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Claire's agony in stepchild's cancer death

RTE broadcaster Claire Byrne has revealed that she is still struggling to cope with the loss of her stepdaughter to cancer.

The Daily Show presenter said losing 19-year-old Hannah, the daughter of her ex-husband Richard Johnson, to a rare cancer that affects teenage girls -- small cell carcinoma of the ovary -- is still very painful.

"Hannah's death is very recent so it's something I'm working through on a daily basis even though I wasn't her parent... her blood parents are in my thoughts," said Claire.

The RTE star spoke of her heartache over the death of her stepdaughter, who had been a flower girl at her wedding to Johnson in Dublin in 2003.



MENINGITIS

The couple split up after a three-year marriage but Claire remained close to her stepdaughter.

Claire said Hannah's death is "very fresh" and while she hosted the Maxtravaganza Ball, which raises funds to buy hospital equipment for children's wards, she said she kept her professional MC job separate to her own private grief.

The presenter hosted the event for the Baby Max Wings of Love Fund, which was founded by Darina Ni Chuinneagain and Declan Donnelly following the

death of their son Max ten years ago to Meningitis B and Meningococcal Septicaemia.

"Hannah had cancer so the circumstances are very different to the work that Declan and Darina are doing, so I kept it quite separate," she said.

Claire has said previously that she had known Hannah since the age of five and her devastating diagnosis was a shock.

"We were very close, I knew her well," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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