American country singer Toby Keith shared a statement in the early hours of this morning announcing his ongoing battle with stomach cancer.
The 60-year-old musician revealed that he has been receiving treatment for the illness for the past six months.
“Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” Keith wrote. “I’ve spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.”
Though Keith will be taking a step back to mend and take care of his health, the singer shared that he plans to be return to performing on stage for his fans as soon as he can.
He added, “I am looking forward to spending time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can’t wait.”
According to Keith’s official website, the country singer had been scheduled to perform two concerts in the following weeks, including a set at the Ohio State Fair on July 28.
The fair organisers have confirmed Keith’s set has been cancelled, with refunds becoming available to those who had purchased tickets.
Keith was also set to perform at a few other concerts through the summer, scheduled from mid-July to late August.
In 2006, Keith started his Toby Keith Foundation to aid children diagnosed with cancer throughout the state of Oklahoma. The foundation expanded in 2014, with the opening of “OK Kids Korral,” which lends no-cost housing to pediatric cancer patients and their families while receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, near Keith’s hometown.
Fans were quick to rally behind the country star, with many sharing messages of support as well as their own challenges with cancer.
“My 23 Year old son had stage four terminal stomach cancer, he is now 34 engaged to be married and cancer free,” one fan wrote on Twitter to Keith. “So keep your attitude positive, I send you lots of prayers! It took us eight years of major surgeries , chemo, back-and-forth to Ohio State. I thank God every night!”
“You are not only LOVED by us OKIES, but by millions around the world!” another fan wrote. “Take care, be kind to yourself, let Jesus walk with you through this, and we will ALL be PRAYING for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Our LORD said that HE came that we might have LIFE and have it more ABUNDANTLY.”
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