A BUSKER who has battled cancer is set to perform at a charity bash alongside top musicians including Newton Faulkner and ex-Squeeze frontman Chris Difford.

Singer/songwriter Marty Family, of Osterley Close in Stevenage, will be one of the acts at the star-studded Cancer Research UK’s Big Boat Bash on HMS Belfast on the River Thames on September 10.

It is the flagship gig of the Busking Cancer campaign – a nationwide event where bands, musicians and singers perform anywhere on the streets of Britain to raise money for the cancer charity.

Two years ago, 29-year-old Marty was fighting for his life.

He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008 and underwent chemotherapy.

“My world caved in,” said Marty. “Up until that point I’d been living a really full-on life working as a sound engineer.

“I’d gone to my GP suffering from a bad back and exhaustion.

“I was in complete shock and denial when I was diagnosed.

“Suddenly nothing in our materialistic world mattered to me except getting better.”

Marty spent much of his recovery watching amateur musicians on YouTube and vowed that if he got better he would return to his first love of performing live music.

“I thought one way to do that would be to busk,” he explained. “Before cancer I might not have had the nerve to do it, but I was determined not to waste any more time being apprehensive.”

He said the Busking Cancer campaign “seemed like perfect synchronicity.”

“Busking Cancer is such a brilliant idea because music touches most people,” he added.

“It formed so much of my healing process. It can really lift spirits, and to see music performed at grass roots level is fantastic.”

Marty spent a day in June busking in London with friends, in aid of Cancer Research UK.

“We met one little boy whose cancer is terminal,” he said. “That brought home to us that there’s still so much work to be done.

“I’m lucky. I’m in remission, and that’s a lot to do with research into cancer treatment.”

Busking Cancer started in 2006 and has so far raised �100,000 for Cancer Research UK.

For tickets for Busking Cancer on HMS Belfast, at �15, visit www.wegottickets.com/event/89486

For more information about the campaign, visit www.buskingcancer.co.uk