Johnny Ruffo’s courageous battle with brain cancer

The family of the Home and Away star shared the heartbreaking update to Instagram.
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In heartbreaking news, former Home and Away star Johnny Ruffo confirmed in November 2020 that his brain cancer had returned after previously being given the all-clear from the disease.

 WATCH: Johnny Ruffo breaks down talking about his cancer battle

The actor and singer shared the devastating news with his followers on Instagram at the time vowing to win his battle against the disease.

“After an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches it is with a heavy heart that I have to let you know I now have another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned,” he wrote alongside a photo of himself and girlfriend Tahnee Simms.

He continued: “Though I will dig deep and beat this s*** disease again 👊🏽💜 #f***cancer”

Johnny Ruffo cancer
Johnny Ruffo (pictured with girlfriend Tahnee Simms) revealed the devastating news his brain cancer has returned. (Credit: Instagram)

Johnny was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 after suffering headaches and often credits his girlfriend for saving his life after she took him to hospital.

He went through multiple rounds of chemotherapy before finally taking to Instagram in August 2019 to announce that he had “beaten” the life-threatening disease and shared his relief.

Johnny Ruffo cancer
Johnny, who was first diagnosed in 2017, vowed to fight the disease again. (Credit: Instagram)

The actor has previously opened up about how tough it was to hear the diagnosis and later fight the disease.

“It’s pretty heavy hitting from the get-go so it’s not something that doesn’t really sink in straight away. As soon as you hear the news it’s like… sh*t,” he revealed of the ordeal in 2018.

“It’s been pretty full on. But I think as you go on, you kind of find ways to deal with it a bit more and just develop coping mechanisms.”

Tahnee Simms Johnny Ruffo
“I will dig deep and beat this sh*t disease again,” he wrote. (Credit: Instagram)

When it comes to the tough moments in his battle against the disease, the X Factor star explained that  “it ebbs and flows.”

“During chemo’s the worst I suppose – you’re vomiting and feeling like absolute crap and nauseous,”  he shared.

“I guess you’ve just got to take the good with the bad. The good days you enjoy a lot more because you don’t know when they’re going to be and how far apart they are. All in all, I’ve been fairly positive throughout the whole ordeal.”

Speaking to Now To Love in December 2019, Johnny revealed how anxious he got prior to regular check-ups.

“I always expect the worst. I don’t know why. I just expect the worst and when they go, ‘Oh, you’re still fine mate’, I go ‘[pauses]… thank you.'”

Explaining, he added: “It’s hard not to because I don’t want to get my hopes up and then they go, ‘Oh we’ve seen this, you might have to do some more chemo.’ It’s probably not a bad thing. It just makes me quite anxious leading up to it. It’s not fun.”

Johnny Ruffo cancer Tahnee Simms
The Home and Away star has previously praised Tahnee for saving his life and being by his side every step of the way. (Credit: Instagram)

During his health battle, the Neighbours actor has often praised his girlfriend Tahnee for being by his side every step of the way.

“Without her, I may not be here,” he told Now To Love in October 2020. 

“She was the one who made me get in the car when it first happened. And she’s encouraging me to do things. She keeps me active, getting me to go for runs and swims.”

The Home and Away star passed away in November 2023. (Credit: Getty)

In August 2022, Johnny shared another update on his health – confirming that his cancer was terminal. 

Sadly, in November 2023, Johnny Ruffo passed away aged 35 after battling brain cancer for six years. 

In a statement to Johnny’s Instagram, his family shared, “It is with a heavy heart that today we had to farewell our beloved Johnny.”

“Surrounded by his partner Tahnee and family, Johnny went peacefully with the support of some incredible Nurses & Doctors.”

“He was a very talented, charming and sometimes cheeky boy. Johnny was very determined and had a strong will. He battled all the way to the end and fought as hard as he could. Such a beautiful soul with so much more to give.”

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