Superfan Kayleigh backing brain charity in memory of her friend Tom Parker

Kayleigh Henshaw and Tom Parker

Kayleigh Henshaw and Tom Parker - Credit: Kayleigh Henshaw and Tom Parker

A massive Tom Parker fan who even celebrated her 18th birthday with him and The Wanted is taking part in a Brain Tumour Research fundraiser in his memory.  

Tom died on March 30 at the age of 33. 

Kayleigh Henshaw, of Chatteris is an original fan of The Wanted, having supported them for the past 12 years. 

The 29-year-old met the band a few times and received a surprise visit from them on her 18th birthday. 

Now she wants to continue Tom Parker’s fight to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research. 

Since Tom’s diagnosis in October 2020, he helped to raise awareness of the devastation caused by brain tumours.  

Kayleigh will take part in the Brain Tumour Research Jog 26.2 Miles in May Challenge. 

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She said: “I’m not active and I don’t run at all so this is definitely a challenge for me, but I’m determined and want to raise as much money as possible.  

“I’ve set my fundraising target at £500 but am hoping to absolutely smash that.” 

The Wanted with Kayleigh Henshaw, Owen Miller, Matt Henshaw, Abi Miller and Kieran Henshaw

The Wanted with Kayleigh Henshaw, Owen Miller, Matt Henshaw, Abi Miller and Kieran Henshaw - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

She added: “I’m trying to do what he would be doing if he was still here, raising money and awareness for brain tumour research.  

“He was a force to be reckoned with. If he believed in something he did something about it.” 

Kayleigh’s ‘fanship’ and friendship with Tom and the group once extended to them dropping in on her 

"Tom Parker and Max George even spent the night at my gran’s house,” she said.

Tom Parker and Kayleigh Henshaw in summer 2010

Tom Parker and Kayleigh Henshaw in summer 2010 - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

 “The first time I met them was at school when they were doing a school tour to try and get a bit of a following. 

“I loved their music but after meeting them and realising how nice they were, I just wanted to meet them again and again. 

“They also remembered me; when they came to my 18th, as soon as they met my mum, they knew who the party was for. 

Tom Parker and Kayleigh Henshaw

Tom Parker and Kayleigh Henshaw - Credit: Brain Tumour Research

“The next time I met them was when they were doing a radio tour in Lincoln after getting a number one with All Time Low, which is still one of my favourite songs. 

“The day he died, I finished work at 6pm and saw I had lots of text messages from friends saying ‘it’s Tom, he’s gone’ and I just burst into tears,” she said.