By John Ensor •
Updated: 20 Nov 2023 • 9:41
Jonnie Irwin, pictured in October.
If there’s one person that defines resilience in the face of adversity it has to be Jonnie Irwin, best known as the presenter of ‘A Place in the Sun.’
Over the last 12 months, the former TV presenter has shared a deeply personal account of his health struggles and provided inspiration and hope to many. On Saturday, November 18, Johnnie celebrated his 50th birthday, in Mijas on the Costa del Sol.
During Jonnie’s lowest points, reaching his half-century was something he never thought he would see. Accompanied by his wife Jess and their three sons, he gave an interview from Spain, writes Metro.
Irwin, who publicly confirmed his terminal cancer diagnosis last November, experienced severe health complications over the summer. A lung tumour, which had spread to his brain, led him to be admitted to a hospice due to intense pain and subsequent intestinal issues.
Jonnie recalled, ‘They sent me home to die but I slowly started to get food in me and I started to feel stronger and stronger and I had a really good summer.’
He also went on to explain how vital it was to remain positive and maintain the belief that he will survive his battle with cancer, ‘I can beat this.’
In Costa del Sol, Jonnie is cherishing precious moments with his family, including four-year-old Rex and three-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac.
Reflecting on this unexpected birthday celebration, he shared, ‘I feel really privileged to be able to celebrate my birthday looking at blue skies and with sand between my toes. I had an early birthday party at the start of the year because I didn’t think I’d make it.
‘It was like being at my own wake; lots of fun, lots of dancing. But here I am. I view it as a complete triumph.’
Jonnie’s recent departure from the UK was announced via a video shared on his Instagram, capturing moments at the airport with his family.
Despite recent treatment for jaundice, Jonnie expressed optimism and defiance, stating, ‘I woke up this morning feeling a bit better, I’m still slightly jaundiced but I’m about to jump on a flight to southern Spain.’
His oncologist’s response to his travel plans was candid: ‘there are hospitals in Spain and you don’t play by the rules anyway.’ Jonnie concluded: ‘Me and family, we wake up tomorrow to blue skies in southern Spain.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Good luck to you Jonny enjoy your holiday all the best ❤️
Way you go Jonnie.keep on fighting.enjoy every single moment with your beautiful family.xx
Keep going on this incredible journey, good luck,Happy Birthday and many Happy returns
Such a inspirational and incredible person, you keep fighting and beat it, you have got this keep proving them wrong keep fighting we are behind you and fight with you. Happy birthday and here’s to the next xx cheers
Enjoy jonnie have a Brill time x
Enjoy every minute of your holiday with your lovely family and Keep fighting Jonnie,
Have a Brilliant 50th Birthday 🥳 Jonnie with your wonderful family in Spain. You really deserve this 👌 xxx
Firstly happy 50 th Jonnie hope you had a great day with your lovely family and your looking great hope your feeling it also I saw your picture with Jasmin and you did look fantastic I hope and pray you will get well.Take care Jonnie god bless you and your family
Enjoy 😀😎 Happy Birthday 😀 Jonnie wish you all the very best to you and your family XX
If anybody can beat their cancer, you can Jonnie. I wish you and all your family the best. Keep it up Jonnie. We love you. A Belated Happy Birthday.
Happy 50th Jonnie, fantastic you had a great holiday with your family in the sunshine. you`ve always been my favourite presenter on Place in the Sun, well maybe with the exception of Danni Menzies and Laura Hamilton, I`m sure you will understand why. Keep on fighting pal!
Happy birthday Jonnie..live and love every day of your life shared with your lovely family..
Enjoy every day with your lovely family and good luck..keep strong..fight it disgracefully with lots of fun..sunshine and like you said…sand between your toes..
Jonnie keep on enjoying life & breaking all the rules💙your an inspiration to so many xxxxx
Jonny….don’t look at the 5 year survival stats….when the medics have run out of road – all you need is positive affirmations, self advocacy, holistic healing and grit determination.
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