Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and his fiancée Michelle Kennedy have revealed their eight-month-old son Valentino has been declared cancer-free after battling the disease for most of his life. Celebrating the news in an exclusive interview and photoshoot with Hello!, Jean-Christophe and Michelle also reveal that their precious son is now back home, having finished his hospital treatment, with his parents and older brothers Jean, eight, and four-year-old Jacques.
Jean-Christophe Novelli with his fiancée Michelle Kennedy and son Valentino
In the interview, Jean-Christophe recalls the family’s heartache as they watched Valentino go through grueling chemotherapy treatments. “His only communication – he couldn’t talk at that age – was his sad expression and tears,” says Jean-Christophe. “If I could have swapped places with him, I would have done it like a shot.
“The only thing I could do was stay strong for my family. But what was happening to our baby made me think about my life. “I had everything I’d ever wanted: a family I love, a job I adore, my own cookery academy and a home in the best country in the world to me, the place of my childhood dreams. But suddenly, I was faced with the worst situation possible: my youngest child’s life was at stake. In my prayers I asked God, ‘What are you doing? What’s going to happen?’ But I didn’t get an answer for a long time.”
Thankfully, the Valentino’s health is much improved. “He never smiled before; now he laughs all the time,” Michelle tells Hello! “When his two older brothers come home from school, the first thing they do is bomb upstairs to see him. His face lights up and he gets really excited when they rush in. He bounces up and down, eager to interact with them, and they love each other to bits. With Valentino home, it’s going to be a fabulous summer for us all.”
Unbelievably, the family also faced another health crisis when Michelle, 41, was rushed to hospital with deep vein thrombosis in February. Thankfully, she was released from hospital after 12 days. “We had a winter of misery,” says Michelle. “Now the sun is shining and little Valentino will be enjoying every minute.” Read the full article in HELLO! out now.