Tom Parker has spoken out about his shock of the treatment and funding for people with brain cancer.
The Bolton-born 33-year-old – who is one fifth of the boyband The Wanted – has been raising awareness for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) since being diagnosed with the terminal inoperable brain tumour in October 2020.
Since his diagnosis, he’s been getting private treatment on top of NHS care in efforts to prolong his life.
Back in January, Tom was overjoyed to announce in a post to Instagram that his latest MRI scan had shown a “significant reduction” of the tumour, but during an appearance on a new podcast released this month, he has said that a “massive improvement” is needed in treatment for brain tumours, and that a lack of research funding is part of the issue.
He added the NHS had been “great” – but he wants more to be done.
According to leading charity Brain Tumour Research, GBM is the most common type of brain tumour and is also one of the most aggressive, but there is currently no cure, and it often resists treatment.
The average survival time from diagnosis is 12 to 18 months.
NHS treatment for people with brain cancer tends to include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, steroids, and drugs to help reduce symptoms, but speaking on the podcast Chat2Amani – which is hosted by 23-year-old Amani Liaquat, who also has GBM – Tom says “there’s got to be a better answer out there than just that”.
Sadly, NHS treatments didn’t work on Amani’s tumour, but she said she’s seen some small signs of the tumour shrinking since her family raised £100,000 to buy a year’s supply of a trial drug from Germany.
Tom continued: “It drives me insane, the world just revolves around money… there’s drugs out there that can save people’s lives – it’s so frustrating.”
A chemotherapy drug called Temozolomide is the standard treatment offered by the NHS to GBM patients – which hasn’t changed for almost 20 years, according to Brain Tumour Research – and Tom said it’s “shocking” that this hasn’t been changed in such a long time.
“I don’t want to beat around the bush about the NHS,” Tom said.
“I think they’ve been great but I think there’s a massive improvement needed in treatment for brain tumours.”
The amount of money spent annually in the UK on brain cancer research has increased from £4 million in 2009-10 to £15 million in 2019-20, but Brain Tumour Research says that figure must increase to £35 million to address the “chronic lack of funding”.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health told BBC Newsbeat in response that the government has committed more than £40 million of funding to brain cancer research over five years in 2018, adding: “We are supporting the research community working on brain cancer by funding every single eligible research request in this area and providing research training for practicing doctors.”
Tom Parker said helping to increase funding for treatment and research is “the one thing” he wants to achieve by speaking out about his own experience of cancer.
You can listen to Tom’s full ‘BrainBubble’ episode on the Chat2Amani podcast here.
Featured Image – Channel 4
Peter Kay moved to tears by standing ovation in Manchester as he returns to stand-up
Peter Kay was moved to tears by the outpouring of love from the audience in the AO Arena before he’d even started his set.
The Bolton comedian, 49, made his long-awaited return to the stand-up scene this weekend, with two sold-out shows in Manchester.
Another wrote: “What an absolute privilege to be there for Peter Kay’s return to the big stage. He got a standing ovation for his entrance and was reduced to tears, never seen anything like it. No spoilers, just a superb night.”
Someone else said: “I was expecting a huge standing ovation for Peter Kay’s return, but that was just mega. I felt so privileged to be there tonight. I’ve waited to see him live for so long. If you recorded anything, please don’t be a d*ck sharing it and ruining it for everyone else.”
One person tweeted: “What a beautiful moment yesterday. Peter Kay in tears after such a rapturous reception.”
Featured image: TikTok, @hannah5290_
Stone Roses bassist Mani raises over £100k for The Christie and local NHS charities
Stone Roses bassist Mani and his wife Imelda have raised over £100,000 for two cancer charities close to their hearts.
After Imelda Mounfield – who is the wife of Stone Roses bassist Gary ‘Mani’ – was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer back in November 2020, the couple not only set out to raise awareness of the devastating disease, but also raise as much money as possible for local cancer charities through an online auction featuring some impressive prizes.
The auction was launched at a fundraising event held at Kimpton Clocktower Ballroom on Friday 18 November, and saw the couples’ friends from the world of music, sport, and entertainment donate an incredible array of exclusive items.
Some auction highlights included Noel Gallagher’s framed and signed set of six platinum discs for the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which went for an impressive £8,000, while guitars donated by Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Foo Fighters, Peter Hook, and The Who were also all up for sale.
The highest bid went to John Squire’s Jackson Pollock-inspired painted and signed Hofner guitar 3/3 for a whopping £16,800.
Liam Gallagher’s 2022 NME award for ‘Music Moment of the Year’ sold for £4,100, and David Beckham’s signed boots he wore for the last match of his career on 18 May 2013 were sold for £6,800.
All together, over £80,000 was raised from the auction, as well as £24,000 raised on the night of the fundraising event itself – which means that just over £100,000 has now been donated to The Christie Charity andStockport NHS Charity.
Imelda explained that funds were donated to these two charities as they “supported me through my journey.
“Cancer affects not just the person who has it, but everyone around them,” she explained, “I hope that by investing in some more research, we can help alleviate some of the devastation caused to families by cancer.”
Both charities say they are “really touched” and “hugely grateful” for the contributions.
“We’re really touched that Imelda’s experiences as a patient have spurred her and Mani into action for our charity,” said Louise Stimson – Head of Fundraising at The Christie Charity.
While Karen James OBE – Chief Executive for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust – added: “We’re hugely grateful to Imelda and Mani’s efforts in organising the fundraising event and auction [and] we’re proud of the care Imelda and many others with cancer have received at Stepping Hill Hospital.
“This fundraiser for our charity is a really touching display of her thanks, which will help us go on to support more patients in the future.”
Sadly, Imelda’s cancer has spread to her liver and a small nodule in her lung, so she underwent emergency life-saving bowel surgery as it perforated, and after months of treatments, she had the right side of her liver removed.
Imelda is now currently waiting for the next stage of treatment.