Place in the Sun host Jonnie Irwin opens up about parenting with terminal cancer
A heartbreaking health update
Place in the Sun host Jonnie Irwin shared a heartbreaking health update amid his terminal cancer diagnosis. The 49-year-old was given just six months to live when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, which has since spread to his brain, in August 2020, and publicly shared his prognosis in November.
Fragility following his diagnosis
Speaking about his diagnosis this week, Irwin told The Sun: “I’m weak now, fragile and my memory is terrible… but I’m still here.”
Struggles of parenthood
The TV star, who celebrated his 50th birthday seven months early this week, then revealed how living with terminal cancer has impacted his parenting duties. Irwin recalled how a recent kickabout with his son Rex almost “broke” him due to feeling “weaker” as a result of his cancer.
He explained: “I tried to play football with Rex the other day and was in goal and I couldn’t get near the ball. It was so frustrating. “I’m very sporty and suddenly it’s just like… it was as if it was the first time I’d attempted football. I felt like a granddad. And that broke me a bit.”
A family man
The presenter lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Jessica Holmes, 40, and their three children, three-year-old Rex and twins Rafa and Cormac, two. In the same interview, Irwin’s wife spoke about the moment he told her of his terminal diagnosis.
“He couldn’t stop apologising. He kept saying ‘sorry’ over and over and I just kept telling him it wasn’t his fault. I think I’m still in denial about a lot of it if I’m honest.”
Making the most of his time
Elsewhere, he recently spoke about his desire to “make memories” with his wife and their kids while he is still here, shortly after revealing his terminal diagnosis in November.
The host told Hello magazine: “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 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 capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad.”
Although Jonnie Irwin’s diagnosis is heartbreaking, his desire to make the most of the time he has left with his family is inspiring. We wish him and his family all the best during this difficult time.