Iconic Australian actor Tom Long, 50, reveals he’s dying from terminal blood cancer and says doctors told him he could have just three months to live back in December – as he marries his girlfriend before it’s too late
- Actor Tom Long, 50, collapsed on-stage at the Sydney Opera House in 2012
- He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma – a blood cancer in the bone marrow
- He battled chemotherapy, transplants and natural therapies for seven years
- In December, Long was told by his doctor he may have three months to live
Australian actor Tom Long has revealed he’s been suffering from an incurable blood cancer for seven years and could have just months to live.
Shortly after being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2012, Long collapsed on stage while performing at the Sydney Opera House and he hasn’t returned to acting since.
The 50-year-old, best known for his role in the hit series SeaChange, was told in December he may have as little as three months left to live.
Australian actor Tom Long (pictured in 2007) has revealed he’s been suffering from an incurable blood cancer for seven years and could have just months to live
The 50-year-old, best known for his role in the hit series SeaChange, was told in December he may have as little as three months left to live
He has also featured in several Australian hit movies, including Two Hands, The Dish and The Book of Revelation.
Multiple Myeloma is an incurable blood cancer where there is growth of cancerous plasma cells in the bone marrow, leaving little room for normal blood cells.
Doctors told the actor his condition was terminal, and when he looked up the life-expectancy of the disease back in 2012 he discovered he could have just two or three years left.
WHAT IS MULTIPLE MYELOMA?
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) in the bone marrow.
Widespread growth of cancerous plasma cells in bone marrow may leave little room for normal blood cells.
The disease can damage the bones, immune system and kidneys.
Multiple Myeloma can also cause anaemia and reduced immunity.
Source: Better Health Victoria
‘Essentially, I thought, that’s it,’ the 50-year-old told The Sunday Project.
Now, seven years on from the diagnosis, Long has battled through chemotherapy, bone-marrow transplants and natural therapies.
He met his new wife, Rebecca Fleming, after being diagnosed with the disease, and tied the knot with her this year after being told in December 2018 that he could have just three months to live.
The pair met through a friend of Ms Fleming’s who lived across the road from Long, but he was nervous about his future with his new wife due to his illness.
Doctors told the actor his condition was terminal, and when he looked up the life-expectancy of the disease back in 2012 he discovered he could have just two or three years left
He met his new wife, Rebecca Fleming (pictured with Long) after being diagnosed with the disease, and tied the knot with her this year
‘That’s why it took so long, probably, to get together…because I didn’t want to put Bec through it,’ the actor said.
It was the news in December that he had between three and 12 months to live that pushed the actor to marry Ms Fleming just two days after leaving intensive care.
There’s since been a glimmer of hope for the couple, with the actor told by his new doctor, Miles Prince, that Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell therapy in the United States could help him.
He will be just one of 18 participants in the clinical trial, where they hope to rebuild the actor’s immune system.
Long and Ms Fleming got married in February just two days after the actor left intensive care
The 50-year-old (pictured in a scene from The Book of Revelation in 2006) was told in December he may have as little as three months left to live
The trial will take Long’s T-Cells and genetically modify them to identify and kill the cancer cells in his body – and has proven to be widely successful.
Ms Flemming said the therapy is the next step for the couple and they’re both hopeful the outcome will be positive.
‘I am very aware that I could be taken any time, but it’s the hope I think, I go for hope,’ Long said.
The 50-year-old and his family are preparing to head to Seattle on Thursday for the treatment and will remain in the US to see if it works.
TOM LONG’S CAREER
Tom Long graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1994.
Long is most notable for his role as Angus Kabiri in the ABC series SeaChange from 1998-1999.
He also appeared in the Nine Network TV drama Young Lions in 2002.
Long’s most famous films include Two Hands (1999), The Dish (2000) and The Book of Revelation (2006).
- The Leaving of Liverpool (1992, TV movie)
- The Last of the Ryans (1997, TV movie)
- Doing Time for patsy Cline (1997, Movie)
- Two Hands (1999, Movie)
- SeaChange (1998-1999, TV Series)
- The Dish (2000, Movie)
- Risk (2001, Movie)
- Young Lions (2002, TV Series)
- Heroes Mountain: The Thredbo Story (2002, TV Movie)
- The Postcard Bandit (2003, TV Movie)
- Black Jack: At the Gates: (2003, TV Movie)
- The Book of Revelation, 2006, Movie)
- Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback (2007, Miniseries)
- East of Everything (2008-2009, Miniseries)
- Woodley (2012, TV Series)
The 50-year-old (pictured left in 2007 with Asher Keddie) and his family are preparing to head to Seattle on Thursday for the treatment and will remain in the US to see if it works