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Jake Quickenden shares final words to teenage brother Oliver before he died

Jake Quickenden shares final words to teenage brother Oliver before he died

The former X Factor star opened up on the heartbreaking situation

Jake Quickenden has opened up on how he's handled his grief after tragically losing his teenage brother.

The former X Factor star, 35, has shared the final words he ever said to his teenage brother, Oliver, before he passed away from sarcoma - a form of bone cancer - back in 2012.

Now over a decade later, Jake, who also appeared on I'm A Celeb back in 2014, has admitted it 'took years' to control his health anxiety following the tragic loss.

Jake Quickenden has opened up on his grief after losing his brother Oliver to sarcoma at just 19 years old.
Kate Green / Stringer / Getty Images

"My mum phoned and said Oliver’s taken a turn for the worse, so I went round to his house," Jake told The Mirror.

At this point in time, Oliver was 'shutting down' and Jake had his 'last conversation' with him.

He recalled: "I told him I loved him and he kind of came round and told me he loved me. About half an hour later he was gone. "It was as quick as that and traumatising and ­upsetting for everybody."

Talking about his brother's sarcoma, Jake explained: "It’s one of the most common cancers for children and young adults, but not a lot of people know what it is.

"It’s important to get an early diagnosis for sarcoma because a lot of people do wait quite a long time and then the average size of the tumour is quite large."

The untimely loss of his brother, who was aged just 19 when he passed away, clearly took a massive toll on Jake.

"I think it’s one of the reasons why I get health anxiety," the singer revealed. "It took me years to process the fact not every lump, not every headache is going to be [cancer].

The I'm A Celeb runner-up said losing his brother gave him 'health anxiety'.

"But it’s important we check ourselves. It’s made me really aware of my body. I check myself a lot."

After feeling 'little things', Jake was proactive in going to the doctor where they subsequently put Jake's mind 'at ease'.

He added: "But I’ve never felt embarrassed when they said it’s just a gland. I’d rather be told that than leave it and three months later it’s the size of an orange."

Oliver's death came just four years after Jake had lost his father, Paul, to bone marrow cancer.

Jake has since been able to deal with his grief by finding some sense of catharsis through exercise and remembering the good times spent with his brother and father before they passed.

He shared: "Now I can think about all the happy times I had with my brother and my old man, so it becomes more bearable.

"It never gets easier, but I’ve found ways that help me to deal with my grief. Fitness is a huge one."

Jake said he functions 'a lot better' when he has an established routine and 'something to strive for'.

After losing his brother and father, Jake said people should 'appreciate every single day' of life.

"For me," he added. "Fitness is the best antidepressant, the best medicine you can have."

Jake, who has a family of his own now with wife Sophie, son Leo and stepson Freddie, said keeping healthy was also important to him as a family man.

He said: "It’s about prolonging my life and being more mobile and agile with my little boy and my stepson.

"There’s not much positive you can take from losing your dad and brother, but you’ve got to live your life and appreciate every single day. Always tell people you love them when you leave the house - you never know what’s going to happen."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.

Featured Image Credit: Max Cisotti/Dave Benett/WireImage/Instagram/jakequickenden

Topics: Celebrity, Health, Im A Celebrity, Mental Health, Music, TV And Film