Charity single released by hospice cancer patient hits number two on UK download charts

Mike Jacobs recording 'Stay'
Mike Jacobs recording 'Stay'

A charity single released by a former cancer patient at the Florence Nightingale Hospice in Aylesbury has hit number two in the UK download charts.

Mike Jacobs, who passed away from oesophaegal cancer on New Year's Eve released 'Stay' 11 days before his death after his family persuaded him to finally showcase his songwriting talent to a global audience.

The story behind Mike's single has gone viral over the past week and has been the subject of much coverage on national radio and television stations and in the national press.

As part of his round of media interviews, Mike's son Josh spoke to the Bucks Herald this morning (Monday) about the story behind the single.

He said: "Dad wrote songs about 30 years ago but never did anything with the final pieces of music.

"Me and my sister Lauren knew the words and loved listening to him growing up but we couldn't persuade him to make them public.

"When we received the devastating news last year that my dad's cancer was terminal and he would have less than a year to live we made it our mission to get him to record a tune and release it and see what happened.

"We made a documentary so we could chart the process and have something to look back on.

"It was an emotional journey and really rewarding and enjoyable to record the tune.

"The BBC invited me to speak on Jeremy Vine's show about the story and he played the song and it just snowballed from there.

"The next day Zoe Ball played it on her Radio Two show and we could not believe the reaction and the downloads it got on iTunes.

"It was overwhelming for all of us involved - dad was very proud and rightly so."

As well as peaking at number two in the iTunes chart the single peaked last week at number six in the official UK singles chart.

Mike died 11 days after the release of 'Stay' and since then the family have focused on ensuring that all funds raised from the charity single go to the charities that helped him - the Florence Nightingale Hospice and The Rennie Grove Hospice.

Josh said: "We did not imagine for one second how big this story would become.

"Hopefully my dad's story has inspired others to follow their dreams and ambitions, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

"We will never know whether my dad could have enjoyed a musical career if he had released his work all those years ago but we are glad we released this single when we did because otherwise we may have regretted it.

"The legacy we hope to leave is one of inspiring others to live life to the full as much as possible."

Dr Helen Pegrum, palliative care consultant at Florence Nightingale Hospice said: "The story behind Mike Jacobs’ single Stay is incredibly moving.

"Mike’s strength and his family’s determination to help him fulfil the project even when he was very ill was amazing.

"The ethos of palliative care is that patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness are encouraged to make the most of their lives and use the time they have left for whatever is important to them."

To donate towards one of the hospices that helped Mike visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mikejacobs-music

The single Stay can be downloaded via iTunes and it should start playing when you load this story.