Home and Away's Johnny Ruffo 'fighting tooth and nail' to beat cancer again

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Home and Away star Johnny Ruffo left fans shocked in November last year when he revealed "with a heavy heart" his brain cancer had returned following a "week of seizures and excruciating headaches". 

Now, the 33-year-old has revealed he will "fight tooth and nail" to beat the disease for a second time.

home and away's johnny ruffo fighting brain cancer
An emotional Johnny Ruffo revealed he's 'fighting tooth and tail' to beat brain cancer a second time. Photo: Instagram/Johnny Ruffo

The former soap star appeared on Seven's Spotlight to speak about his health battle in a candid interview.

Johnny teared up when reporter Denham Hitchcock asked whether he'd ever thought about how his girlfriend Tahnee, 27, who he's been with since 2015, would cope should he not make it.

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"Not really, that's not going to happen. I'm going to fight tooth and nail, no matter what," he responded. "I'm going to do everything I can in my power. I'm not going to let her down."

Johnny was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 when a tumour the size of a fist was found. Surgery took 11 hours and there was a 20 per cent chance he would die.

Johnny ruffo and girlfriend Tahnee
Johnny teared up when asked how Tahnee would cope if he didn't make it. Photo: Instagram/Johnny Ruffo

Three or four weeks after beginning radiotherapy, Johnny said reality set in and "everything came crashing down" when he saw the hair loss that came with the treatment.

"I was at home one day and I was watching television and I just pulled my hand forward and I had a whole clump of hair. I cried and cried and cried," he said.

"I went and sat in the shower and it was the worst day of my life. It was horrible. It all just came to me."

He continued, "You've just got to fight, and there's days where you think, 'I have got no fight left in me. I have fought the best fight', and you just need to find that little something to fight for."

In 2019, Johnny had the "greatest day" of his life when was told he was in remission.

home and away star Johnny ruffo diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017
Johnny was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017, when a tumour the size of a fist was found. Photo: Instagram/Johnny Ruffo

"I just felt like I could finally get back to life and living again," he said.

It was in September last year that Johnny began forgetting lyrics to songs and suffered 11 seizures in four days. He was told the cancer had spread and he'd need further treatment.

"I feel like some days I'm forgetting words that I know," he said. "Honestly, it's like a treasure map, there's no X. So I don't know what and I'm forgetting things. And it's so incredibly frustrating."

Johnny was speechless at the end of the episode when he and Tahnee were told the tumour was stable and hadn't spread.

"I'm really happy, oh man," the actor said, following a few moments of stunned silence.

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