David Parnes celebrated the birth of his first child last year, and his brother Michael was right beside him to meet his new niece. “So excited to hold my beautiful niece, India Parnes!” Michael shared on Instagram. “So proud of my sister in law @adrianabnosi and my little brother @davidbondst.”
David had even more reason to celebrate the birth of his daughter, as his brother was healthy enough to be by his side. Michael Parnes was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in 2016, and a long battle ensued, which Michael called “an adventure, to say the least.” Michael had apparently not been feeling like himself physically and was dealing with many splitting headaches for some time before he decided to get himself checked out in early 2016.
“Long story short, probably over the last couple of years I found it very difficult to make my mind up — it sounds silly; it was really frustrating,” Michael said, according to Bravo. “Just before New Year last year I felt very, very tired the whole time. I found myself being a bit comatose and I got a little bit unhealthy with my lifestyle and that felt odd. Thinking back, I must have been so ill that I couldn’t work out that this is dangerous and I should go to my doctor.”
After undergoing an MRI he learned of the tumor, which was on the left side of his brain, Bravo reports. “I would hope your brain and everyone we know and love has a brain that is straight when we look at it,” he said. “My one had collapsed on the lefthand side.”
Following his diagnosis, Michael underwent two brain surgeries, followed by a treatment plan including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. “It was difficult to keep calm and relaxed but you have to be and therefore I want to live,” he said. “There’s too much I want to do with my life. You have to have a positive mindset. It’s very important. It’s not something you can force on yourself. You just have to be. I want to live and then you feel excited to still be here. I value life so much. I wake up excited to be here.”
According to Bravo, Michael is speaking up about his journey to “help those who may be going through similar experiences.” His advice for anyone else going through a similar time is to “stay strong and don’t be scared.”
In addition to trying to remain positive throughout the ordeal, Michael credits his family, friends and loved ones for being by his side. “My brother has been incredible. My sisters, of which I have two, and my mom and dad and my step mom have been incredible support,” he said. “They always turn up, hang out with me, bring me some food — just basic stuff. And my friends have been incredible as well. I can’t tell you the support I’ve had. It helps to have friends and family.”
Michael is now healthy, and focused on remaining so; he back to his day-to-day routine, which includes his career (he currently owns properties in Miami and L.A. and used to run a bank he founded back in London, according to Bravo). “I really embrace that it changed my whole life. I feel much better,” he said. “I still have a bit of a march ahead of me and I’m still susceptible and I’ve got another [few] months left of chemotherapy, which can be quite challenging, but it’s worth it if it keeps me alive. It just takes sections out of your life.”