Battling pianist Ryan says thanks to News readers

NRHNLM110131C3 - Ryan Noon, who has compleated his music degree.
NRHNLM110131C3 - Ryan Noon, who has compleated his music degree.

A PIANIST who has battled cancer that almost killed him at one point has thanked the Ripley and Heanor public for their charitable donations during his battle with illness.

Ryan Noon, 23, of High Street, Loscoe was diagnosed with leukaemia in November, 1999, when he was just 11.

He missed 18 months of schooling at Aldercar Community College and spent two years in a wheelchair.

Now the family say a debt of gratitude is owed to the people who donated more than £7,000 to an appeal they launched in the Ripley and Heanor News in 2000.

The proceeds from ‘Ryan’s Appeal’ helped the family pay for a Knight grand piano which has helped shape the 23-year-old’s planned career as a session musician and pass his music degree.

Mother Hayley, 47, said: “He lives on the piano. To all those people that sent in anonymous donations and cheques all those years ago, I hope they can see Ryan now.”

Ryan, a grade eight classical pianist since the age of 16, graduated from a Popular Music degree at Derby University on Friday, January 21, and has already begun freelancing as a musician.

He has played regularly at prestigious venues such as Chatsworth House, Bakewell and Shottle Hall, Belper, and plays at a number of weddings. Ryan said: “In fairness I try and not think about the illness too much. I was unlucky in some ways, but lucky in others.”

When Ryan was 15 he once chosen to appear at the one-off coveted Classic FM radio event which celebrated the work of composer Edward Elgar, alongside top musicians such as Julian Loyd Webber and Evelyn Glenning.

Father Anthony said the piano has been invaluable in helping Ryan since being given the all clear from cancer when he was 16. Anthony added that at one point when Ryan was 12, he was ‘hanging on by a thread’.

Since finishing university Ryan plans to be a classical session musician and continue to play in Derby based band Me Dengo.