Popular TikTok star dies aged 18 from rare type of cancer

Popular TikTok star dies aged 18 from rare type of cancer
TikTok star Jehane Thomas dies suddenly, aged 30

TikTok star Harrison Gilks has passed away "peacefully" on March 30 from a rare form of cancer at the age of 18.

The teenager from Canada had gained a following on the platform (over 326,000 at the time of writing) as he attempted to complete his bucket list.

He also kept his viewers up-to-date with videos on his condition as he had rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare kind of cancer that forms in soft tissue.

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Harrison's family has since posted on his TikTok account details about the funeral service which took place yesterday on April 6.

"A legacy fund has been set up in Harrison's name. This fund will help others in similar situations and his passions," the statement read, with a link to the page in his profile.

It was November 2020 when the TikToker was diagnosed with cancers when doctors discovered a large tumour in his prostate and spots on his lungs.

After this, Harrison then underwent chemotherapy and in February 2022 he was in remission.

Sadly, the teenager was given the heartbreaking news that the cancer had returned and could not be treated.

And with that, he decided to share his cancer journey with his followers.


Met stammer an pat maroon! Florida has been great so far! #florida #bucketlist #tampabaylighting #tampa #nhl #hockey

In a video from June 29, Harrison said: “This isn’t the normal type of stuff I post, but I found out today that I have terminal cancer.

“I was cancer-free for a little bit, but unfortunately, it came back. The reason I’m making this and putting it out there is because I’d like to make a little series.

“I’m gonna go out and do a bunch of stuff that I’ve always wanted to do, maybe skydiving, stuff along those lines.”

And that's exactly what he did, as Harrison shared TikToks of himself doing everything from going to a music festival, riding in a helicopter, going on holidays, as well as meeting some of his favourite sports stars.

But in a post one week before his death, Harrison gave a devastating update as his health began to decline.

From his hospital bed, Harrison explained: "The cancer has spread to my liver and one of my lungs filled with fluid."

“It’s really hard to breathe. The doctors said I don’t have a whole lot of time left. I’ll be in the hospital for the remainder of whatever time I have left. It’s obviously very upsetting.

I wish there was something that you guys could do, or I could do, or the doctors could do – but there isn’t. This is just the way it goes. The best thing you guys can do is pray for me. I’ve been doing a lot of praying. Pray for me and my family. It’s been a great ride.”

Harrison's brother David took to posted a video on Harrison's TikTok to let viewers know of his death and that he wasn't in pain when he passed.

Since the news of his death, fans have been paying tribute to Harrison by leaving warm messages on his TikTok videos.

One person wrote: "I love following Harrison's journey. The world lost a wonderful person."

"I wish I could've known Harrison but I feel privileged to have watched his journey through TikTok. RIP," another person said.

Someone else added: "I'm so sad over someone I've never known. The family is in my thoughts."

"Bless you all. He [Harrison] had a profound impact on so many," a fourth person commented.

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