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Cancer forces Brian Kennedy to miss Shane McGuigan's wedding, but reconciles with ill brother

By Allan Preston

Published 05/09/2016

Brian Kennedy
Brian Kennedy
Bap Kennedy

Brian Kennedy has revealed how he was forced to miss the wedding of his friend Shane McGuigan after he was diagnosed with cancer.

And the Belfast singer has said he will do whatever it takes to beat the disease as he spoke of his reconciliation with his terminally ill brother Bap.

Brian (49) was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer and is two weeks into radiation treatment.

He spoke of his regret at missing Shane McGuigan's wedding, the son of his close friend and former world champion boxer Barry McGuigan, who is now training WBA super featherweight title holder Carl Frampton.

On Friday, Brian was due to fly to Majorca for Shane McGuigan's wedding.

"I had everything booked. I was supposed to go. I ended up sending them a video," he said.

"They all know now (I have cancer) but here I am in Dublin chatting after having radiation this afternoon and I was supposed to be in Majorca drinking Champagne, toasting my oldest friend's youngest son on his wedding day, and I couldn't go.

"And you think: 'Where would I rather be - lying on a slab getting radiation or out in Majorca having a second glass of Champagne?'

"I mean, it is a first world problem, of course, but at the same time I am acutely aware that you just don't know what is around the corner. And so, as much I was very depressed by the news that I had cancer, I am also feeling incredibly hopeful because I can see that I am in the best possible hands, and have incredible friends."

Two months earlier Brian was stunned to learn his older brother and fellow singer Bap (53) had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Tragically, Bap announced that he is now in hospice care and his diagnosis is terminal.

Brian admits he and his brother had been "estranged for more than two decades".

But after hearing Bap was ill he reached out via his wife Brenda.

"I didn't know whether my presence would be welcome, or stressful or not, and I didn't want to do that if someone is that sick. But Brenda came back to me and said, 'He is delighted to hear from you'," he said.

Soon afterwards he travelled back to his hometown of Belfast to visit Bap.

"I look okay and all the rest, but I am actually battling cancer. And I am trying to be as brave as possible about it and as educational as possible," he said.

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