Former Portsmouth Love Island star Demi Jones speaks out about her battle against cancer in emotional video with fellow islander Shaughna Phillips
FORMER Love Island star Demi Jones has revealed how going public with her cancer diagnosis has helped inspire others to get any unusual changes checked out.
The reality TV star was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, a rare type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland, a small gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones, in May.
But now the 22-year-old from Portsmouth has opened up about how she has helped to change lives by revealing her diagnosis, in an emotional video with friend and fellow Love Island contestant, Shaughna Phillips
Sitting down together, the pair of stars talk about the impact the disease has had on both their lives, with Shaughna’s dad dying from cancer in 2016.
They are sharing their stories to support Cancer Research UK’s Play Your Part campaign, which aims to raise awareness of cancer and encourage people to support the vital research that will beat it through donating, fundraising, volunteering or pledging a gift in a will.
‘Even though I’ve got this scar, it’s a small price to pay,’ Demi says in the video as she describes how she was alone when she first received her diagnosis.
After describing her initial shock at the news, Demi goes on to say she’s undergone successful surgery to remove the tumour, which was the size of a golf ball, and is due to have further radiation treatment.
After sharing her diagnosis on social media, Demi talks about the incredible response she’s had, telling Shaughna: ‘Now, I can’t go a day without people messaging me, saying they’ve got their lumps checked because of me, they’re going for an operation because of my story.’
Having developed a close friendship during their time on season six of the popular reality TV show, Shaughna and Demi have remained friends since.
Shaughna reveals that she was ‘terrified’ to hear of Demi’s diagnosis, having tragically lost her dad to pancreatic cancer in 2016 when he was 50 years old.
On supporting the Play Your Part campaign, Demi said: ‘I was so shocked when I was diagnosed with cancer and my first thoughts were “Is this going to kill me? Am I going to be really poorly?” but thanks to research, I have treatment options and am doing really well.
‘The response I’ve had since sharing my story has been incredible and I want to do everything I can to keep raising awareness.
‘Everyone knows their own body best and if something’s unusual for you or won’t go away, take charge and speak to your doctor. Sadly one-in-two people will get cancer in their lifetime so everyone could be affected in some way, whether themselves or a loved one. But all of us can support the life-saving research that will beat cancer – you could donate, fundraise or even volunteer. It all makes a huge difference against this awful disease.’
Shaughna added: ‘I lost my wonderful dad to cancer when he was only 50. I was devastated and miss him every day. When I heard about Demi being diagnosed, I was terrified for her but she’s doing so well and has shown such bravery in sharing her story and helping others.’
Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives and the charity has been at the heart of progress that has seen survival double in the last 40 years.
Today, two-in-four people survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
The Play Your Part campaign encourages people to support the charity’s work through
fundraising, donating, volunteering or pledging to leave a gift in a Will. To find out more about the effort and how to support life-saving research, visit cruk.org.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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