A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting, who recently started treatment for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach.
The campaign, titled "Help Tom Hunting with his cancer battle!," was organized by EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt and created on Tuesday, April 20. In less than 24 hours, the campaign has amassed nearly $4,500 and is now more than $15,000 from hitting the target goal of $20,000. At press time, the campaign has 89 donors, 25 shares and 87 followers.
In an introductory message on the GoFundMe page, Holt writes: "After decades dedicated to laying down the most pummeling drums in thrash, Tom Hunting has been diagnosed with cancer. While he fights and defeats this, he will need help with his bills, both medical and home.
"During this pandemic Tom, like many of us, works to keep himself going while we await the return of touring, but he is unable to do so while undergoing chemo and more to get past this and back behind his drums with his brothers in EXODUS. Whatever someone can afford to give will go miles to helping Tom continue his fight without the worry of the mounting medical bills and bills to maintain a roof over his head.
"Thanks for all your help and support."
The 56-year-old Hunting revealed his cancer diagnosis in a statement released on April 13. He said: "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, Holt said that EXODUS 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.