The Wanted's Tom Parker 'Overwhelmed' by Fans' 'Support and Positivity' Following Cancer Diagnosis
Tom Parker from former boyband The Wanted is thankful for the worldwide support he's received since his diagnosis with terminal brain cancer became public.
"We truly are overwhelmed with everyone's love, support and positivity," Parker posted on Instagram Monday.
"We have had so many people reach out with positive stories and it's been incredible," he added before going on to thank OK! magazine for breaking the story and "being so understanding."
"We are fighting this — thanks to everyone behind us fighting alongside us 💪🏻💪🏻," Parker added. "Let's do this."
Parker, 32, was diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma six weeks ago and is currently undergoing radiation and chemotherapy in an effort to shrink its size.
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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.
Tragically, life expectancy for patients diagnosed with a glioblastoma ranges from three months to 18 months after diagnosis. "It's just so hard," Parker told OK! magazine in an interview published Monday.
Wife Kelsey Hardwick, who is 36 weeks pregnant with the couple's second child — a son — also took the time to thank the thousands of well-wishers on Tuesday.
"Sending so much love. Your DMs are everything," Hardwick, 30, posted in her Instagram stories. "That's what I've taught you all since Day 1. Positive Energy."
Parker — who had a No. 3 hit with "Glad You Came" in 2012 — first displayed symptoms of the tumor in July, when he suffered a seizure at the family's home in Southeast London and checked himself into his local hospital emergency department.
After being assessed and sent home by the medics, the singer returned the following week because "he felt like he was concussed" and put on a waiting list for an MRI scan, says Hardwick.
Six weeks later the couple and their 16-month-old daughter Aurelia were enjoying a summer staycation in Norwich, England when things took a turn.
"He suffered another seizure, which was much worse," says his wife. "It was really bad."
Parker was immediately sent for an MRI scan and remained in the hospital for three days having tests. It was then that the doctors pulled a curtain around his bed and told him their diagnosis.
"All I could think was, 'F—ing hell!'" Parker says. "I was in shock. It's stage four glioblastoma and they've said it's terminal. It was a lot to deal with by myself. I still haven't processed it."
"It was horrendous," adds Hardwick. "They rang me and told me over the phone. They said, 'It's a tumor and it's worst-case scenario.' My friend was with me and she just said, 'Don't pass out,'" she continues.
"It was like everything stopped. Obviously being told you have any tumor is bad, but to be told you have the worst one is a lot to take in. All I could think was, 'What's going to happen and what is our life now?'"
Celebrities including Mark Wahlberg and One Direction star Liam Payne have sent public messages of support to Parker since his diagnosis was revealed, alongside thousands of fans and other members of the public.
Bandmate Max George — who is due to appear in the upcoming performance on the UK version of Dancing with the Stars — replied to Parker's most recent message with the encouragement "You got this." George also posted a longer message of support on his Instagram earlier Monday.
Fellow Wanted star Siva Kaneswaran added, "❤️Let’s do this lad❤️love you buddy 🙏🏽"
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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. Both 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. Please keep the whole family in your prayers and send them all the love, support and positivity you possibly can. @tomparkerofficial @being_kelsey
Band member Nathan Sykes also posted an emotional note about how shocking the diagnosis has been to Parker's friends, family and former bandmates.
"I've been trying to work out what to say for days, but there are simply no words," Sykes wrote on Instagram. "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.
"Both Tom and Kelsey's strength and bravery is incredible which was shown in the interview that was published today," he continued. "I love and support both Tom and Kels and I'll be right behind them every step of the way in their fight. Please keep the whole family in your prayers and send them all the love, support and positivity you possibly can."
Meghan McCain — who lost her father, Senator John McCain, to glioblastoma in 2018 – tweeted a message from the entire McCain clan offering their experience and support.
"I and my family are here if you and yours need absolutely anything," she posted Monday. "Please don't hesitate. There are many stories of hope and healing in the GBM community and incredible doctors and specialists leading the crusade…"
In reply, Parker said simply, "Thank you Meghan x"
In an Instagram post announcing his diagnosis, Parker said he and Hardwick plan to fight the cancer "all the way."
"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," he wrote.
"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. It's gonna be a tough battle but with everyone's love and support we are going to beat this."
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