Charlotte Church opens up about stepdad's 'horrendous' terminal illness in new documentary

Amy West
Contributor
Charlotte Church has revealed that her stepdad James has been diagnosed with a terminal illness that means he may have 'just six months' left to live (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Charlotte Church has revealed that her stepfather has been diagnosed with a “horrible” terminal illness.

The Welsh singer has opened up about the awful news ahead of her new Channel 4 documentary Charlotte Church: My Family & Me which centres on relationship with her parents, Maria and James and is set to air on Thursday 17 October.

“It’s absolutely terrifying the idea of not having him around,” the 33-year-old told HELLO! magazine, detailing that James has AL amyloidosis, a disease that produces abnormal protein fibres within the body and damages the organs. “I rely on him for so much, he’s my buddy, my absolute best friend and has been for years.”

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“It’s just horrendous that he’s got it at this age, he’s still a relatively young man. But he will fight this for as long as he can. He’s got it quite advanced in his heart because he wasn’t diagnosed for quite a long time, it’s not great.

“If you look at the survival rates, 50% of patients who start chemotherapy die in the first six months. So he is massively fighting for his life right now, basically.”

Charlotte Church: My Family and Me will air on Channel 4 on Thursday 17 October (Channel 4)

Church went on to say that while James is “outliving what doctors thought was possible,” the trio have now been informed that the third round of chemotherapy that is currently undertaking will soon stop working and that there is no cure.

“Time is not on my side,” 53-year-old James claimed to the publication. “The disease I have is very rare, only one in eight million people have it. The worst scenario is I could only have six months, so I’m in a horrible position.

“I think about it all the time, what I can do to get my family into a place where I’m comfortable to leave them.”

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Talking about the one-off documentary, Lee McMurray, Channel 4’s Factual Entertainment Commissioning Editor promises a “personal and revealing film.”

He added: “Our relationship with our parents is one of the most important relationships in our lives, but can also be the most difficult. This format explores this universal predicament with one of the country’s most recognisable and loved figures.”