Ipswich: “I’m sorry for all the heartache I caused” – Gavin Arnold issues apology as it emerges he was not seriously ill

Gavin Arnold, 28, has admitted he is not seriously ill.

Gavin Arnold, 28, has admitted he is not seriously ill. - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man who claimed to have just one year to live after being diagnosed with a brain tumour has today issued a public apology after it emerged he never had the disease.

Gavin Arnold said he understood the anger that would be felt by people who believed he had rejected a life-saving operation in favour of raising money for cancer charities, as he came clean to the Ipswich Star.

The 28-year-old claimed that he was convinced he was seriously ill.

He said he was “not looking for sympathy” and was set to undergo tests to look into his mental health.

“There are a lot of things going on which people don’t know or don’t understand for many reasons,” he added.

“I am undergoing a lot of tests and assessments at the moment; there is obviously something going on.

“I am really sorry for the heartache and the hurt that I have caused, but I am doing everything that I can.”

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“I did make a public announcement on Facebook just to say I am sorry for all the pain I have caused and I did say that I would keep everyone updated on when we get to the bottom of the situation.

“The last three months I have been a completely different person.

“There must be a problem because this isn’t me – I would never ever lie about an illness.”

Mr Arnold announced in August that he was suffering from a brain tumour.

He claimed he had been feeling unwell and an eye appointment revealed a swelling behind his eye.

An MRI scan then supposedly showed the tumour but he said he was told treatment for it would leave him blind and in a wheelchair.

Instead of having surgery, he said he had decided to set out on a fundraising mission for St Elizabeth Hospice and Macmillan.

His story touched many Ipswich Star readers and scores of people rallied round to help him in his fundraising efforts – the total that was raised is not known.

Rumours circulated online this week that Mr Arnold never had a brain tumour, which he admitted to when the Ipswich Star put the allegation to him.

Mr Arnold said that police have been in touch with him about the story but was adamant that all the money he raised has gone to the good causes. He added: “If I knew for one minute that it was a lie, I would not have gone to the papers, it is not in my nature.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokeswoman said: “Suffolk police can confirm that they have been contacted by a member of the public indicating that money has allegedly been raised for charities under false pretences. A man has been spoken to and enquiries are ongoing.”