A nine-year-old relative of The Wanted popstar Tom Parker has raised £1,000 for research into the brain tumour that killed him.
Rosie Parker was "inspired" by the strength of the singer she called ‘Uncle Tom’ in his 18-month health battle before he tragically passed away last month at the age of just 33.
Dad-of-two Tom, who was part of boyband The Wanted, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in October 2020.
His tragic death inspired schoolgirl Rosie, who is the daughter of Tom’s cousin Leanne Parker, to help continue "Uncle Tom’s" legacy.
Rosie sold dozens of homemade dog treats to raise more than £1,000 for Brain Tumour Research.
Why did Rosie decide raise money for research into brain tumour research?
Her mum Leanne, 38, of Birmingham, said: “When Tom died our hearts were broken.
"Rosie was determined to do something to raise some money to help find a cure or better treatment, she loves animals so we looked up dog treats and started baking those, she was selling them to family and friends, and they loved them.
“The day we were due to host the fundraiser, Rosie woke up and said to me ‘we need to be strong like Tom – we need to be positive Parkers’, something he always used to say.
"She was inspired by his strength and I know she will go on to do all she can to fundraise to find a cure for this horrible disease.”
Why is research into brain tumours so important?
Tom spoke openly about his brain tumour - a grade 4 glioblastoma - which he was diagnosed with after suffering a seizure last July.
He wrote on Instagram last October that he was "devastated" by the diagnosis and promised to "fight this all the way".
Leanne said: “I remember when we found out about Tom’s diagnosis and we couldn’t believe the lack of options for someone who has just been told they have a brain tumour.
"The whole family were looking online to see what more could be done to help Tom but we were astounded by the lack of treatment options for GBM patients.
“To think that other families will receive the same diagnosis and there is still a lack of research around brain tumour treatment and diagnosis is devastating.”
Hugh Adams, of Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were deeply saddened by Tom’s passing and send our thoughts are with Kelsey, their children and all of Tom’s loved ones.
"His loss has had a huge impact the brain tumour community, who we know he regularly reached out to personally.
“Since his diagnosis Tom spoke openly and honestly about the impact of the disease and in doing so, helped to raise awareness of the devastation caused by brain tumours.
"We feel honoured that Rosie and Leanne have chosen to support Brain Tumour Research through their baking, at what must be a difficult time for the whole family.”
Heartfelt tributes to Tom Parker
Tom’s passing led to tributes from family, friends and public figures.
The singer’s wife Kelsey Hardwick wrote on Instagram: "Our hearts are broken, Tom was the centre of our world and we can’t imagine life without his infectious smile and energetic presence.
"We are truly thankful for the outpouring of love and support and ask that we all unite to ensure Tom’s light continues to shine for his beautiful children."
Fellow popstar Ed Sheeran also posted: "So sad to hear of Tom’s passing. Thoughts and love are with Kelsey, his children and his family. Very sad day, what a lovely guy x"
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