Labour MP Wes Streeting admits he has ‘survivor’s guilt’
Wes Streeting has opened up about the “survivor guilt” he feels about his battle with kidney cancer when he spoke about his experience on the anniversary of Dame Deborah James’ death.
Speaking of Lorraine, the Labor Party MP has been candid about undergoing treatment during the pandemic and seeing incredible people, including Margaret McDonagh, die from the disease.
The 40-year-old politician – who was declared cancer-free in 2021 – admitted that stories about the disease “hit differently now.”
Reflecting on the loss of Dame Deborah, known as Bowel Babe – who died in June 2022 at the age of 40, five years after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer – Wes said he struggles with the feelings it evokes.
“Especially stories like Deborah’s where it had an unfortunate ending,” he said.
The politician, 40 (pictured) – who was declared cancer-free in 2021 – admitted stories about the disease ‘hit differently now’
“I think, to some extent, I have a certain amount of survivor guilt because you think ‘well, why did I do well and why didn’t I?’
And a dear friend of mine Margaret McDonagh – the first woman to become Secretary-General of the Labor Party – she recently died of brain cancer and it hit me really hard because she’s a friend and one of my political heroes.
“And you think, why are there 3,500 people like Margaret every year who are diagnosed with brain cancer and there is no hope of a cure. It’s a death sentence.’
Wes stressed that he was “really lucky with his diagnosis.”
The Ilford North MP was hospitalized in March 2021 with pain from a kidney stone, before a scan revealed a malignant tumor on the same kidney.
Two months later, the then 38-year-old went to hospital in London for a day-long biopsy, followed by three days of cancer treatment.
He was on his own all the time due to the tight pandemic restrictions.
“I was maybe 38. It might have been very rare and unusual, but I knew I wasn’t going to die,” he told Lorraine Kelly today.
Reflecting on the loss of Dame Deborah (pictured), known as Bowel Babe – who died in June 2022 at the age of 40, five years after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer – Wes said he struggles with the feelings it evokes
The Ilford North MP was hospitalized in March 2021 with pain from a kidney stone, before a scan revealed a malignant tumor in the same child. Photographed today in Lorraine
‘I had one of the best kidney cancer surgeons in the world through the NHS. The only thing I didn’t have to worry about was the bill.’
Wes added that he had “amazing nurses taking care of him.”
“The pandemic made it difficult because I remember going to the… hospital where the surgery took place – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so lonely in my life…
“Leaving Joe, my partner and my father…
‘But what have I to complain about? I’m here, I’m healthy, I’m cancer-free and I’ve come back from it by running even faster and working even harder because I have a zest for life.’
The MP has released a new book about his life and upbringing – One Boy, Two Bills and a Fry Up.
The Ilford North MP was hospitalized in March 2021 with pain from a kidney stone, before a scan revealed a malignant tumor on the same kidney
Two months later, the then 38-year-old went to hospital in London for a day-long biopsy, followed by three days of cancer treatment
Margaret McDonagh, the first female Labor secretary-general, has died aged 61
In it he talks about his youth and working-class background.
Last week, the Shadow Health Secretary was one of many mourning the loss of Margaret McDonagh, Labour’s first female general secretary, who has died aged 61.
“I will feel blessed for the rest of my life to have known Margaret McDonagh,” he tweeted.
‘Labour’s first female general secretary and the best of the best. Definitely an integral part of Labor’s victory in 1997 and what it delivered. Sending so much love to Siobhain and everyone who knew and loves this icon.”
Her death comes as her sister Siobhain McDonagh, Labor MP for Mitcham and Morden, gave a speech in the House of Commons earlier this year accusing the NHS of ‘abandoning’ her sister when she was treated for brain cancer.
She fought back tears as she criticized the lack of progress in brain cancer treatment since 2005 in the NHS, explaining that her sister was on a course of treatment that involved a monthly four-day trip to Düsseldorf, Germany.
She said Baroness McDonagh had the tumor removed in surgery at the Royal National Neurological Hospital just before Christmas, but only after the operation had been canceled by the NHS three times before.
Baroness McDonagh was described as an ‘unstoppable force of nature’ and a ‘tireless champion of women’ when her tribute was paid to her today.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer praised her “absolutely essential” role as election coordinator in the party’s 1997 general election victory.