Exodus drummer Tom Hunting says he is “overcome with gratitude and emotion” after fans and peers rallied around to offer support and financial assistance as he faces up to cancer treatment. A GoFundMe campaign started by his bandmate Gary Holt to raise funds for Hunting’s medical and personal bills has passed the $82,500 mark in less than a week.
Hunting revealed on April 13 that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and promised to “beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!”
“Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma,” he wrote in a statement. “It's a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February. I'm making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out. I'm not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I've learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it's a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it's empowering, and you're 1 step closer to killing it! I'm gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I've had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I'm ready for the fight!”
On April 21, Exodus guitarist Gary Holt launched a GoFundMe campaign for the drummer, saying “Whatever someone can afford to give will go miles to helping Tom continue his fight without the worry of the mounting medical bills and bills to maintain a roof over his head.” Fans and friends have given generously, with Hunting’s former Exodus bandmate Kirk Hammett, now, of course, in Metallica, donating $5,000: at the time of writing, a total of $82,518 has been pledged.
In a video message posted on Exodus’ social media channels on April 26, and shared below, Hunting expressed his thanks to all who’ve offered “love and support”.
“I just wanted to say thank you everyone,” he said. “I'm overcome with gratitude and emotion for the donations and all the love and support. I'm doing okay. I had a treatment a couple weeks ago, [and I’m] going in for another treatment on Wednesday so far so good. It's kind of early in the fight, but I feel like I'm going to crush this like a bug. Anyways, thanks again everyone. I love you guys and we'll see you soon. Cheers.”
All at Metal Hammer wish Tom the very best with his treatment.