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Tom Parker: The Wanted singer diagnosed with inoperable brain tumour

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

Published
image copyrightGetty Images
image caption"I'm going to be here, I'm going to fight this," said the 32-year-old, who is having radiotherapy

Tom Parker, one of the members of boy band The Wanted, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

The singer, 32, said he was "still in shock" after being told he had a grade IV glioblastoma six weeks ago.

"I knew something wasn't right, but I never expected it to be this."

Speaking to OK! magazine, the singer said he would remain positive, despite being told the cancer was terminal. "I'm going to be here," he added. "I'm going to fight this."

Parker achieved fame in the early 2010s as part of The Wanted, reaching number one with the singles All Time Low and Glad You Came.

Since they went on hiatus in 2014, he has played Danny Zuko in a touring production of Grease, and made the semi-finals of Celebrity Masterchef.

He married actress Kelsey Hardwick in 2018. The couple have a 16-month-old daughter, Aurelia, and are expecting their second child.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe star and his wife Kelsey Hardwick are expecting their second child

Parker suffered a seizure in July and 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.

After three days of tests, he was diagnosed with cancer. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, his wife was not allowed in the hospital, and he received the news on his own.

What is glioblastoma?

  • Glioblastoma is the most common type of brain tumour that starts in the brain
  • It is the most aggressive form of adult brain tumour and is often resistant to treatment
  • It is believed that the variety of cells in a glioblastoma is one of the reasons it is so hard to treat because current drugs are not able to effectively target all the cell types in the tumour
  • As with most brain tumours, the cause of glioblastoma is not known

On Monday, the couple posted a message on Instagram telling fans that Parker had begun chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

"We are gonna fight this all the way," they said. "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."

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive of brain tumours in adults. Speaking to OK!, the couple said they had not asked about a timescale for how it is likely to develop.

"I said that for Tom's state of mind, and who he is as a person, that would not be good for him," said Hardwick. "He would literally sit here and count down the days and not live his life."

Parker added: "There are so many stories of people who were given a bad prognosis and are still here five, 10, even 15 years later. We're going to fight this all the way."

The couple were inundated with messages of support on Monday morning.

"Sending so much love and support always," wrote Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington in a comment under their Instagram post.

"We love you Tom!" added The Only Way Is Essex's James "Arg" Argent, who appeared with Parker on ITV's cancer fundraiser The Real Full Monty in 2018. "We got this brother, No doubt about it!"

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe Wanted sold more than 10m records worldwide (L-R): Siva Kaneswaran, Max George, Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker and Jay McGuiness

Hardwick added that Parker's bandmates had rallied round, with Jay McGuinness and Max George visiting the couple over the past few weeks.

"Siva [Kaneswaran] and Nathan [Sykes] obviously live a lot further away, but all four of the boys have been texting regularly and sending through different articles and possible treatments and therapies that they're all reading about. They've been amazing."

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Related Topics

  • Brain cancer
  • Cancer
  • Music

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