The woman responsible for a distinctively local Christmas song is spending this holiday season fighting cancer.
“Christmas Eve in Washington” singer Maura Sullivan went home to her dog Jack Wednesday.
“I feel good. I feel above anything in this world I feel hopeful.”
She spent the past two weeks undergoing treatment and surgery at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.
Sullivan co-wrote the patriotic “Christmas Eve in Washington” in 1982 with WMZQ radio host Jim London, who died in 2012.
“It is a painting of the nation’s capital with music,” she said.
Sullivan, who became a realtor and children’s book author, still gets CD requests from all over the world.
“Where people have left this area and have traveled, and we’re getting airplay all over the world on radio stations,” she said.
She acknowledges the song has its haters.
“Some dear friends of mine who are DJs have said to me, ‘God, I hate that song, Maura,’” she said.
The song is especially meaningful to her this season. Just before Thanksgiving, she began feeling pain in her leg. It led to a cancer diagnosis.
“I had stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to my liver, and it was, everything slows and became surreal,” she said.
Also, her insurance recently lapsed. Her friends created a GoFundMe to help her.
Choking up, she said, “It’s very humbling.”