Bill has been in remission for about a year. Although he had been a lifelong fisherman, he stopped as soon as he received his diagnosis and said he’d never go fishing again. But this summer, while the family vacationed together in Martha’s Vineyard, for the first time in years Bill cast a line into the sea.
CTA: To purchase the “A Brand New Day of Hope” CD, visit smcfoundation.com. Watch a video of Alan Grant discussing his song at somersetmedicalcenter.com/day-of-hope. Or simply scan the QR code at the right to watch the video on your smartphone!