'Inspirational' brain tumour campaigner Amani Liaquat dies aged 23

Tom Parker and Amani Liaquat struck up a friendship after both being diagnosed with the same type of brain tumour.
Credit: Brain Tumour Research
Tom Parker and Amani Liaquat struck up a friendship after both being diagnosed with the same type of brain tumour. Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A student who bonded with pop star Tom Parker from The Wanted after they were both diagnosed with the same type of brain tumour has died.

Amani Liaquat, 23, was diagnosed during lockdown in 2020 and went on to become a campaigner and fundraiser for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

The law graduate from Luton forged a friendship with Parker, the lead singer with The Wanted, through social media after they were both diagnosed with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme.

Ms Liaquat's family decided to take her to Germany for life-prolonging treatment after raising more than £100,000 in just 24 hours from relatives, friends and complete strangers.

Her condition had deteriorated in recent weeks, after she was told in November that there were no further treatment options available, and her death was announced by her parents on Monday.

Amani Liaquat, centre, with her family as she celebrated her graduation Credit: Family photo

Writing on Twitter, her father Khuram Liaquat said: “Our beautiful daughter Amani breathed her last this morning at 12.30am. She fought GBM4 for 22 months but alas without proper investment, she had no chance.

"She’s my hero and was the most amazing ambassador for Brain Tumour Research. Love you forever Amani!”

 Writing on her @fight4amani Instagram page, Ms Liaquat's mother Yasmin Stannard said: “Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi Rajioon (Surely we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return).

 “It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our precious daughter Miss Amani Liaquat. Beloved eldest daughter of Khuram Liaquat and Yasmin Stannard and sister of Ruqayyah and Maleehah Liaquat.

“Amani passed away after a 22-month courageous battle with terminal brain cancer. May Allah have mercy upon her, forgive her, allow our family to draw closer to Allah, give her a high place in Jannatul Firdaus, and reunite us all there together, Ameen.”

Campaigner's 'bravery and commitment'

As a patron for Brain Tumour Research, Ms Liaquat was involved in the charity's #BrainTumourPetition and Stop the Devastation campaigns, and organised fundraisers including Luton's first Walk of Hope in September and setting up the Fight4Hope fundraising group.

She also set up a podcast, Chat2Amani, in which she explored issues including loneliness and faith, and interviewed Tom Parker in one episode.

Last week, Ms Liaquat was awarded an MSc in Applied Social Welfare from the University of Bedfordshire, with a special ceremony carried out at her home, attended by university staff and Amani's closest family members.

Amani Liaquat took part in Brain Tumour Research's Stop the Devastation campaign Credit: Brain Tumour Research

News of her death has been met with an outpouring of tributes on social media, including many from those within the brain tumour community inspired by her courage.

Hugh Adams, of Brain Tumour Research, said Ms Liaquat had made a huge impact with her campaigning.

"Amani’s story touched everyone who heard it, and that she was prepared to share so much of herself with others speaks volumes of the person she was."

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. However, historically about 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the disease.

Mr Adams said: “We cannot overstate just how many people now know about this vicious disease through Amani’s bravery and her commitment to make a difference by campaigning and raising awareness.

"She and her family spoke out at time when it would have been easier for them to retreat and for that, along with our sadness, we have such respect and admiration for this remarkable young woman who has left us far too soon. Her legacy will be with us and drive us on to find a cure for brain tumours.”

Brain Tumour Research has been calling for a national annual spend of £35m to improve survival rates and patient outcomes, and campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.