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Brain tumor, MS diagnosis can't stop 21-year-old Paul Murray from pursuing love of music

By John Terauds on April 6, 2012

21-year-old University of Aberdeen student, Paul Murray.

Stories don’t get much more inspirational than the saga of Paul Murray, a 21-year-old Scot who has not let Crohn’s Disease, four surgeries to remove a large brain tumor and a subsequent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis get in the way of his love for playing piano.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

The University of Aberdeeen invited journalists to interview Murray today, and already his story is posted on several news sites in the United Kingdom.

Murray only realised his love for the piano at age 15, worked really hard, and won admission to the University of Aberdeen’s music department less than two years later.

Murray spent four months learning to walk and talk again following his surgery, and discovered that he would only be able to play with his left hand — something that the MS has limited, as well.

So he’s now busy composing instead, and is planning to get a Masters degree.

“My passion for classical music has helped me overcome so much and I hope to be able to bring this music to those who, like me, did not grow up with it,” says Murray.

“The thought that I would never play the piano again never crossed my mind, I was determined to carry on and play with what remaining ability I had,” he told the Daily Mail. “Just playing music is fantastic. It might sound strange to non-music players, but I get transported into another world when I play.

“I forget about all my problems when I play, it’s a fantastic way to escape.”

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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