Song of success Eurovision hero Roy Taylor scores number one hit while battling Motor Neuron Disease
A former Eurovision star with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) has landed a number one hit with his charity single.
Roy Taylor represented Ireland with his band 'Jump the Gun' in 1988’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The contest was held in Ireland as Johnny Logan had won the previous year's but Roy was beaten to the title by none other than Celine Dion.
For years, Roy worked as a jobbing musician, putting out records and performing live all over the world.
However, two-and-a-half years ago, just weeks before his 61st birthday, Roy received some devastating, life-changing news.
After a series of tests, doctors at Beaumont Hospital discovered he had Motor Neuron Disease (MND), an incurable illness that attacks and shuts down the body’s nervous system.
The disease has attacked Roy’s breathing and his legs, forcing him to use a wheelchair when leaving his home and prematurely ending his singing career.
And speaking to Sundayworld.com, Roy’s son Terence, recalled that terrible day they received the diagnosis.
“It was April 12, 2018 and I think everyone who is diagnosed with MND knows the date and the exact time and second,” he said.
“He had a couple of different problems leading up to the diagnosis and got all the different tests done.
“And the last port of call was neurology and I was beside him with his wife Lisa in Beaumont Hospital when we were told.
“The news was devastating and my heart shattered into a million pieces."
The family knew only too well what such a diagnosis meant as Roy’s brother-in-law Tony passed away seven years ago from MND.
And staying positive in the face of adversity was critical for Roy.
“My dad’s specific form of MND appears to be somewhat slow, and we have to take that as a positive,” Terence said.
“He says it is like a raindrop on a window pain, it starts at the top and it can go quick or slow or even stop, but it does get to the bottom eventually.
“Everybody is different and all you can do is try and stay positive and take it day by day.
“When the diagnosis came into our lives, I just had so much anger.
“You do think, why us? In time you do come to realise that nobody deserves this and these are the cards you have been dealt with.
“Nobody deserves it and we just cherish every day now.
“So, myself and my dad started campaigning to raise awareness of MND and that gave us these amazing times together.
“And that’s how we came up with the idea of the song, My New Dream, and it has just been incredible.”
When Roy first heard about the illness, he immediately stopped performing as the MND gave him trouble breathing.
But the decision to write and record this fundraising song, which Terrance also performs on, gave him a new lease of life.
“My dad represented Ireland in the Eurovision in 1988 with a band called Jump The Gun,” Terrence said.
“The song was called 'Take him Home' and they lost that year to someone named Celine Dion.
“It was in Dublin because Johnny Logan won it the year before.
“My mum, Karen Black, was a backing singer for Johnny the year before so I come from a family of musicians.
“All throughout his career he has been a musician and when he was given the diagnosis it retired him straight away. He walked out of Beaumont Hospital thinking he would never sing again.
"Yet, two-and-a-half years later, he has recorded this track which is now going global on iTunes.”
Not only is 'My New Dream' doing well around the world, last weekend it had the Number One spot on the Irish iTunes charts.
“I couldn't be prouder of him,” said Terence.
“He is struggling with respiratory problems so to record a song was no small feat and now, he is number one.
“I have had so many people on to me from all walks of life, not just the MND community.
“I had a woman from the UK message me over the weekend and she sadly lost her dad to MND and asked could they use the song at his funeral.
“What can you say to that because it is both flattering and sad and we were honoured to be asked that. It has had such a profound effect on a lot of people.”
Roy and Terence hope that the song will raise awareness of MND as they furiously battle the clock in the search for a cure.
All money raised from the single will go to Research Motor Neuron, who are the registered charity that they are affiliated with.
Their campaign is called ‘Watch Your Back MND’ and aims to raise money for research and hopefully get a cure within Roy's lifetime.
“We believe it is a matter of when not a matter of it,” Terrance added.
Roy and Terence Taylor - My New Dream is available on all digital music platforms.
Or if people would like to donate they can do so at www.watchyourbackmnd.com or they can text "ROY" to 50300 to donate €4.