Health scare spurred Trim woman on to chase dream
A brave singer from Trim says being diagnosed with a rare disease that left her “unable to get out of bed” led her to rediscover her passion for music.
After a tumour was found on her pituitary gland, intruding on her optic chasm during her second pregnancy Siobhan McAlesse (39) was diagnosed with Secondary Addison's Disease, a rare disorder that affects the production of cortisol and aldosterone in the body.
After recovering from surgery to have the tumour removed, the mum of two realised how precious music was to her and gave her the courage to pursue her dreams again.
Siobhan is celebrating the release of her debut studio single, ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ composed by Giacomo Puccini having already received a phenomenal response to a video for the song that she uploaded on social media.
“I never had singing lessons ever in my life before but I have always sang being involved with Trim Musical Society and choirs so I recorded it at home and made a little video and I got a phenomenal reaction that weekend.
“It got 4,500 views within the space of a week.”
“I wanted to put a message of hope with that song for anyone that is struggling.”
It has been a challenging few years for Siobhain who was diagnosed with the life changing illness in 2016 but says it made her “appreciate what’s important in life.”
“I had my daughter Maisie in March 2015 and I breastfed her for six months and in September 2016, a year after I stopped breastfeeding I was still producing milk so that led me to contact my GP and she ordered blood tests.”
The blood tests showed a high level of prolactin in Siobhan’s blood and from there she was referred to an endocrinologist in Beaumont. After an MRI it was discovered from that she had a 1cm benign tumour on her pituitary gland as she explains:
“After finding the tumour I was told that I may not conceive again or I could go on medication, I could have it removed or do nothing.
“My husband and I decided to see if we could have another baby and I went on medication and a year later in 2018 I became pregnant with Dylan.
“I was fine throughout the pregnancy but it wasn’t probably until a few weeks before I was due to have Dylan I started to experience new symptoms and there was a blurry affect happening in my eye and I was becoming much more tired than I expected to be.
“I was due back for another MRI in December of that year 2018 and that’s when they discovered the tumour had grown to 2.5cm and it was impacting now in the eye area.
“I went to see a neurosurgeon and have further tests because of all the different symptoms I was experiencing on top of that.
“I realised that I couldn’t even get out of bed and function on a daily basis and I was getting quite down as well.
“It turned out that I needed to go on steroids because the signal that tells your body to produce cortisol wasn’t working properly so I need to go on hormone replacements.”
The Trim singer made a promise to herself to persueher dreams when she started to become stronger. She said:
“Music has always been so important to me and I had lost music in my life for about four years just due to work and having Maisie and getting pregnant again and I realised how far I’d come away.
“I thought if I can get out of this bed and improve in any way the first thing I’m going to do is get my voice trained.
“I started on the medication and started to feel a bit stronger in myself and contacted Deirdre Shannon and we just connected instantly.
“The music and going to see her is what was driving me forward throughout all this.”
Siobhain underwent surgery to remove the tumour to protect her eyesight in October of last year which was successful as she explains:
“The surgery went really well, they said they removed it all.
“I was extremely weak afterwards but Christmas time was the turning point where I started to feel stronger again and I started back seeing Deirdre slowly.
“I not only wanted to showcase my voice but to show how far I’ve come and give back to people by getting it recorded.
“I am just so appreciative now of everything that is around me and everything I have it has given me a whole new perspective on life and not to take anything for granted and to be thankful for what I have.”
Siobhain’s single ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ is available to download across all streaming platforms.