Whatever you may think about Katie Price , it’s impossible not to empathise with her current situation.
Less than a year ago, her mum Amy, 64, was diagnosed with terminal lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and Katie confesses they just don’t know how long she’s got left.
When Now meets Katie, 39, at the Tower Hotel in London, it’s clear – in true Pricey style – she’s putting on a brave face. ‘We’re an upbeat family. We don’t want people getting the violins out,’ she says, matter-of-factly.
But, as Katie goes into more detail about her mum’s condition, it’s hard to even begin to imagine what she’s going through right now.
‘My mum is dying, it’s that simple,’ she says. ‘They normally diagnose is three to five years but Mum has already had to change her life. She’s sold her house because of the stairs. She really struggles with them.
‘But she could get a cold now, not get rid of it, and die within a month – that’s how bad it is. Will a lung transplant help? I don’t know. Either way, she hasn’t got long.’
It’s obvious that mum-of-five Katie has really researched her mum’s condition, having no trouble listing symptoms with all of the scientific names, and she laughs when Now expresses our shock.
‘I’m not just a pretty face,’ she insists. ‘Of course I know all about it, this is my mum we’re talking about.’
And Amy’s condition doesn’t just impact Katie. Her five grandchildren, Harvey, 15, Junior, 12, Princess, 10, Jett, four, and three-year-old Bunny are all facing the very real prospect of losing their nan.
Katie continues, ‘Junior and Princess know what’s going on and it’s hard for them, but you can’t sit there and cry about it. Yes, it’s going to be s**t when it happens and the more she deteriorates, the harder it’ll get. When she starts wearing the oxygen mask, it will really hit.’
But Katie is hoping to shield Harvey – who suffers with a number of conditions, including impaired vision and Prader-Willi Syndrome – from the reality. ‘Harvey doesn’t understand,’ she says. ‘He’s in his own little world with frogs, the Gatwick Express, chocolate cake, drawing and me – and that’s how I’ll keep it.’
But Katie is now determined to raise more awareness of IPF to stop other families going through the same situation – by running the London Marathon dressed as a giant lung!
She explains. ‘Money can’t buy my mum a lung, I can’t buy her a life. All I want to do is help people notice the symptoms early. My mum got a little dry cough they thought was asthma. Then she got a cold that she couldn’t get rid of and it was IPF.’
And, despite the diagnosis, Amy is trying to live what life she’s got left to the fullest.
Katie adds, ‘Mum is having the time of her life right now completing her bucket list. It’s not a normal situation but she’s doing as much as she can. Actually, she’s on a cruise right now. I tell her, “Good for you, Mum, do it all now, because you can’t take it with you.”’
Katie Price is running the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22 April. You can watch all the coverage on BBC1 from 8.30am.
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