Tom Parker's unlikely friendship with campaigner who died of same condition
The Wanted star and Amani Liaquat shared a bond by helping raise awareness of the disease, reports Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda and Producer Rachael Allison
The parents of Amani Liaquat have spoken about the unlikely friendship between their daughter and The Wanted singer, Tom Parker.
Ms Liaquat, 23, died in February, five weeks before Tom Parker died of the same type of brain tumour, a grade four glioblastoma multiforme.
As they remembered their daughter, the couple spoke of the impact Amani had on the community. Khuram Liaquat, her father said: “When I think of Amani, it’s always the Amani who just graduated, happy, bubbly, pre-ill Amani.”
Ms Liaquat was a patron for Brain Tumour Research and set up a podcast, Chat2Amani, documenting her journey with brain cancer, and interviewed Tom Parker in one episode.
Boyband member Mr Parker, had a long battle with brain cancer. Mr Liaquat described him as a “positive” person.
“That was his mantra,” Mr Khuram explained. “And that rubbed off on a lot of other people in the community and he was determined to fight the cancer and he was ready to fight until the last moment.”
Mr Parker visited the home of Amani to simultaneously record her podcast and film part of the Channel 4 documentary Tom Parker: Inside My Head.
Mr Khuram spoke fondly of the visit.
'He's very down to Earth... they spent 40 minutes talking'
“When Tom came… he’s very down to earth, very positive.
"They spent about 40 minutes chatting on the podcast about their respective journeys and Tom was quite honest, he said he had not been that open about his condition before.”
Amani’s parents told of the friendship built between the two and the “positive impact” Mr Parker had.
“Only a few people who actually have this sort of tumour are in their age range. So you inevitably have a bond with everyone at that age.”
Since the death of their daughter, the couple use Amani’s Instagram to help raise awareness and “honour Amani’s legacy.”
Yasmin Stannard, Amani’s mother, shared how staying in touch with families online helped her to deal with the grief.
'The longer it goes, I think the grief gets heavier'
“At the beginning we were so upset to have lost her but at the same time we were so proud.
“That’s when you sort of see the outpouring of how she’s affected people’s lives so it did provide comfort, to some degree.”
When asked how Amani will be remembered, Mr Liaquat replied that he wants “to remember Amani before she fell ill".
“Amani was always a shining star,” Mr Liaquat said, “and it’s so nice that people get to see and appreciate that as well.
“I think she would have been so proud to have made a difference and that was what she was so determined to do.”