Friends' Gunther actor James Michael Tyler reveals he’s battling stage 4 prostate cancer and is paralysed
FRIENDS star James Michael Tyler has revealed he has been battling stage 4 prostate cancer since 2018.
The actor – who played Rachel's admirer Gunther in all ten seasons – shared the news on the Today show today, revealing it was "gonna get him".
He told the Today show: "I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones.
"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years…
"It's stage 4. Late stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me."
James tragically revealed doctors were at first optimistic but the cancer started 'mutating' at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing," he told viewers.
"So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic and so it's progressed."
The cancer spread to his bones and spines, which has left him paralysed in his lower body.
He is currently undergoing chemotherapy, and and said his illness torpedoed plans for him to appear in person in the recent Friends: The Reunion show, which aired last month on HBO.
"I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities," Tyler said.
"It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included.
"It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn't wanna bring a downer on it, you know?
"I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer'."
He now hopes to help others by sharing his stories, saying: “A lot of men, if they catch this early, it's easily treatable.
“I don't want people to have to go through what I've been going through. This is not… an easy process.
“My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that, May 28th. My goal now is to help save at least one life by coming out with this news.
“That's my only reason for coming out like this and letting people know… That's my new role.”
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