Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez have revealed their eldest son has spent the past year battling a rare form of blood cancer.
The former deputy prime minister and Spanish lawyer opened up on ITV's Lorraine show about their "shock" when their son Antonio was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkins Lymphoma, aged just 14, in September 2016. They appeared on the show to raise awareness for Bloodwise, a charity carrying out important research into blood cancer.
Gonzalez Durantez said they took Antonio to the GP after finding "a very small lump" on his neck. "He didn't have any other symptoms. He didn't have a high temperature, he was playing football for hours every day, you wouldn't have noticed anything," she said, describing their decision to take Antonio to the doctor as "a stroke of luck".
"You have this almost physical wish to try and take it off your kid and take it yourself," Clegg told host Lorraine Kelly. "You very quickly move from the shock, to trying to support your child as they're battling through this very heavy treatment."
His wife agreed: "Eventually you realise there's not much you can do as a parent. The only thing you can do is to be there for him."
Antonio was treated at the teenage cancer unit at University College London Hospital and received five months of chemotherapy as well as a course of steroids. Clegg said the treatment was "brutal".
"You're basically poisoning the body with very powerful chemicals and drugs to kill the cancerous cells, and that has huge side effects; hair loss, vomiting, nausea," he said.
After months of chemotherapy, Antonio is now in remission.
It has been a difficult year for the family, with Clegg unexpectedly losing his seat of Sheffield Hallam to Labour in this June.