TikTok Creator Harrison Gilks Has Passed Away at the Age of 18

Tatayana Yomary - Author

Apr. 6 2023, Published 10:58 a.m. ET

Sadly, Canadian TikTok creator Harrison Gilks, best known for going viral with his interesting “bucket list” series, has passed away. He was just 18 years old.

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Harrison, who amassed over 320,000 followers on the short-form video app, had his death announced in an online obituary by his family members after his death on March 30, 2023. As the TikTok world mourns the loss of Harrison, many are wondering what exactly happened.

What was Harrison Gilks’s cause of death? Here’s what we know.

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Harrison Gilks’s cause of death is linked to rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of terminal cancer.

Unfortunately, Harrison’s death was due to his rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue — specifically skeletal muscle tissue or sometimes hollow organs such as the bladder or uterus.” Unfortunately, “RMS can occur at any age, but it most often affects children.”

The Gilks family shared a touching tribute to Harrison in an online obituary.

“Harrison was an inspiration to many,” the obituary reads. “His smile could light up a room, his laugh could cheer anyone up. He was our sunshine on a cloudy day. He always found good in every situation and touched the lives of many with his messages of hope and encouragement through his TikTok videos, where he chronicled and shared his journey with cancer with the world.”

Harrison's brother, David, also thanked followers for their support on March 30, via a TikTok video posted on Harrison's page.

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“I’m making this video because Harrison sadly passed away a few hours ago," David says. "He was not in pain when he passed away, and he was with his family. I just wanted to come on here and say thank you to everybody around the world for their support and encouragement. It really did mean a lot to him.”

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Per the obituary page, Harrison’s funeral service will be held on April 6, 2023 at Douglas Baptist Church in New Brunswick, Canada. A celebration of life following the funeral service is set to follow, but the details have not been disclosed to the public.

The Gilks family shared that “there will be no visitation by request.” Additionally, the funeral service will be live-streamed through the church’s YouTube page.

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The family also requests “in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Fredericton Community Foundation- Harrison Gilks Fund.” Folks can also share their condolences through www.yorkfh.com.

Harrison Gilks shared details about his diagnosis and treatment on TikTok.

On July 27, 2022, Harrison took a moment to respond to a comment inquiring about how he found out he had cancer.

“I didn’t really. I had no clue what it would be,” Harrison said about not knowing to get tested for it. “The symptoms I had were just that I couldn’t pee. I could, but it was very slow and that progressively got worse.”

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Harrison shared that he consulted with his doctor about it, however, his doctor initially thought that he had a urinary tract infection (UTI). So she proceeded to treat the UTI.

Unfortunately, Harrison shared that he was on UTI medication, but of course, the treatment was not successful. Harrison's condition worsened and he said that “his doctor didn’t do anything about it.”

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After going to the emergency room on three occasions — one resulting in prostate surgery — Harrison was finally diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma on Nov. 15, 2020.

Harrison says doctors found cancer “the size of a grapefruit in his prostate” and a few small tumors in his lungs.

He went on to do a round of chemotherapy in December of that year.

On June 6, 2022, Harrison posted a video on TikTok sharing that he had a terminal cancer recurrence.

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“I found out today that I have terminal cancer,” Harrison shared. “For those of you on here that know me, you probably know that I’ve had a battle going on with it for the last little while now. I was good, I thought … cancer-free for a little bit, but unfortunately, it came back.”

Harrison created a “bucket list” series as a way to keep followers updated on his health.

Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Harrison Gilks.

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