THE Wanted's Tom Parker has thanked fans for their support after revealing his terminal brain tumour diagnosis.
Singer and TV star Tom, who has taken part in Celebrity MasterChef, The Jump and The Real Full Monty since the band went on hiatus in 2014, has been told by doctors he has stage 4 glioblastoma.
Tom, 32, updated fans after sharing his devastating cancer news on Monday and said he felt "overwhelmed" with love.
He said: "We truly are overwhelmed with everyone’s love, support and positivity.
"We have had so many people reach out with positive stories and it’s been incredible.
"Thank you to @ok_mag for their exclusive interview with us and being so understanding.
"We are fighting this- thanks to everyone behind us fighting alongside us.
"Let’s do this.
Tom said he thought he had "man flu" before being diagnosed with the inoperable brain tumour.
Both Tom and pregnant wife Kelsey thought he had a bug when he first fell ill.
Speaking to OK! Magazine, Tom said: "I knew something wasn’t right, but I never expected it to be this. You never think this will happen to you."
Kelsey added: "I honestly thought he was depressed about having man flu. We can’t even believe we’re having this conversation."
When he was admitted to hospital after suffering a seizure, Tom had a coronavirus test to see if that was the cause.
However, after three days of tests he was confronted with a devastating cancer diagnosis.
The star is being supported by his Wanted bandmates including Max George and Jay McGuinness, who today told him: "We love you."
Tom is a father to 15-month-old daughter Aurelia and has another baby due in just a matter of weeks.
The average life expectancy for his illness ranges from between three months to 18 months from the time of diagnosis.
Tom decided not to ask for a prognosis and insists he will beat the illness to have a future with his children. He said: "I’m going to be here, I’m going to fight this."
The star suffered a seizure in July and took himself to A&E where he was put on a waiting list for an MRI scan.
Six weeks later he had another more serious seizure during a family trip to Norwich and was rushed to hospital.
Kelsey was not allowed to be by his side because of coronavirus rules, and Tom was alone when he was told he had stage 4 glioblastoma.
Tom's condition is the most common high grade cancerous primary brain tumour in adults.
It begins in the brain and is often quick to spread. The aggressive cancer is difficult to treat and is resistant to treatment, as the cells within the tumour are not all of the same type.
Yesterday Tom posted a heartbreaking message on Instagram, telling fans he had already begun his six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
The post read: "Hey guys, you know that we’ve both been quiet on social media for a few weeks and it’s time to tell you why.
"There’s no easy way to say this but I’ve sadly been diagnosed with a Brain Tumour and I’m already undergoing treatment.
"We decided, after a lot of thought, that rather than hiding away and trying to keep it a secret, we would do one interview where we could lay out all the details and let everyone know the facts in our own way.
"We are all absolutely devastated but we are gonna fight this all the way. We don’t want your sadness, we just want love and positivity and together we will raise awareness of this terrible disease and look for all available treatment options.
What is glioblastoma multiforme?
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), also called glioblastoma, is a fast-growing type tumour that develops from star-shaped glial cells within the brain.
These are the most invasive type of glial tumors, rapidly growing and commonly spreading into nearby brain tissue.
In adults, GBM occurs most often in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
It is an extremely rare but devastating brain cancer that typically results in death in the first 15 months after diagnosis.
Symptoms vary depending on the location of the brain tumour, but may include any of the following:
- Persistent headaches
- Double or blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in mood and personality
- Changes in ability to think and learn
- New onset of seizures
- Speech difficulty of gradual onset
It is can be diagnosed through CT and MRI scans.
The first treatment is typically surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
The primary objective of surgery is to remove as much of the tumour as possible without injuring the surrounding normal brain tissue needed for normal neurological function.
Source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons
"It’s gonna be a tough battle but with everyone’s love and support we are going to beat this. Tom and Kelsey xxx."
It sparked an influx of supportive messages from upset fans. His The Wanted bandmate Nathan Sykes said: "I’ve been trying to work out what to say for days, but there are simply no words. It’s just the most unbelievably cruel situation. However, Tom will attack this with the same vigour that he has with everything he has ever set his mind to.
"Tom and Kelsey’s strength and bravery is incredible which was shown in the interview that was published today. I love and support both Tom and Kels and I’ll be right behind them every step of the way in their fight."
Tom's long course of treatment, including chemo and radiotherapy, means Kelsey will be giving birth to their second child while he is in and out of hospital.
The 32-year-old took part in ITV's cancer fundraiser The Real Full Monty in 2018.
He appeared alongside Towie's James Argent, EastEnders actor John Partridge and TV presenter Jeff Brazier.
And Arg has said: "We love you Tom! We got this brother, No doubt about it!"
Tom's daughter Aurelia was born 15 months ago, and he and Kelsey announced baby number two was on the way back in May.
The couple got engaged in 2016 and married in July 2018 in a romantic ceremony in the grounds of Ridge Farm in Surrey, England, surrounded by their family and closest friends.
The Wanted's Max George and Jay McGuinness were his ushers. Tom and Kelsey said his bandmates have been incredibly supportive since being made aware of his illness.
The Wanted shot to fame in 2010 when their first single All Time Low topped the charts.
They went on to have nine more Top 10s including a another number one in 2011 with Glad You Came.
It launched their careers in the tricky US market, hitting number three on the Billboard charts.
However, after finding immediate stardom, album sales cooled off by the time of their third release Word Of Mouth in 2013.
Not even a much hyped E! reality series – produced by Ryan Seacrest and with a Lindsay Lohan cameo appearance – could turn their fortunes around.
They went on hiatus in 2014 to focus on solo projects.
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