As she battles breast cancer for the second time, Sky News Sports presenter Jacquie Beltrao has received overwhelming support from celebrity friends including Charlotte Hawkins, Eamonn Holmes, Judy Murray and Dermot O'Leary, as well as her 90K followers on social media.
"It means the world to me," she says as she reveals for the first time in an exclusive interview and family photoshoot with HELLO! that she has defied medical odds in round two of her fight against the disease.
WATCH: Jacquie Beltrao opens up about daughter's thoughtful gift during treatment
The 55-year-old mother-of-three tells how last week a scan showed her cancer has already shrunk to half its original size. "Neither my doctors nor I could believe it," Jacquie, who was diagnosed with aggressive grade 3 stage 4 breast cancer three months ago, tells HELLO! "I was stunned and so relieved."
This extraordinary result came halfway through her 16-week course of chemotherapy. "I was told that even if the tumour inside my breast had remained the same size, that would be a good result," she says. "But to find that it had shrunk was unheard of."
The presenter has been supported by her family and friends
The former Olympic gymnast, who underwent successful chemotherapy and a single mastectomy following her first diagnosis of grade 2, stage 2 breast cancer in 2013, assumed the cancer would never come back. "I didn't realise it could return in the breast tissue that's left," she says. "Facing it again felt like a kick in the stomach."
After finding a lump the size of a grain of rice in her collarbone in May, tests revealed a virulent form of the disease had spread. "When I was told it was incurable, I burst into tears and thought, 'That's it, I'm going to die,'" she says. "I felt so sad that I'd never go to my daughter's wedding, see my sons graduate, or become a grandma."
Jacquie with her children
Jacquie, whose routine scan in January was clear, is certain her cancer was triggered by anxiety during lockdown. "I'm convinced this was a factor," she tells HELLO! However, after her latest scan, Jacquie is feeling positive about the future. "I'm not out of the woods yet," she says, "but my doctors have reassured me that it's possible to keep the cancer under control."
To read more of this interview, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!