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Health And Family

'Unshakeable spirit': Tina Turner battled intestinal cancer, strokes before her death — reports

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'Unshakeable spirit': Tina Turner battled intestinal cancer, strokes before her death â reports
Tina Turner
PA / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The world is still reeling from the death of "Queen of Rock N' Roll" Tina Turner, who passed away last May 24 at the age of 83.

Statements from her family and publicist Bernard Doherty revealed that Tina "died peacefully" at her Switzerland home, having been a Swiss citizen since 2013, and no clear cause of death given but of a "long illness."

Tina has been open about her health issues, which began during the height of her career back in 1978 when she was diagnosed with hypertension before turning 40 years old.

"I can't remember ever getting an explanation about what high blood pressure means or how it affects the body," Tina previously told the European Health Kidney Alliance. "I considered high blood pressure my normal. Hence, I didn't really try to control it."

High blood pressure led to Tina suffering a stroke in 2009, when she also learned that her kidneys lost 35% of their function.

The singer attempted clinical and homeopathic medication, which only worsened her disease as she also struggled with fatigue, nausea, and irritability. For nine months, Tina was on dialysis treatment.

Just three weeks after Tina married German music executive Erwin Bach, who she was romantically with for 27 years, in 2013, she suffered yet another stroke and this time, fears of paralysis entered her mind.

Related: 'Simply the best': Stars mourn passing of rock queen Tina Turner

"That's when I discovered I couldn't stand on my own... I was too embarrassed to call for help. Legs for days and muscles of steel from dancing, but I didn't have the strength to get up," Tina wrote in her 2018 memoir "My Love Story," thankfully being able to walk again soon after.

Tina was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and a year later, Erwin donated one of his kidneys so the singer could have a transplant.

"When the doctors said, 'Both kidneys are out,' I said, 'I guess it's my time to go'," Tina told Oprah Winfrey in 2018. "I'd lived long enough, and I didn't want to be on a machine for the rest of my life. My mother and sister were both gone. But then Erwin chimed in, very emotional, and said, 'I don't want another partner.' He was 150% ready to give me his kidney."

The transplant was successful but Tina still took medication and experienced nausea, dizziness, and was forgetful as she frequented the hospital.

"True and lasting happiness comes from having an unshakeable, hopeful spirit that can shine, no matter what," Tina told The Guardian in 2020. "That's what I've achieved, and it is my greatest wish to help others become truly happy as well."

Tina was a 12-time Grammy winner, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (with Ike Turner in 1991, as a soloist in 2021), received Kennedy Center honors in 2005, and has sold over 150 million records.

Tributes poured in following news of her death including from peers such as Mick Jagger, Gloria Gaynor, Mariah Carey, Rick Astley, Forest Whitaker, and Angela Bassett who portrayed Tina in the 1993 biopic "What's Love Got to Do With It" and garnered an Academy Award nomination.

RELATED: Kris Aquino begins taking anti-cancer medication for possible six autoimmune conditions

CANCER

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

HYPERTENSION

KIDNEY TRANSPLANT

STROKE

TINA TURNER

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