Video: Norfolk’s singing neuro nurse is getting the message across
Music and motorcycles are helping a University of East Anglia lecturer to raise awareness of serious brain conditions.
Steve Smith works at the UEA's school of nursing and midwifery and is an expert in neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, MS, stroke, and Huntington's disease.
The 55-year-old has written songs such as 'Who Cares for the Carer?' and 'Immune'.
He is often invited to speak – and sing – at medical conferences and will be publishing a neurological medical care book next week.
On top of that Mr Smith intends to tackle a 5,000-mile motorcycle ride around Europe this summer with his two sons, to raise funds for charities Scope, MIND and the Huntingdon's Disease Association.
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But it is his songs which have really captured people's imaginations. He explained: 'I haven't got a good imagination for song-writing – I just put down stories as I experienced them or as someone I have nursed or their loved ones told me. For people who haven't any experience or knowledge of these conditions and how they can impact on a family, this is a chance to understand.'
He has performed at the Huntington's Disease Association AGM and has sung at conferences in Denmark, Spain and Canada, while both the WFNN and Huntington's Disease Association have produced CDs of Steve's work.
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The music will provide some entertainment on the mammoth motorcycle ride he and his sons – Dan, 32 and Simon, 22 – are attempting. They aim to ride through Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania, before coming back through Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy.
Mr Smith, who lives in the Downham Market area, continued: 'My granddaughter has mild cerebral palsy, and my son Dan, her father, wishes to raise some funds to help Scope. My other son, Simon, has bipolar disorder and will be raising funds to help the charity MIND.
'And I would like to raise some funds to benefit people with Huntington's disease, as the families I have worked with have been so inspiring.'
Mr Smith's book - Neuro Care Manual: A Guide to Neurology for Nurses & Family Carers - is published on March 15 and is aimed at nurses and family carers for people with neurological disorders, to encourage a language that enable family members to think about the conditions in the way professionals do.
The book is available from most well-known online book sellers.
To watch a video of Mr Smith singing, press play on the video above.
Are you planning a big event for charity? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or by email at email@example.com