Living Life Out Loud - By Fiona Duerden
One Man’s Story of Hope in all Circumstances
In early 2003, a 16-year-old Lincolnshire lad was taken ill. Not for a moment thinking it was anything too serious, his mum decided to take him to the doctor. Some weeks later the diagnosis was confirmed: Dave Bell had a very rare and aggressive cancer attacking the back of his right eye. So rare that only three people in a million are likely to contract it.
The news was a terrible shock. But, as Dave soon started to understand, sickness or struggle doesn’t ask for a polite invitation into your life. It just shows up one day, sometimes with devastating effects. “At first my life was rocked,” he says. “I was 16, and like most 16-year-old boys I thought I was invincible, but suddenly I was confronted with the biggest battle of my life.” Now, ‘Life Out Loud’, the song of that battle and his story of hope through faith has been picked up by a major US marketing company and will be released in April, with the aim of inspiring hope in every hopeless circumstance.
At first, the outlook was bleak. Dave had to undergo six months of intense chemotherapy and 25 sessions of intense radiotherapy. He and his family had to face the fact that Dave may not survive. Surrounded by medical staff, complicated diagnoses, worry and fear, Dave chose to hold onto his faith and believe that he would make it through.
Miraculously, he did. In December 2003, Dave was given his final all-clear. But the battle wasn’t fully over. During the treatment to save his life, doctors had prepared Dave for the fact that the side effects of the treatment may mean he would never be able to have children naturally. This didn’t stop Dave falling in love with the stunning Sarah.
When the couple married in the summer of 2007, they had no knowledge of what the future may or may not hold for them. Unlike other couples, they knew they could make no assumptions about how their family would grow. Two years later, their first, miracle child was born. Against all the odds, Dave and Sarah now have three wonderful children: Jackson, Levi and a beautiful little girl, Mayah.
A few years ago, shortly after the birth of Mayah, Dave met with successful songwriter Chris Eaton to spend some time together co-writing and working on new song ideas. Dave started to share his story with Chris, his message of hope and his passion for living life well. With remarkable speed, the song ‘Life Out Loud’ was born.
While on holiday in the USA last year, Dave and Sarah went to watch I Can Only Imagine – a film about singer Bart Millard’s broken family relationships. “The film and its message of hope inspired me to go ahead and actually record and release ‘Life Out Loud’,” Dave explains. “I have been given a second chance so I am determined to make every second count. My prayer is that this song will bring hope to anyone in a hopeless situation, and encourage all of us to take that extra step – to do the things we have only dreamed of.”
Dave sent the song to a contact in the States, where it was immediately picked up by a major US digital marketing and investment group called Blueprint who were excited about the story behind the song and will release it commercially this year.
‘Life out Loud’ celebrates Dave’s sense of a second chance: “My experience gave me a brand-new perspective on life. How awful it would be to get to old age and look back and think ‘if only’. If only I had made the most of that opportunity, if only I had told that person I loved them, if only I had mended that broken relationship, if only I had taken that risk. And I think that is true for all of us. ‘Life out Loud’ is a hope-filled call to everyone to turn up the volume on their life and live it loud!”