Friday, May 9, 2008

Hope..and Believing...

On the way to a meeting yesterday I heard an interview with a man named Geoff Sewell.
He also sang a song dedicated to his daughter,"Sienna" is called, "Sienna's Song".. and it had me in tears, not a good look to walk into the meeting with :)

The rest of the interview was the most touching and heartfelt story about believing and love and not giving up...and...(this from his biography from his site):

"Geoff is also committed to community service - he has first hand experience of dealing with Autism and Epilepsy and continues to raise awareness and funds for these conditions using his profile.

The proceeds from 'Sienna's Song' on his debut solo album will go to families affected by Autism in NZ to provide hope and early intervention. Geoff through Amici forever raised over $30,000 NZD for Autism NZ in February 2006 and over $50,000 AUD for Autism Australia. He and his Incognito triathlon team raised over £2,000 for the UK National Autistic Society in August 2006 and for UK charity Treating Autism in 2007.

He supports various Autism charities and trusts in NZ and the UK.

He is a contributor/fundraiser for the National Society of Epilepsy in the UK and raised over £60,000 through his 'Stars for Epilepsy' concert series over three years. He is an ambassador for the IM Health initiative promoting wellbeing for all New Zealanders to match the country's 'pure' image. And Geoff is Patron of the Havelock North High School (NZ) new auditorium project (his old high school) and one of the first indicted into their Hall of Fame in 2007.
Geoff and Simone have two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Olivia, and live in London, UK.

Life is a daring adventure or nothing..."

...and this:

07/05/08 - Songs of Tragedy and Triumph Over Autism

THERE have been a few pivotal moments in the life of Kiwi singer Geoff Sewell.
Eleven years ago, following the death of his older sister Julie, he quit his job as a chartered accountant to become a professional singer.

Within five years he was part of one of the world's most successful pop opera acts, Amici Forever.

In 2006, however, Sewell quit the group when he and his wife, Simone Lanham, discovered their daughter Sienna had autism spectrum disorder.

The discovery led them to reassess their lives and concentrate on caring for their daughter. Today that commitment has led Sewell to use his musical talent to help other families cope with and learn more about the illness. To read the full article click here

I can't find the podcast for the interview I heard, but I have a feeling this following, may contain the crux: (again from Geoff's site):

News Story - Close Up, TV ONE, New Zealand
Geoff's new solo album has just been released. And today is a very special one for the Sewell family as his daughter Sienna celebrates her 5th birthday. Sienna has autism and one of the songs written by Geoff's wife is dedicated to her.
Click Here To Watch The Story
What I am trying to get up on my blog is the song he and wife, (Simone) have written, it is so beautiful. Sienna's Song, about his daughter.
It's not going to happen though, can't even find a copy of the beautiful lyrics she has written.


Janice Thomson said...

What a beautiful heart-wrenching story. Kudos to the unbelievable compassion, understanding and dedication of the parents.
Thank you for sharing this inspiring post Pam.

jmb said...

Lovely story Pam, it's nice to see a positive result for that family. Although I'm sure there is still a long way to go for them.

Donn said...

Heroes are made not born. Why doesn't the Media concentrate on telling us about all of the decent people instead of the few who want to reduce the world to cinders.

Very moving, very Human.

the walking man said...

I hear..I see..I learn.



Donnetta Lee said...

Pam: You come up with some of the most interesting, warm, human stories. These folks have a long old road to go down. Good for them for trying to pave a better way.

Sienna said...

I wish I could get the song (Sienna's Song) up for you, truly one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, just the emotion and lyrics, it is so touching. It is the most amazing things when a person sings straight from the heart.

Anonymous said...

It is the most amazing thing when a person sings straight from the heart.

Yeah, you can feel it, totally. A truly ineffable experience.

Sidebar (kinda sorta, as I'm responding to your comment as opposed to your post): Whenever I'm in session and someone says something that is a "truth", I get amazing energy charges running up my spine and out my arms, back and forth, again and again. Sometimes I'll tell the person and other times I just keep it to myself, aware whatever they've just said is deeply powerful for their soul.

I have one guy who, at 61, is beginning to return to his love of the theatre and singing, having been booted out of Yale drama years ago, too afraid to test his mettle as life raced past. He tells me when he sings now he imagines he is "singing into the ear of God" and, ya know, when he said that, I got the energy surges. It was incredible.

I've taken his words to heart. When I'm in the car, jamming my little head off to a song I love, I imagine I am also singing into God's ear and, honest to Pete, the quality is different...and I can feel it coming from a different place inside.

It's just so cool to be in the presence of someone expressing themselves from their core. You can tell, you can feel and you get the contact high.

I get/got it:
* every time I see Tom Petty (close to thirty times now,I'd say)
* when I saw Kitaro decades ago
* being in the same room with Thich Nhat Hanh
*being in the same room with the Dalai Lama

There's more but those stand out.

Thank you for opening me again. It feels good to be re-minded. (smile) You really are something special.

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, almost forgot, gave you a nod today: I think you ought to be in charge of Burma from now on. You'd do a much better job.

Joski said...

Hi Sienna, please forgive my intrusion, but I'm actually a close friend of Geoff Sewell's. I'm pleased to hear that his story and message of hope is reaching people!

He is indeed an amazing person and the dedication, love and effort he and Simone have put into helping not only their own daughter, but other families affected by ASD, is an inspiration to us all.

Please feel free to visit Geoff's website and forum at as I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hear your comments and thoughts about his work.

As for the beautiful words to "Sienna's Song", these can be found inside the cover of Geoff's album "Believe" and also on the classical crossover website, ClassicalX ( by visiting Geoff's section and clicking on lyrics. Hope that helps.

Take care and remember what Geoff says, "Life is a daring adventure or nothing!"

Best wishes,
Joski x