X Factor star Paul Akister has revealed the secret heartache of his mum’s cancer battle as he backs our new world record breaking charity challenge for St John’s Hospice.
The Lancaster singer hid mum Bev’s illness while he competed in the TV talent show to avoid the sympathy vote, the Guardian can exclusively reveal.
Now back home after his exit from the show, caring Paul gave his mum a big cuddle at their Bowerham home as he threw his weight behind our campaign.
The Guardian is aiming to raise £100,000 with a team of 1,000 people at the 10k Born Survivor event to break a world record.
Paul said: “I’m supporting the Lancaster Guardian’s campaign for St John’s Hospice.
“My mum had cancer so I kind of know how it feels and I know the hospice does a great job.”
Bev, who works as a nurse, said: “That’s the first time he’s ever mentioned it publicly.
“He wanted people to judge him on his voice. It says a lot about him.”
Bev fought the disease while supporting Paul, 25, as he chased his dream to win The X Factor and came so close to reaching the live studio shows in 2013.
Now in remission, the big-hearted mum-of-two travelled down to London each week her son was on the live shows in October and November this year.
She cheered him on from the studio audience with husband Dave and daughter Charlotte.
They also went through a roller coaster of emotions as Paul was eliminated from the show after a controversial sing-off on November 9.
Bev said: “We were all absolutely heartbroken. But I’m glad to have him home. We did miss him. He’s a really good lad.
“The last few weeks has been so up and down, but we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. We’re really, really proud of him.”
The Lancaster Guardian and The Visitor have teamed up with Fitness Formation and Born Survivor to raise £100,000 toward the Save Our Hospice campaign for St John’s in Slyne Road, Lancaster.
We are bidding to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest team ever to take part in an organised obstacle course event – by bringing together 1,000 people for Born Survivor at Lowther Castle, in the Lake District, on April 4 2015.