Celebrities

Charlotte Church’s stepdad has ‘six months to live’ amid battle with rare terminal illness

Charlotte Church, 33, opens up about her stepdad’s health in her new Channel 4 documentary, Charlotte Church: My Family and Me, which is set to air on October 17.

The singer states her stepdad, James, 53, suffers from a rare illness, AL amyloidosis, which is similar to blood cancer.

AL amyloidosis is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body, according to NHS.

Charlotte said: “It’s absolutely terrifying the idea of not having him around. I rely on him for so much, he’s my buddy, my absolute best friend and has been for years.”

It’s absolutely terrifying

Charlotte Church

Speaking about his condition, James revealed: “Time is not on my side. The disease I have is very rare, only one in eight million people have it

“The worst scenario is I could only have six months, so I’m in a horrible position.

“I think about it all the time, what I can do to get my family into a place where I’m comfortable to leave them.”

Charlotte said her stepdad is undergoing chemotherapy and added “he’ll be on it until he dies”.

“It’s just horrendous that he’s got it at this age, he’s still a relatively young man. But he will fight this for as long as he can,” she said.

“He’s got it quite advanced in his heart because he wasn’t diagnosed for quite a long time, it’s not great.

“He’s outliving what doctors thought was possible. But there’s no cure and the chemotherapy will stop working.”

James is not the Welsh singer’s birth father but Charlotte has never known her biological dad.

The star was brought up by her mum, Maria, and James from when she was three-years-old and he adopted her in 1999.

Charlotte added: “I guess essentially everyone is scared of death, but if we can embrace it more as a life process… to see it as the next great adventure, that’s the way I try and deal with it.”

The singer and actress previously gushed about her stepdad as she recalled her childhood memories to The Guardian.

She said: “James is a phenomenal father and my earliest memory of him is seeing him walk towards me to meet my mum when I was sitting on top of a post box.

“Family life was loud, it was noisy, it was vivacious, but they were quite strict. They wouldn’t take no messing and they were salt of the earth people, sort of normal but pretty rough.”

Charlotte, born in Llandaff, a district of Cardiff, Wales, rose to fame as a classical singer when she was 11-years-old when she sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu over the phone on This Morning in 1997 and then appeared on ITV’s Big, Big Talent Show.

She went on to perform at a number of concerts at Cardiff Arms Park before receiving a vocal scholarship in Cardiff.

Charlotte has two children, Ruby, 12, and Dexter, 10, whom she shares with ex partner, Gavin Henson.

Charlotte Church: My Family and Me airs October 17 on Channel 4.

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