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"It was a shock." Australian Idol singer Stan Walker recalls being told he had cancer.

Stan Walker, who won Australian Idol in 2008, has opened up about being diagnosed with cancer, just eight months after his mum had been told she had cancer.

In 2017, Walker’s mother, April, was being treated for cancer when she asked her son to be checked himself. The singer inherited a rare cancer-causing gene mutation called CDH1, which was responsible for taking the lives of over 20 of his family members, including his grandfather.

Ultimately, the check up his mother urged him to do saved his life.

Walker was diagnosed with stomach cancer and told he had 13 cancerous tumours in his body. He would need to undergo stomach removal surgery, the same procedure which claimed his grandfather’s life almost two decades prior.

Talking to BUILD Series Sydney on Friday, the 29-year-old admitted the diagnosis “didn’t really hit me hard,” adding, “I just thought I was going to get it.”

 

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“It was a shock and not a shock.”

“My mum had just gone through cancer… and she rang me up and was crying and she goes, ‘Stan, I think you’ve got cancer’,” he recalled.

But Stan’s reaction to the health news was unorthodox, admitting he was more devastated when he first heard his mum had been diagnosed.

“I never cried once,” Walker remembered.  “I was tripped out and I didn’t know what to do.”

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“When I found out my mum had cancer my whole life was dead,” he shared.

 

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“Every night I would wait for everybody to go to sleep and I’d go to the toilet and just cry. I remember praying, ‘God, don’t you dare take my mum away from me, I don’t think I’d be able to function, I’d probably stop singing’.”

“My mum’s everything. That was hard, but then me, I’m like, ‘Oh that’s trippy’, and she’s crying and we just laughed together.”

It is not the first time the singer has been candid with his health struggles. In 2018, the five-time ARIA-nominated performer chronicled his cancer treatment and recovery in Channel Nine documentary, Stan Walker: To Hell and Back.

The removal of his stomach has seen his weight drop significantly, which he discussed with Channel Nine in 2018.

“Before I found out I had cancer, my normal weight was 88 kilos,” he said. “Then I went on a food binge for two months [before the operation] and I went from 88 to 102 kilos. And after all the different operations I went down to 66 kilos, but now I’m 71 kilos.”

Stan is now cancer free, and continues to have to watch his diet – not able to eat dairy, gluten or most meats.

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