For Tim Vallillee, music is drugs.

One thing he can attain out to when he’s hurting and when he’s not. One thing he can faucet into for his bodily well being and his soul.

One thing, most significantly, he can share with others.

“I’ve at all times felt that the very fact I sing a lot has been added remedy for me,” says Vallillee, 52, who has cystic fibrosis.

For Tim Vallillee, who grew up in Yarmouth and lives in the Valley, music has always been an important part of his life. CONTRIBUTED
For Tim Vallillee, who grew up in Yarmouth and lives within the Valley, music has at all times been an necessary a part of his life. CONTRIBUTED

Vallillee grew up in Yarmouth and lives within the Valley together with his spouse Agatha and son Isaiah. When COVID-19 got here into play, he misplaced his gigs as venues had been not open to the general public.

“After they’re taken away your musical mind says, ‘this actually sucks.’ However my CF mind says ‘I can’t do my factor, how am I going to inform how I’m feeling?’”

“Singing is a barometer that I exploit for the extent of my well being,” he explains, likening it to an early warning gadget that lets him know the way he’s feeling inside – particularly when he’s reaching for these excessive notes.

“I’ve bought a reasonably highly effective voice however you possibly can’t do this with out air in your lungs,” he says. “If that air is just not in there it reveals in my voice. It may be very delicate, however I discover it. I do know one thing is brewing.”

However the place there’s a will, there’s a means.

Vallillee has been performing and sharing music Thursday evenings by way of Fb dwell on his private social media web page. For his first session he put his iPhone in a tripod, sat on his mattress and performed for a few hours. It’s now a spotlight of his week.

“It’s nice as a result of I get to do what I love to do and it’s all a part of my life remedy – to have music in my life.”

And he’s completely happy to have that reference to others once more.

Along with Fb you can too hear his music on YouTube. He additionally has a web site to attach with others www.timothyv.ca

Vallillee realized to play the guitar when he was 18. Nevertheless it was one thing that occurred when he was 16 that chartered his musical course.

“My dad had a large coronary heart assault and when he was within the hospital . . . I promised my dad that if he wouldn’t die I might be taught to play an instrument,” he says. “He at all times wished one in all his 4 youngsters to be taught an instrument. He at all times joked one of the best factor we might play was the document participant.”

His father recovered and a few years later reminded Vallillee of his promise. So the son grabbed a guitar and taught himself to play.

He ended up enjoying in lots of bands with mates. One in all his first gigs was a range present throughout Yarmouth highschool’s winter carnival within the 1980s.

Music and life 

Vallillee turns to music to specific himself when he’s feeling completely happy, unhappy, joyful, fearful – generally bored – and, extra just lately, heartbroken. His most up-to-date authentic music is named Dwelling To Me.

It’s a music he wrote about what a particular place Nova Scotia is. He wrote the music following the April mass taking pictures tragedy within the province. Within the lyrics he picked out locations and experiences in Nova Scotia that he connects with and hopes others will as effectively.

“I attempted to embody as many individuals as I might from Yarmouth to Cape Breton,” he says.

Vallillee didn’t need the music to simply be about therapeutic proper now – however a music individuals can take heed to at any level of their life, whether or not subsequent week, subsequent month, or subsequent yr, and it’ll make them really feel good.

Within the music he sings…

Of us from this a part of the nation, are completely different from all the remainder. We have got a particular one thing deep down in our chest.

Nova Scotia is the place I roam…Nova Scotia, that is my house. Nova Scotia is the place I will be … Nova Scotia, is house to me.

Vallillee’s spouse, Agatha Bourassa, says not solely is music the place her husband shines, it’s a present he provides to others.

“This nice music thought happened like each one in all Tim’s songs have over the previous 20 years. No person actually is aware of how he writes however he sparks an thought. Typically he pulls off on the facet of the highway and rapidly he regurgitates a music,” she says. “We simply lived by way of this horrific tragedy in Nova Scotia and possibly nobody looks like celebrating however Tim really wrote that music to attempt to uplift each Nova Scotian. Let’s have fun life as a result of each breath is value it.”

Tim Vallillee with his wife Agatha and their son Isaiah. PHOTO COUTESY FACEBOOK
Tim Vallillee together with his spouse Agatha and their son Isaiah. PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Dwelling with cystic fibrosis

Certainly. Breaths are one thing these with cystic fibrosis can’t take with no consideration. Which makes life difficult in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Folks with immune deficiencies and underlying well being points are particularly in danger.

Nonetheless, Vallillee isn’t doing something drastically completely different now than he does in regular instances. That’s as a result of, in a way, he’s at all times residing in a COVID actuality.

“I used to say I’m one bug away from getting sick and ending up within the hospital and dying in every week – I’ve at all times lived that perspective,” he says, including these with CF are very used to avoiding germs.

He calls himself a germ ninja.

“It’s not like I usually go round in a masks, however I’ll in a hospital. And I’m vigilant about at all times making an attempt to clean my palms and keep away from germs.”

“My spouse, God love her, if she hears anyone coughing or sneezing in my path – even when we’re sitting a film theatre and she or he hears someone cough behind or close to us – it’s like ‘we’ve bought to maneuver,’” he says. “She’s seen me knock on demise’s door fairly quite a few instances. Fortunately we survived that.”

Fortuitously for Vallillee and his household, his well being has been good in recent times. He hasn’t been within the hospital in about eight years and he attributes this to Kalydeco, a brand new medicine he acquired six years in the past. It’s been a game-changer.

“It mainly goes in and modifications CF genes inside my physique on a genetic degree. Due to that my lung perform jumped about 20 per cent after I first bought on it,” he says. “It nearly saved my life. I haven’t been within the hospital since. I’ve had a few rounds of being sick, however by no means to the purpose that I used to be hospitalized.”

Tim Vallillee lives with cystic fibrosis and he is also passionate about CF awareness, treatment and fundraising. COURTESY FACEBOOK
Tim Vallillee lives with cystic fibrosis and he’s additionally captivated with CF consciousness, remedy and fundraising. COURTESY FACEBOOK

The well being of others with cystic fibrosis can be by no means removed from Vallillee’s ideas. He’s been selling a web based Home of Commons petition aimed toward serving to Canadians with cystic fibrosis, most cancers and different life-threatening ailments to have entry to medicines and medical trials that might save, delay and/or enhance their lives.


After which there’s fundraising that has at all times been a particular trigger for Vallillee’s household, particularly throughout Could, which is Cystic Fibrosis Month.

COVID-19 will have an effect when it comes to stopping individuals from coming collectively bodily in massive numbers to fundraise. In some areas that held conventional walks every Could, digital walks are being held as an alternative. 

In different phrases, COVID gained’t silence efforts – in additional methods than one.

On Saturday, Could 16, from midday to 12 a.m. he and others will participate in an occasion referred to as the 12-Hour Sing-A-Thon for Cystic Fibrosis by way of Fb dwell. Darrin Harvey of 89.Three Okay-Rock will the movie star host for the kickoff that day and Vallillee and Eben Higgins (each residing with CF) will carry out and in addition current quite a few East Coast musicians from the area. The objective is to entertain, elevate consciousness and fundraise. Details about 12-Hour Sing-A-Thon for Cystic Fibrosis might be discovered on Fb.

Vallillee is the second oldest person who he is aware of of in Nova Scotia residing with cystic fibrosis.

“Each cystic has this timeline, however we don’t know what the timeline is, it’s all depending on how wholesome we’re, if we care for ourselves, if we get uncovered to some bug,” he says.

However Vallillee doesn’t give attention to getting sick. As a substitute, his focus is at all times on staying effectively.

And that’s the place his songs assist.

“It’s the medication of music,” he says.

And he hopes it’s contagious.


From the Cystic Fibrosis Canada web site.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the commonest deadly genetic illness affecting Canadian youngsters and younger adults. At current, there isn’t a remedy.

CF causes varied results on the physique, however primarily impacts the digestive system and lungs. The diploma of CF severity differs from individual to individual, nevertheless, the persistence and ongoing an infection within the lungs, with the destruction of lungs and lack of lung perform, will finally result in demise within the majority of individuals with CF.

Typical problems brought on by cystic fibrosis are:

  • Problem digesting fat and proteins
  • Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies due to the shortcoming to soak up vitamins
  • Progressive lung injury from continual infections and aberrant irritation
  • CF-related diabetes
  • Sinus infections

It’s estimated one in each 3,600 youngsters born in Canada has CF. Greater than 4,300 Canadian youngsters, adolescents, and adults with cystic fibrosis attend specialised CF clinics.


Go to the Cystic Fibrosis Canada web site to be taught extra and to see how one can donate. 

You can too go to the Cystic Fibrosis Atlantic Canada web site


CF is a multi-system dysfunction that produces quite a lot of signs together with:

  • Persistent cough with productive thick mucous
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Frequent chest infections, which can embody pneumonia
  • Bowel disturbances, akin to intestinal obstruction or frequent, oily stools
  • Weight reduction or failure to achieve weight regardless of elevated urge for food
  • Salty tasting sweat


CF is a genetic illness that happens when a baby inherits two faulty copies of the gene liable for cystic fibrosis, one from every guardian. Roughly, one in 25 Canadians carry one faulty copy of the CF gene. Carriers wouldn’t have CF, nor do they exhibit any of the associated signs.

When two CF carriers have a baby, there’s a 25 p.c likelihood that the kid shall be born with CF.  There’s additionally a 50 per cent likelihood that the kid shall be a provider, and a 25 per cent likelihood that the kid is not going to be a provider, nor have CF.


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