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Jonnie Irwin says he won't tell his children this Christmas will likely be his last

Emily Brown

Published 
| Last updated 

Jonnie Irwin says he won't tell his children this Christmas will likely be his last

Featured Image Credit: ITV/@jonnieirwintv/Instagram

A Place In The Sun host Jonnie Irwin has decided not to tell his three sons that this Christmas might be his last.

The dad, who is just 49 years old, announced in November that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2020, at which point he was told that he had just 'six months' to live.

Treatment including chemotherapy has helped prolong Irwin's prognosis, but he may not live to see next Christmas as he described himself as 'hurtling towards where we don't want to be'.

Irwin has three children under the age of four. Credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Irwin has three children under the age of four. Credit: WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
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Irwin is looking forward to celebrating this weekend with his wife Jess and their children Rex, who turns four on Christmas Day, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac.

The family is hosting Christmas this year, with Jess' parents and her brother coming for dinner along with Irwin's friend Stuart, his two sisters and their husbands.

Though Rex is approaching an age where he could better understand his father's situation, the parents have decided against raising the topic.

"Not yet," Irwin explained to the Daily Mail, adding: "When I'm more frail or in bed for days we might. If you have 20 days left, why spend them in mourning and confusion? Why not just have 15 days of pure, blissful ignorance and five days of knowing the facts? I'm not looking forward to the chat with Rex. We're still thinking about it. I've learnt that it's best to do nothing if you're unsure."

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Irwin has tried to keep things normal for the kids. Credit: @jonnieirwintv/Instagram
Irwin has tried to keep things normal for the kids. Credit: @jonnieirwintv/Instagram

The dad insisted Christmas is 'already extra special' for his three boys, so the parents 'won't be filling the house with toys for the boys because it's not good for them'.

"Of course we want to spoil them, but everyone else does too," he explained.

The parents plan to focus on making memories with their kids, with hopes to take them to Peppa Pig World and Legoland for some fun family time.

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Following his initial prognosis, Irwin was given a 'wonder drug' which the doctors hoped would 'keep [the cancer] at bay for a bit longer'.

However, he explained: "It's come back so violently, it's even surprised the doctors."

Jess and Jonnie are hoping to make memories with their kids. Credit: @jonnieirwintv/Instagram
Jess and Jonnie are hoping to make memories with their kids. Credit: @jonnieirwintv/Instagram

Irwin is set to turn 50 in November 2023, but the family has decided to celebrate the milestone in January to make sure he can enjoy it.

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He described himself as being 'quite strong' mentally, but admitted 'you find yourself drifting... towards the future'.

"The weirdest thing is, if you're doing something really enjoyable you get an instant prick: don't get too happy. Don't laugh. Down the road something really bad is going to happen.

"It keeps you in check. I struggle with this, if there's a God why is He putting me through this? If it's part of His plan, it's a s**t plan," he said.

Irwin explained that when he was diagnosed, his goal was to 'get to the end of the year, then try to sneak in another year'.

Topics: TV And Film, Health

Emily Brown
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