Former deputy PM Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez have revealed their eldest son has been battling blood cancer.
The pair described telling Antonio, now 15, he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma as “one of the toughest things that we have ever done”.
After treatment on the NHS at London’s University College Hospital, Antonio is in remission but Mr Clegg described his child’s therapy as a “very brutal thing” as he suffered hair loss, vomiting and fatigue.
Antonio was diagnosed in September last year after discovering a small, painless lump in his neck, which led to four monthly cycles of chemotherapy and treatment with heavy steroids.
Mr Clegg, a former MP and ex-Liberal Democrat leader, told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly: “His lymphoma was all over his chest and his neck and he gets tested every three months, I think for a couple of years, so there is always a slight spike of anxiety with us every three months but basically he is on the road to recovery.
“Interestingly the thing he was most concerned about was sort of falling behind his classmates.
“His anxiety was more about keeping up with his classmates, keeping up at school. So it was very impressive actually.”
Spanish-born lawyer Ms Gonzalez Durantez said: “We dealt with it by carrying on and trying to keep things as close to the routine that we had beforehand and also being very open.
“I think that probably us telling him is one of the toughest things that we have ever done, the following day he went to school, he stood up and he told everybody ‘I have cancer’.
“That’s the way he dealt with it but other children and other families deal with it in a different way, you have to find your way.”
The couple have two other sons, Alberto and Miguel, who they revealed had taken the news well.
Mr Clegg and Ms Gonzalez Durantez, who described themselves as “incredibly lucky” Antonio’s treatment worked, are raising awareness of Bloodwise.
The charity will launch a report on Wednesday urging more research into less toxic treatments for children with cancer.
(c) Sky News 2017: Ex-deputy PM Nick Clegg reveals son’s ‘very brutal’ cancer battle