Lorraine Kelly shares her heartbreak as ITV team member dies aged 33 from cancer battle two months after welcoming a baby boy
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Lorraine Kelly began her show on Monday with the sad news that ITV team member Hannah Hawkins has passed away aged 33.

The producer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and went into remission the following year. Tragically, two days before she welcomed her son Rory in August this year, she was told her cancer had returned.

Lorraine, 63, announced the tragic news to her viewers, saying: ‘We have some very sad news to share with you all. 

‘Our producer Hannah Hawkins died just before the weekend after discovering that her cancer had returned only a few months ago, just shortly after she gave birth to her beautiful boy Rory. 

‘She was amazing and raising awareness for breast cancer, including taking part in the coppafeel trek across the Sahara last year.’

Devastating: Lorraine Kelly began her show on Monday with the sad news that ITV team member Hannah Hawkins has passed away aged 33

Devastating: Lorraine Kelly began her show on Monday with the sad news that ITV team member Hannah Hawkins has passed away aged 33

Heartbreaking: The producer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and went into remission the following year. Tragically, two days before she welcomed her son Rory in August this year, she was told her cancer had returned

Heartbreaking: The producer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and went into remission the following year. Tragically, two days before she welcomed her son Rory in August this year, she was told her cancer had returned

Doctor Hilary Jones added: ‘Just 33 with a young son. It’s a tragedy which we are all coming to terms with.’

Lorraine continued: ‘It’s horrific for her husband and her wee baby. He will have the photos of his mum and will be told by everyone just what she was like. She was a lovely lovely woman and a much loved part of the team.’

Hannah’s husband Tom shared the heartbreaking news of Hannah’s passing on Instagram on Sunday.

He shared a photo of her cradling their son Rory, and wrote: ‘Hannah Hawkins 11.12.89 – 3.11.23

‘For someone who’s love language was gift giving, leaving us they day before my birthday was really not the one. I wish you’d kept the receipt.

‘There is no way I can pay tribute or sum you up in one post. In fact I could write an essay on how unfair this is. That you miss out on seeing Rory growing up, that he won’t be able to feel the love of his mum, and that this terrible illness took hold so quickly.

‘But that’s not how you saw it. The remarkable person that you were, the phrase you used so many times over the last few weeks – and it set me off every time; “I’m so at peace with the life I’ve lived” is something we can all admire. The fact that right until the end you were putting others feelings first and making us all laugh was just you to a tee.

‘Your life can be defined simply by love, friendship and strength and I’ll make sure these are cornerstones of Rory’s life. I want him to know how much everyone loved his mum, and how much love you gave. How you would say to me in any of my dark moments, “remember you are so loved”.

Heartfelt tribute: Hannah's husband Tom shared the heartbreaking news of Hannah's passing on Instagram on Sunday

Heartfelt tribute: Hannah’s husband Tom shared the heartbreaking news of Hannah’s passing on Instagram on Sunday

Tragic: Tom was flooded with messages from people sharing their condolences, with Lorraine writing: 'The saddest news. Hannah was a very special young woman and I was very lucky to work with her'

Tragic: Tom was flooded with messages from people sharing their condolences, with Lorraine writing: ‘The saddest news. Hannah was a very special young woman and I was very lucky to work with her’

‘I want him to know that you were someone who could walk into a room of strangers and come out having made friends for life, and that our social calendar was always so full we physically couldn’t fit in everyone we wanted to see. 

‘I also want him to know the bravery you showed everyday, facing into anything life threw at you with strength of a warrior, a smile on your face and laughter in your eyes.

‘This is the legacy you leave for our little boy, this and so much more. Thank you for 13 amazing years. even brighter than the moon. ❤️ forever’.

Tom was flooded with messages from people sharing their condolences, with Lorraine writing: ‘The saddest news.

‘Hannah was a very special young woman and I was very lucky to work with her. Cannot begin to imagine the depth of your grief and sorrow Tom.

‘She did so much to help raise awareness of breast cancer with her hard work and brilliant contribution to our #changeandcheck campaign. 

‘We will be forever grateful to her – she helped save lives. Sending all my love to you and baby Rory.’

Giovanna Fletcher also commented, saying: ‘Tom, I’m so sorry to read this. There are no words. It’s simply s**t and cruel. Thinking of you and Rory right now, and will be thinking of Hannah always. Xx’

Vick Hope penned: ‘I’m so so sorry Tom, sending love and strength to you and Rory, this is so cruel and unfair, but so beautifully put: Hannah was and is so loved, and put so much love into the world. Thinking of you and the inspiring legacy she leaves’.

While fellow ITV colleague Dr Amir Khan wrote: ‘Im so sad and I’m so sorry for the loss of this beautiful incredible woman, she was pure and simple joy. You have all my love’.

New job: Hannah started working at Lorraine in September 2022 having previously worked at Capital Radio

New job: Hannah started working at Lorraine in September 2022 having previously worked at Capital Radio

So sad: Hannah has documented her battle with cancer, revealing she was first diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer during the Covid lockdowns

So sad: Hannah has documented her battle with cancer, revealing she was first diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer during the Covid lockdowns 

Hannah started working at Lorraine in September 2022 having previously worked at Capital Radio. 

Hannah has documented her battle with cancer, revealing she was first diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer during the Covid lockdowns. 

How to self-examine your breasts:  

Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here’s what you should look for:

  • Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor’s attention:

  • Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
  • A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
  • Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Step 2: Now raise your arms and look for the same changes

Step 3: While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood)

Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together

Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting

Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower

Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4

Source: breastcancer.org   

Triple-negative breast cancer is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that does not have any of the receptors that are commonly found. 

The mother-of-one was diagnosed after finding a lump in her breast and noticing discharge. 

She then underwent one round of IVF, 23 rounds of chemo, one lumpectomy and nine radiation sessions before being declared cancer-free. 

After receiving the all-clear, Hannah underwent a charity trek across the Sahara to raise funds for CoppaFeel! and continued to raise awareness of breast cancer on her social media pages. 

In August this year, Hannah and Tom welcomed their son Rory but two days before giving birth she received the devastating news that her cancer had returned.

In an Instagram post last month she shared a selfie inside the hospital as she told her followers: ‘Well. This is certainly not where I planned spending maternity leave, where’s the coffee shops & rhyme time? 

‘2 days before our sleep thief Rory was born we were told the worse news you’ll ever hear. It’s back & it’s back with a vengeance. It wants the last laugh. 

‘We were throw into talk of induction, to meet our baby 3 weeks earlier than planned so I could crack on with scans & plans. We sat in the hospital knowing we were about to meet our baby & life was going to change in more ways than we could have ever predicted. 

’30hrs after meeting Rory I was was wheeled to the CT scanner, motherhood and cancer patient life had begun hand in hand. (Getting on a CT bed after a c section was no joke).

‘There are no words tbh. We are trundling through newborn life (why does no one tell you how hard it is?! I owe apologies to all my friends with children, I thought I supported you, it was not enough) with a dollop of hospital appointments, scans and a&e trips thrown in for fun. 

‘New mum guilt is through the roof being away from Rory so much, but I know it’s for him. 

‘Today is my 3rd bag of poison (chemo) & I’ve had a dash of immunotherapy (a small win in all this that I qualified for it) so far. I feel… Well I have no choice but to feel optimistic. 

‘We are doing what we need to do to stop these tumours in their tracks, we’re taking the little control we have, that’s all we can do. That & pray to all gods that it’s working.

‘It’s hard to know what’s newborn exhaustion or chemo but I’m doing ok.’

Awful: In August this year, Hannah and Tom welcomed their son Rory but two days before giving birth she received the devastating news that her cancer had returned

Awful: In August this year, Hannah and Tom welcomed their son Rory but two days before giving birth she received the devastating news that her cancer had returned

Donation: Hannah's former co-worker and Capital Radio presenter has set up a legacy fund for her that will benefit her son Rory: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HannahHawkins

Donation: Hannah’s former co-worker and Capital Radio presenter has set up a legacy fund for her that will benefit her son Rory: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HannahHawkins 

Hannah continued:  ‘So if you’ve messaged congratulating us about Rory saying “how are are you?” And you’ve been ignored; this is why. It’s an impossible question. I repeat, there are no words. (Despite me managing this essay!) I’m useless on my phone these days, but please know your well wishes were/are appreciated ❤️

‘It’s corny as hell. But take life seriously – & I don’t mean be serious, be silly, search out the joy, do that adventure, make that brave decision – you’re only here once & none of us know how long for. 

‘I’ll try & keep updating; writing really bloody helped last time so hopefully it does this time, even though the words are harder to find.  Lots of love xxxx.’ 

Hannah’s former co-worker and Capital Radio presenter has set up a legacy fund for her that will benefit her son Rory. 

To donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HannahHawkins 

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than 55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes 266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?

What is breast cancer?

It comes from a cancerous cell which develops in the lining of a duct or lobule in one of the breasts.

When the breast cancer has spread into surrounding tissue it is called ‘invasive’. Some people are diagnosed with ‘carcinoma in situ’, where no cancer cells have grown beyond the duct or lobule.

Most cases develop in those over the age of 50 but younger women are sometimes affected. Breast cancer can develop in men, though this is rare.

Staging indicates how big the cancer is and whether it has spread. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

The cancerous cells are graded from low, which means a slow growth, to high, which is fast-growing. High-grade cancers are more likely to come back after they have first been treated.

What causes breast cancer?

A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply ‘out of control’.

Although breast cancer can develop for no apparent reason, there are some risk factors that can increase the chance, such as genetics.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The usual first symptom is a painless lump in the breast, although most are not cancerous and are fluid filled cysts, which are benign. 

The first place that breast cancer usually spreads to is the lymph nodes in the armpit. If this occurs you will develop a swelling or lump in an armpit.

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  • Initial assessment: A doctor examines the breasts and armpits. They may do tests such as a mammography, a special x-ray of the breast tissue which can indicate the possibility of tumours.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is when a small sample of tissue is removed from a part of the body. The sample is then examined under a microscope to look for abnormal cells. The sample can confirm or rule out cancer.

If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread. For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest X-ray.

How is breast cancer treated?

Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments are used.

  • Surgery: Breast-conserving surgery or the removal of the affected breast depending on the size of the tumour.
  • Radiotherapy: A treatment which uses high energy beams of radiation focused on cancerous tissue. This kills cancer cells, or stops them from multiplying. It is mainly used in addition to surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: A treatment of cancer by using anti-cancer drugs which kill cancer cells, or stop them from multiplying.
  • Hormone treatments: Some types of breast cancer are affected by the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen, which can stimulate the cancer cells to divide and multiply. Treatments which reduce the level of these hormones, or prevent them from working, are commonly used in people with breast cancer.

How successful is treatment?

The outlook is best in those who are diagnosed when the cancer is still small, and has not spread. Surgical removal of a tumour in an early stage may then give a good chance of cure.

The routine mammography offered to women between the ages of 50 and 70 means more breast cancers are being diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

For more information visit breastcancernow.org or call its free helpline on 0808 800 6000



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