Saved By The Bell Star Dustin Diamond Loses His Battle With Cancer Aged 44
Dustin Diamond was diagnosed with lung cancer just three weeks ago after reportedly ignoring a huge lump on his neck for fear of being ridiculed in the media. The actor was just 44 years old.
The former child star who shot to fame playing Screech on Saved By The Bell had stage 4 lung cancer when he was diagnosed just a few short weeks ago. His publicity team shared the tragic news on his Facebook page saying he had been seeking treatment at a hospital in Florida at the time of his death.
“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma,” Diamond’s official social media page read.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on… pic.twitter.com/BnxY9XgN5g
— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) February 1, 2021
A close friend of Diamonds spoke to The Sun saying he had a “huge lump” on his neck for a while but avoided going to the hospital out of fear people would take photos of him and post them online.
“ I know that the reason he didn’t get help is because when he goes out people take pictures, put it on the internet and say not nice things about him,” Dan Block told the publication last month. “He’s subject to public ridicule all the time and it sucks. People need to know he is a human.”
In fact many of the star’s friends where concerned for his well being. Saved by the Bell co-star Mario Lopez, who played AC Slater, told Variety he had spoken to Diamond weeks ago and urged him to seek treatment.
“I actually just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. He was reluctant to go in (to hospital) for a while because he didn’t know if anything was going to get out,” Lopez said.
And I said, ‘Bro, that’s foolish, you’ve got to get in there and take care of yourself and forget what people are saying.’
“Some people thought his illness was a joke, which is awful, but the internet always spills tales. When all of this was happening, I was optimistic that he would make a recovery, but it was obviously too late. From when I found out he was sick to his passing, it’s been incredibly quick. It’s so fresh, it’s incredibly hard to process.”
The news of Diamond’s cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock to the star who began his first round of chemotherapy just two week ago. His family have a history of the disease, with his mother dying of breast cancer.
Diamond’s team added on Facebook of his death: “Dustin Diamond was a character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored. We are thankful he trusted us enough to share his genuine, authentic self with our team. We wish you knew him in the way that we did. We please ask that you give room for privacy to our team and Mr. Diamond’s family during this tragic time, as we grieve and remember the memories spent together. This loss is as much stinging as it is sudden.”
RIP Dustin Diamond.
Images: Instagram and Twitter