(BlackDoctor.org) — Tionne Watkins, better known as T-Boz of the legendary girl group TLC, revealed that she has secretly suffered from complications related to a brain tumor in addition to battling sickle cell anemia.
The mother of one recently discussed this ailment for the first time while filming Celebrity Apprentice.
The 39-year-old star revealed that she has been waging a secret battle against a brain tumor that was diagnosed in 2006, saying that she underwent a seven-hour surgical procedure back in 2006, during which doctors peeled the tumor from her brain stem by making a cut behind her ear. She says she was determined to not make her struggle known to the public.
“I didn’t want pity. I was there to help sick children,” T-Boz says. “Because people are often shocked to hear news like that, I kept it under wraps until now so that I can focus on service, and on raising money for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia. I was not interested in gaining pity for myself.”
While the surgery was successful, it left T-Boz with one side effect: poor balance. In her recovery, she’s educating others on sickle cell anemia and working on new music with a positive message.
“Doctors, they didn’t give me a happy ending,” T-Boz said, reflecting on her brain tumor and her sickle cell anemia. “‘You won’t live past 30, you’ll be disabled your whole life. You’ll never have kids. I was looking around the room like, ‘I don’t know who he’s talking to cause that’s not my story.”
T-Boz is currently back in the studio and working on a solo album.
For more on brain health, visit BlackDoctor.org’s Brain & Nervous System Channel.