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Jonnie Irwin already bought his three sons' 18th birthday gifts so they remember him

Jonnie Irwin already bought his three sons' 18th birthday gifts so they remember him

The father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2020

A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he's already bought 18th birthday presents for his young sons as he won't be alive to celebrate with them.

The dad-of-three was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2020, at which point he was just given six months to live.

Treatment has helped him spend more time with his three children, Rex, three, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac, but Irwin has openly admitted that he doesn't know 'how long' he has left.

Speaking to Hello in November, Irwin explained: "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 and his wife, Jessica, have chosen not to tell their children about their dad's cancer yet, but he is already preparing for the day when he's no longer around.

He's started to have private conversations with his eldest son, Rex, telling him "You can do anything," and the father-of-three has revealed that he's already bought gifts for each of his three children to open on their 18th birthdays.

The presents will allow the three children to remember their father on their milestone day, as he has admitted that it 'pains' him to think his youngest children 'probably won't remember' him.

"You hear people say: 'I don't remember my dad. He died when I was so young'. I think about that and it breaks my heart because that's what I'm destined to be, really - a footnote in their life," he said.

"So I try to [leave] monuments of my love for them."

Jonnie Irwin shares three children with his wife.
@jonnieirwintv / Instagram

Among the 'monuments' Irwin is hoping to leave for his children is the family's home in Newcastle, where the presenter hopes to spend his final days.

"I really want to be at home and Jess is fine with that. And apparently, I'll go peacefully when I do go. I'll just require more and more sleep," he explained.

But while he's still around, Irwin has been doing up the home in a bid to make it a legacy for his children.

Speaking of his lounge, Irwin previously explained to Hello!: "This room is by my design and hopefully it stands up to the test of time. Don't you dare break that window up."

Though the time will come when the three children will need to know about their dad's illness, Irwin has acknowledged that it will be 'horrible news', adding: "Let's bury our heads in the sand for as long as possible."

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/jonnieirwintv

Topics: Health, TV And Film, Parenting