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TLC's T-Boz Reveals Secret Battle With Brain Tumor

Have You Ever Kept a Health Problem Secret Like TLC's T-Boz

Tionne Watkins is better known to most as T-Boz, and a member of the former girl group TLC. Watkins has been extremely open about the fact that she lives with sickle cell anemia, but I was shocked to hear that she secretly battled a deadly brain tumor that led to a risky surgery.

Watkins discovered the grapefruit-size tumor in 2006 and faced the frustrating challenge of trying to find a doctor who would operate on her. Most doctors refused because of the complications her sickle cell anemia posed, namely lung and heart failure. The tumor was not cancerous, but it was tied to the vestibular nerve which affects balance, facial movements, and hearing.

To learn more about her condition, keep reading.

Watkins eventually found a doctor to work on her and embarked on a seven-hour surgery that left her without sight and unable to walk for months. In rehab she had to relearn basic things like how to walk, talk, and chew properly.


Today Watkins lives with migraines, facial twitches, and numbness, and has to fight with her face just to form a smile. "But if that's all? No problemo," she said. "I fight to be here daily because I want to see Chase [her daughter] get married and have kids. I want to party and laugh. I'm doing a solo album, and I want to tour. I have to see if I can do it. I'm still here. It will take way more to stop me."

In the media we often find out about a celebrity's illness years later. Besides Watkins, Cynthia Nixon and Steven Tyler are just a couple of the notables who have kept their illnesses a secret. Grappling with a health crisis is already stressful, and it's often hard to know when the right time is to share this information. Have any of you had to face this challenge? How did you handle it?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
I am glad she managed to work thru her health issues. She is a strong woman. It makes my fight with my thyroid seems sort of lame. Reading this I realize I am really blessed.
suesjoy suesjoy 7 years
Wow. I had brain surgery for the same type of tumor, only mine was the size of a hacky sack and it took 12 hours. I read that her tumor was the size of a strawberry, but STILL, with T-Boz having Sickle Cell anemia...kudos to her. I know she's a very strong woman,and my heart goes out to her. You GO T-boz!!! Much love, Suexx
Spectra Spectra 7 years
That's incredibly scary; I can understand why she would feel awkward about sharing that information with the public. Usually a brain tumor that large is fatal; I'm glad she made it through okay. I myself have been battling some health/hormone issues and I don't feel comfortable sharing them with my family because I guess I think that if I don't acknowledge them, they don't exist. I wonder if that's the mindset that a lot of people have.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Wow, the brain tumor was the size of a grapefruit?? That's huge. I'm surprised her body was able to live with it for this long.
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 7 years
Good luck Teagan, I hope it turns out to be nothing. The Sugar community is here to support you too :-)
Chicagomarie Chicagomarie 7 years
I am actually in the process of doing tests to determine if I have a lyphmoma. I have told some friends in my grad program and one of my supervisors at the internship site, just so I could have some support. If it turns out to be cancer I will let everyone in my program know and the faculty and I will work with my supervisors to determine whether or not to tell my clients (I'm a therapist) and if not if I can continue working and hide it from them or if I would need to pause my internship. Hopefully and statically it will be nothing, but better to have both avenues semi-thought out.
x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 7 years
Oh no! First Left-eye now T-boz... :( They made such good music it's a shame things like this happen to them.
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