A TERMINALLY ill musician has vowed to spend her final days gigging.

Belinda Sykes was raised in Sussex listening to English folk songs in Lewes Folk Club and now fronts the medieval folk ensemble Joglaresa, known as early music’s “bit of rough”.

But her career ended abruptly when terminal cancer left her unable to use her voice.

After a series of misdiagnosed symptoms in the summer of 2018, Belinda, who is from Lewes, had a total abdominal hysterectomy and ovary-removal surgery in October 2018.

The operation left her unable to use her abdominal muscles, which meant she could not sing or play wind instruments.

Five weeks after her operation, Belinda was diagnosed with uterine leiomyosarcoma – a very rare form of the cancer sarcoma.

This year, doctors told Belinda that the cancer was back and growing at an aggressive rate of 1cm a week.

But she can now use her abdominal muscles professionally again, and plans to spend her remaining time singing with the band.

Belinda, 52, said: “Gigging with Joglaresa is what I live for and I want my remaining time to be spent performing and sharing the music I love with as many people as I can.

“I’ve spent decades finding characterful singers who can be both divas and team players.

“The greatest joy I have in life is standing among these singers.

“One of Joglaresa’s unique features is that it is not a solo singer with backing band, but a team of soloists.

“And we proudly allow our

different vocal qualities to shine out.

Belinda’s publicist said: “Belinda has an amazing strength of character and sense of humour and despite this awful situation, she is actually very upbeat.

“Belinda is now on a treatment plan of monthly palliative chemotherapy sessions to help slow the growth of her tumour.

“She is one of the most striking and original voices in the medieval music world and her sense of humour is evident in her compositions as well as her live performance.

“She wanted a media campaign along the lines of ‘book Joglaresa before it’s too late’ but we managed to convince her that not

everyone shared her dark sense of humour.”

Joglaresa are performing a series of concerts across England over the coming months, including a rendition of the Enchantress of Seville in Lewes on November 23.

The ensemble will be donating 100 per cent of the sales of their back catalogue to raise money for Sarcoma UK, the only bone and soft tissue cancer charity that focuses on all types of sarcoma.

To donate please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joglaresasarcoma