A Place In The Sun's Jonnie Irwin has kept terminal diagnosis a secret from children
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A Place in the Sun host Jonnie Irwin says he hasn’t told his young children about his terminal cancer diagnosis.
The 48-year-old TV presenter was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020, and this week revealed he had been told he has just six months to live.
The dad-of-three has said he hasn’t shared his devastating prognosis with children Rex, aged three, and two-year-old twins Cormac and Rafa.
During an interview with HELLO! magazine, he said Rex had started to make fun of his hair loss, but has kept the sad truth from him.
He told the publication: "He doesn't need to know yet.
"We make fun of my hair - he calls it my 'spiky head' - but as far as he's concerned, his dad is normal and why would I shatter that innocence?”
Jonnie went on to say that he has been teaching Rex how to ride a bike and spending as much time as possible with the twins and his wife Jessica.
But he admitted the cancer does make him tired and he has to take time out, which he finds hard.
"Yes, it kills me when I have to sit down and watch someone else take over because I'm tired,” he said.
Jonnie had previously kept quiet about his illness, but has since decided to share his story with the public.
He said: "I hope that by shaking that monkey off and talking to HELLO!, I might inspire people who are living with life-limiting prospects to make the most of every day; to help them see that you can live a positive life, even though you are dying."
He added: "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.'”
Jonnie said he first realised something was wrong in 2020 when he began to experience blurred vision.
Tests revealed that he had lung cancer and was given the devastating news that it had spread to his brain and he had just six months to live.
Cancer medication and chemotherapy have prolonged his prognosis, but he says he knows the illness will one day ‘catch up’ with him.
But until then he plans to tick off a bucket list of experiences while spending as much time as possible with his family.