Home And Away actor Johnny Ruffo has revealed that he has been diagnosed with brain cancer a second time.
The 32-year-old Australian actor – who has already bravely battled one tumour – confirmed on Tuesday that he is facing “another huge battle” after doctors discovered that his cancer had returned.
Taking to social media, the soap star explained to fans that he had suffered a week of seizures and headaches before discovering the cause.
The television has vowed to bravely battle the illness and “beat this s*** again.”
It comes three years after the actor had a 7cm tumour removed before going into remission.
“After an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches it is with a heavy heart that i have to let you know i now have another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned,” Johnny wrote.
He added: “though i will dig deep and beat this s*** disease again #f***cancer.”
Alongside the heartbreaking statement, Johnny shared a picture of himself alongside his long-term girlfriend Tahnee Simms.
Johnny’s 223,000 Instagram followers have since rushed to share their support with the actor as he prepares to fight his cancer.
“So sorry to hear. Sending you all the love and positive vibes!!!” wrote one follower.
“F*** cancer indeed. You will get through this my friend… stay strong as you have been and we are all here for you xxx” penned another.
The actor – who also appeared on X Factor Australia in the past – was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017.
The doctors had actually discovered his first tumour by chance when he headed to hospital suffering from migranes.
At the time, the star underwent life-saving surgery to have the 7cm tumour removed before undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
He had been in remission before his cancer tragically returned.
Last year, Johnny also shared a brain scan to mark his brave journey and celebrate being cancer-free.
Alongside two images of his brain, the star wrote: “Exactly two years ago versus today, so glad to have beaten this horrible disease. Thank you for all the support!”
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A Brisbane mother who lied about her young daughter having a terminal brain tumour and raised more than $10,000 via several fundraisers was “motivated by a sense of greed”, a court has heard.
The court heard the woman lied to her husband about the child’s illness and he had quit his job
Police discovered the hospital had no record of the child having cancer
Defence lawyer Nicholas Hanly says his client told a lie that “snowballed”
The 37-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of dishonestly gaining a benefit and was sentenced to nine months’ jail wholly suspended for two years in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
She was also ordered to serve two years’ probation.
The court heard that in July 2018, the woman called an ambulance for her five-year-old daughter, who had been complaining of headaches.
Doctors diagnosed the girl with Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1 — a variation of the skull hole where the spinal cord exits — and also found a small cyst.
The court heard that in May 2019, the woman told her husband and mother her daughter had a cancerous tumour that was terminal.
“This was a lie and the defendant knew it not to be true,” prosecutor Senior Sergeant Carrie Davidson told the court.
The woman and other family members set up a “bucket list” for the girl, which resulted in businesses donating experiences, such as a whale watching tour and a helicopter flight.
The court heard several fundraisers were also organised via social media and GoFundMe pages, which raised more than $10,000.
‘Motivated by a sense of greed’
In September 2019, the mother told police in an interview that the hospital had told her that her daughter had a tumour, Senior Sergeant Davidson told the court.
But the story soon unravelled after police checked the girl’s medical records at the hospital.
“It was explained to her [the mother] that police had made enquiries with the hospital, which advised that there was no record of cancer ever being discussed or suspected,” Senior Sergeant Davidson said.
“The defendant had been shown her Facebook posts [where she] admitted that she had lied about [the girl] having cancer.
Senior Sergeant Davidson said the mother was “motivated by a sense of greed”.
“The deceit and careful planning to deprive the community of a significant amount of money cannot go unpunished,” she told the court.
“The concerning aspect of these type of offences is the breach of trust. The offending was planned and systematic.”
‘Repeated and outrageous lies’
The prosecutor said the woman’s offending damaged the trust the community has in assisting genuine cases.
“It’s offensive to members of the community who really are struggling with cancer and its effects, and who rely on this assistance that the community offers in order to get them through these tough periods in their life,” Senior Sergeant Davidson said.
Defence lawyer Nicholas Hanly told the court his client started a lie that “snowballed”.
“She could not offer a specific reason for her offending other than that she was feeling highly stressed and depressed and had made foolish decisions and didn’t know how to end what had started.
“This case is one which involves someone that has below average intellect, who has had a daughter diagnosed with a medical condition.
“She has then made a giant leap and formulated that it was something else fraudulently and reaped the benefits from that.”
Magistrate Mark Nolan said the woman’s story was a “complete fabrication” based on “repeated and outrageous lies”.
“Your conduct in fabricating and then repeating a story about your own five-year-old daughter suffering a terminal brain tumour is appalling and egregious in every respect,” Magistrate Nolan said.
“You preyed upon the kindness and the generosity of decent, well-meaning members of the community.”
Jett Arentz is just five years old but has undergone five surgeries in just over a year.
A tumour doctors called “inoperable” was “debulked” on Jett Arentz’s brain in several surgeries last year
During COVID-19 restrictions, Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Canberra was able to offer Jett telehealth therapy
Physiotherapist Claire Smart says it is vital that children maintain physical rehabilitation to avoid any “regression”
His mother and father say they “would not want a single person to go through” what Jett has had to.
The Canberra family’s world came crashing down when a tumour doctors called “inoperable” was discovered on Jett’s brain in January last year.
“To be presented with something like that, it was so out of the blue,” Jett’s mother, Crystal Arentz, said.
Doctors said the mass was a great threat to Jett’s life, so the little boy began chemotherapy right away.
But by March, Jett’s health had become critical and surgeons had no choice but to operate on the supposedly inoperable tumour.
“They had to do brain surgery,” Jett’s father, Peter Arentz, said.
But even more devastating for the family, he said, was that Jett had to go under the knife again just two months later, after doctors found a cyst on the tumour.
Mr Arentz said the growth “came back angrier and angrier each time they touched it”.
“He also had emergency surgery in June because the pressure was getting too great,” Jett’s father said.
“Then, in July, [doctors] decided to go in and debulk some of the tumour.”
Mr Arentz said the risky but essential surgery left Jett with brain damage.
He lost the use of one eye and has had to work hard to regain coordination and movement while having regular and intense chemotherapy.
‘It’ll brighten his day, and it really is amazing’
Jett had started rehabilitation at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Canberra, a non-profit that provides services to people with disability and their families, when COVID-19 hit.
His parents feared the therapy might be cancelled due to physical distancing restrictions.
“He’s supposed to start school in January next year. If we had to stop therapy for three or six months now, that would have consequences.”
But Jett’s sessions with CPA “seamlessly” went online, his parents said.
Despite initial doubts over the efficacy of telehealth for a child with disabilities familiar with hands-on intervention, Jett has learned to pedal a bike with his physiotherapist guiding him over a screen.
His parents said it was remarkable because, not long ago, Jett was unable to walk from his bedroom to their room if he was upset during the night.
Mrs Arentz said her son’s upbeat attitude throughout the ordeal had been astounding.
Mrs Arentz said after Jett’s marathon chemotherapy, which he undergoes every six hours from Friday to Monday evening, all he asked for was a $2.95 lime-scented cake of supermarket soap and a trip through the car wash.
“Life can be broken down into really basic, simple things,” Mrs Arentz said.
“He’ll get a card in the mail and that will be just amazing for him. It’ll brighten his day, and it really is amazing.
“And that’s what you appreciate, because you just don’t know when you could lose it — and not necessarily lose it, like we could lose Jett — but what [ability] he’s got.”
“At one point, he lost the entire use of his left arm and left leg,” Mr Arentz added.
“He needed a wheelchair to get around, but he taught himself to play the PlayStation with one hand.”
Vital that children do not have gap or regression
Claire Smart calls herself one of Jett’s mates.
She has also been his physiotherapist at CPA throughout his rehabilitation.
“Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a variety of disabilities,” Ms Smart said, including “any brain injury under the age of two, usually associated with motor impairment.”
Secondary impairments could include cognitive difficulties, fine motor skills, self-care, participation, “and things an everyday kid could take for granted,” she said.
The Canberra-born physio said the pandemic had been frightening because it was vital that children did not have “a gap or any regression in their skills”.
She initially wondered how on earth she would engage children if she was not there in person, especially the very little clients; and knew that change could be scary for people with a disability.
But in using telehealth, the only limitation had been been “our creativity,” Ms Smart said.
“All the therapists have been sharing dress-up ideas, online timers, games. We roll up socks into a ball and play soccer, or 10-pin bowling with empty drink bottles,” she said.
Ms Smart said therapists were using telehealth for a range of ages, from “four months to over 60 … and people with such a variety of disabilities. It’s never dull.”
Mrs Arentz said therapists had done “a marvellous job to engage” Jett.
“They make it really fun … He doesn’t realise he is actually getting physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy,” she said.
And she said the family would likely continue to use telehealth, even after restrictions due to coronavirus had been removed.
“For example, this week, when we were in hospital, we had speech and OT sessions [via telehealth] … going back a few months, we would’ve had to cancel appointments,” she said.
Hollyoaks aired a devastating twist on Tuesday night, as the E4 episode of the soap followed the fallout of Tony Hutchinson’s collapse.
Tony collapsed and was rushed to hospital – as he remained unaware his evil father Edward Hutchinson had been drugging him.
After a fling with Tony’s wife last year, he’s now intent on splitting them up and has targeted his son.
With Tony still struggling to move past being kidnapped and held captive by serial killer Breda McQueen last year, his dad has taken advantage and has been drugging him.
But when his son collapsed and suffered a seizure, he was left needing tests to find out what was going on.
Surgeon Edward insisted on Tony undergoing a brain scan and other tests.
When the results came in, the scans did appear to look fine – while it wasn’t entirely clear if they were.
Tony had fled the hospital though, rocking up to Luke’s birthday party where Diane was.
Edward soon found him though, and left everyone reeling with a bombhsell.
He claimed the scans had revealed Tony had a brain tumour, with the episode ending there.
Fans were heartbroken for Tony, but others predicted something even more devastating was on the cards.
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Some viewers took to Twitter to share their theories that Edward had made the tumour up, and that Tony wasn’t really sick.
One fan said: “The Hospital said Tony was fine right? Yet Edward suddenly shows up claiming he actually has a Brain Tumor? So which is it?”
Another tweeted: “Ed telling Tony his own son that he’s got a brain tumour when he hasn’t though.”
A third added: “Tony doesn’t have a brain tumour. Edward is lying.”
Hollyoaks airs weeknights on Channel 4 at 6:30pm, and at 7pm on E4.