A GoFundMe campaign started less than a week ago to help EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach has already raised nearly $80,000 — including $5,000 from Tom's former EXODUS bandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZY singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.
Earlier today, Hunting shared a video message on EXODUS's social media in which he thanked fans for their support while also expressing optimism that he will beat the disease, with which he was diagnosed in February.
He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Hey all. Tom from EXODUS here. Just checking in. It's April 26th. I'm in Northern California, where we just had six inches of snow fall last night. A little [Paul] Baloff birthday snow action.
"Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you, everyone. I'm overcome with gratitude and emotion for the donations and all the love and support. I'm doing okay. I had a treatment a couple of weeks ago. I'm going in for another treatment on Wednesday. So far so good. It's kind of early in the fight. But I feel like I'm gonna crush this like a bug.
"Anyways, thanks again, everyone. I love you guys. And we'll see you soon. Cheers."
The 56-year-old musician revealed the diagnosis in a statement released on April 13. He said at the time: "Today I will be starting treatment for a squamous cell carcinoma. It's a gastric tumor that was diagnosed in my upper stomach in February.
"I'm making this public to raise awareness for people to pay attention to symptoms of stomach and esophageal issues. If they persist, please go get it checked out.
"I'm not gonna be sheepish talking about it. I feel that if I can help someone with what I've learned, or someone out there has information to share with me, it's a win-win! When you can name the enemy, it's empowering, and you're 1 step closer to killing it!
"Ok, you've heard the bad news. The good news is he feels great physically! I'm gonna beat this like a fucking snare drum that owes me money!!! I've had great doctors and a great support system that is an army in itself. I'm ready for the fight!"
After Hunting went public with his diagnosis, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt said that the band will "delay" the release of its recently completed new album, "Persona Non Grata", "so that when Tom has defeated this, he will be back to full strength to hit the road and pummel his drums like only he can! When he has kicked cancer's ass like we know he will, we will resume kicking YOUR asses with the sickest record yet!" he said.
The squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach is a very uncommon entity, with worldwide incidence of 0.04% to 0.07% of all gastric cancers.
"Persona Non Grata" will be the follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out", which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers' first release since the departure of the group's lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
"Persona Non Grata" was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap.
Here is a message from our brother Tom.
We also want to thank everyone for their overwhelming support.
Posted by Exodus on Monday, April 26, 2021