“Tiny Pretty Things” actor and ballet dancer Barton Cowperthwaite said he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Cowperthwaite, 31, was taken to the emergency room after he had a seizure Wednesday, he said on TikTok. After a CAT scan and an MRI, he was diagnosed with “at least a stage 2 glioma,” which is “about the size of a lemon,” he said.
Gliomas are the most common type of malignant primary brain tumor in adults, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“When gliomas are diagnosed, they are graded from 1 to 4, with the higher numbers indicating a worse prognosis,” the institute said, adding lower-grade gliomas occur when young adults are in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
In an Instagram post to his 183,000 followers, Cowperthwaite said Friday that “the only course of treatment for something like this is brain surgery.”
Cowperthwaite played Oren Lennox in one season of the 2020 Netflix drama “Tiny Pretty Things,” which follows young adults in an elite ballet academy.
He was also set to appear in James McLure’s off-Broadway dark comedy “Lone Star,” which is scheduled to premiere this month. He said he was days away from starting rehearsals when he was diagnosed.
Kylie Jefferson and Barton Cowperthwaite in “Tiny Pretty Things.” Sophie Giraud / Netflix “I find it hilariously ironic that I was diagnosed the exact same day the SAG strike ended,” Cowperthwaite said on a GoFundMe page he started to raise money for his medical expenses and other costs he and his family may incur.
His fiancée, jewelry designer Sophie Thoerner, has accompanied him on his hospital visits, he said.
This week, he is meeting with neurosurgeons around New York City, including teams at Lenox Hill Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University.
“Docs so far have been confident that they’ll be able to remove most of the tumor, and that after a successful operation, and some rehab, I will be operating like my (amazing, talented, brilliant, hilarious) self,” Cowperthwaite said in Friday’s Instagram post. “That being said it seems like scans and check ups will be apart of my life for its lengthy remainder.”
Natalie Kainz is a news associate for NBC News.