James Michael Tyler, the actor famous for portraying the character Gunther on the popular television show 'Friends,' has bravely opened up about his ongoing battle with cancer. In an emotional revelation, Tyler shared the news during a virtual appearance on the 'Today' show.
Tyler, now 59 years old, disclosed that he had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018. Unfortunately, the cancer had already spread to other parts of his body, including his spine, which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. The actor decided to speak publicly about his health struggles after being inspired by actor and activist Michael J. Fox, who has also been battling Parkinson's disease.
During the interview, Tyler revealed that he initially kept his diagnosis private, but as time went on, it became increasingly more difficult to hide. Due to COVID-19, he was unable to attend the highly anticipated 'Friends' reunion special in person, which prompted fans to speculate about his absence. This urged Tyler to share his cancer battle with the world, explaining that the reason behind his non-attendance was his physical inability to be there.
Tyler emphasized the importance of early detection for prostate cancer, stating that he hopes to raise awareness and encourage others to get tested. He explained that he was initially given the diagnosis during a routine check-up, which emphasizes the significance of regular screenings. Tyler urged men to consult with their doctors about prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, as early detection greatly improves the chances of successful treatment.
Despite his life-changing diagnosis, Tyler has not lost his positive outlook. He expressed gratitude for his supportive network of friends and family, which has been crucial in his journey. Tyler also credited his role on 'Friends' as a source of comfort and positivity, stating that the show has brought joy to so many people and he is grateful to have been a part of it.
Tyler's message of perseverance and hope resonated with viewers, sparking an outpour of love and support on social media. Many fans and fellow actors, including 'Friends' co-star Jennifer Aniston, offered their well wishes and expressed admiration for Tyler's courage in sharing his story.
Amidst his own struggles, Tyler hopes that opening up about his cancer battle will inspire others facing similar challenges to remain strong and seek the support they need. His resilience and determination to spread awareness about prostate cancer serve as a powerful reminder to prioritize one's health and to cherish the love and support of those around us.