'I want to make memories': 'Escape to the Country' star Jonnie Irwin reveals he has terminal cancer
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES: TV presenter Jonnie Irwin revealed that he had been told he had six months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2020. In an interview with Hello! magazine, the 'A Place in the Sun' star said that he has been secretly battling cancer which has spread to his brain.
The 48-year-old kept his illness private until recently to spread awareness and garner funds for research. Irwin spoke along with his Jessica, 40, with whom he has three children, Rex, three, and two-year-old twins, Rafa and Cormac, about his diagnosis in the hopes of inspiring others to "make the most of every day."
TV presenter Jonnie Irwin reveals terminal cancer diagnosis https://t.co/CKscrZIBVk— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 14, 2022
"I don’t know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it. I set little markers – things I want to be around for. I got into the habit of saying, ‘Don’t plan ahead because I might not be well enough.’ But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart," Irwin stated, as per DailyMail.
BBC's 'Escape to the Country' star got his first warning sign when he was filming 'A Place in the Sun' for Channel 4 in Italy in August 2020, as his vision got blurry while he was driving. Doctors soon revealed that he had lung cancer which had spread to the brain. Irwin said that the cancer drugs and chemotherapy kept him alive while he continued to work as much as possible.
"Within a week of flying back from filming, I was being given six months to live. I had to go home and tell my wife, who was looking after our babies, that she was pretty much on her own. That was devastating. All I could do was apologize to her. I felt so responsible," he said, as reported by the outlet. The couple currently resides in Newcastle after having moved there from Hertfordshire in 2020.
While keeping the illness a secret for more than two years except for his family and close friends, Irwin has now opened up in hopes to inspire the public. "One day, this is going to catch up with me but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible. I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family," as per The Guardian.
In the interview, Irwin also urged people to take out a life insurance, which he also opted for when his twins were born, saying, "That has helped so much and when I leave this planet, I’ll do so knowing Jess and the boys are in a house that is fully paid off and there’s a bit of money in the bank for them to live off."