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Song gives hope

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

“Once you are diagnosed with cancer, there are two choices you can make: You can give up, or you can embrace the words of this song and choose to fight.”

These are the inspirational words printed inside a CD single titled “Never Give Up, No Never Give Up.” Summit County second homeowner Carol Tedrow wrote the song, along with Tony Fields, who sang the lyrics.

Doctors diagnosed Tedrow’s husband, Jim, with stage 4 esophageal cancer in July, 2007, when he was 57. That previous winter, the couple had skied approximately 75 days and volunteered with the mountain safety team at Copper Mountain. But that summer, several oncology specialists told Jim Tedrow he had only three to six months to live.

In winter 2007-08, he began chemotherapy at Shaw Cancer Center in Edward and skied 50 days while volunteering at Copper.

“Jim was not going to allow cancer to ruin his ski season,” Carol Tedrow said. “Despite incurable cancer with chemotherapy as the only option, Jim’s never-give-up attitude was inspirational to me, family, friends and the medical staff. They believed his positive outlook was a factor in why (he) … lived vibrantly for 18 of 19 months.”

As her husband underwent treatment, she spoke with other patients and became motivated to help people maintain a positive attitude. Her husband’s uplifting attitude inspired her to write the song.

“‘Never Give Up, No Never give Up’ is the product of Jim’s and my experience,” she said. “It’s our story song.”

Lyrics to the upbeat pop song begin when the doctor’s prognosis leaves the patient “paralyzed in shock, my mind perplexed.” But soon, the rousing chorus comes in, singing “Never give up, no never give up. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, never give up … you’ve got to keep on fighting, got to find a way.”

Vocalist Fields, who has won numerous singing contests in Michigan and Las Vegas, has been compared to Al Green, with his soulful, funky voice.

Fields and Tedrow released the CD on June 11, with the help of composer Doug Decker, who has been performing, recording and producing music since 1975. The cover of the CD showcases a view of Dillon Reservoir, from the Tedrow’s condo at Lake Forest on the Dillon Dam Road.

The song has garnered local play on mountain public radio, with nice results.

“We received about six to 12 calls,” said radio DJ M.R. Murray. “A lot of people said it was very inspirational. It’s a very professionally done song.”

As an advocate of the song, Dr. Marc Shiffman, in Frisco, put Carol Tedrow in contact with Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she hopes to distribute it, in addition to offering it at various cancer foundations, family counseling centers, hospital gift shops and survivor’s day events.

“What you get from it is this uplifting feeling of hope, and I think that’s so important for the patient, but it’s especially important for the support team,” Shiffman said, adding that often, the patient’s family and friends can feel powerless, which can lead to negativity – something the patient should stay away from. “It can refuel positive energy and hope.”

On Feb. 24, 19 months after his diagnosis, Jim Tedrow passed away, with his wife at his side.

“Although he did not survive cancer, he was a cancer survivor because he made up his mind to fight the moment he was diagnosed,” Carol Tedrow said.


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