While kids around the world grow eager with excitement for the impending arrival of Santa this Christmas, Home and Away star Johnny Ruffo is looking forward to a different arrival come December, that of his brother Michael.
While discussing his terminal cancer diagnosis and his hope for the future with 7News the 34-year-old revealed he hasn’t seen his brother in three years which he admits has been difficult.
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“My brother lives in Ireland now so I haven’t seen him for three years and he’s coming home for Christmas and I honestly can’t wait to see him,” Ruffo said.
“We’re thick as thieves. Honestly, he is my hero. He is everything to me. And I cannot wait to see him. I don’t know how I’m going to react, I cannot wait, he’s everything.”
Besides his long-time girlfriend Tahnee Sims, Michael is Ruffo’s “closest” companion, admitting that navigating the Covid-19 pandemic and his second bout with cancer without Michael’s physical presence was difficult.
“Sadly, the most contact I could have with my brother in Ireland was via WhatsApp,” he said.
“I miss him a lot because out of all the men in my life, my brother is the one who sees me even better than I can see myself.”
Ruffo’s latest interview comes after the actor and singer confirmed on Monday, August 29, that his brain cancer diagnosis is terminal, admitting he fears for his future and what would happen to his girlfriend Tahnee Sims when he succumbs to the disease.
“What plays in my head a lot is, I hate to say this, how hard it may be for her if something does happen to me,'” Ruffo told The Project host Carrie Bickmore.
“You can only imagine how difficult it’s been for her”
Despite outliving the original three-year life expectancy he was given, Ruffo tries to avoid thinking about the future but is determined to make the best of the remainder of his life.
“At some point, it will get me but I’m still fighting. Still kicking on…I’m already winning. My goal now is to try and help as many people as I can and also live a happy life,” he said.
The actor’s life was turned upside down in 2017 when what he believed to be a migraine turned out to be a very serious brain tumour.
Doctors had removed a fist-sized tumour from Ruffo’s brain which they claimed had been growing for over 10 years.
“The doctor said, ‘If you didn’t come in [to the hospital], you would have gone to sleep and you would have been dead’,” Ruffo said.
Unfortunately, Ruffo’s cancer returned four years later in November 2021. Since then Ruffo has regularly updated fans via social media as he continues to undergo treatment, thanking his fans and his girlfriend for their endless support.