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"Family is everything": Jennifer Hawkins' mum Gail diagnosed with cancer.

Image via Instagram (@jenniferhawkins)

UPDATE:

Just hours before walking the catwalk at Myer’s Spring fashion show last night, Jennifer Hawkins updated her Instagram followers on her mother’s surgery for kidney cancer.

“Mum went in for her operation at 630am and the doctor said she was such a trooper. We just got some amazing news… She is in recovery and all ok!!! Thank you so much for your positive energy & best wishes !! It’s such a relief for my family. Lv to you x” the model wrote.

We wish the family all the best.

WE PREVIOUSLY REPORTED:

With the Myer Spring/Summer ’16 runway just days away, this week has proven to be an even bigger one than expected for ambassador Jennifer Hawkins, for a very sad reason.

Alongside fittings, rehearsals and media interviews, Hawkins has learned that her mum Gail has been diagnosed with kidney cancer.

In a statement to the Daily Telegraph, Hawkins’ manager Sean Anderson confirmed the news, saying, “Jen and her family are shocked at the news but know that Gail is in the best of hands.”

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The 31 year-old has made the tough decision to still walk the annual fashion parade, and will return to Sydney the afternoon of the show after staying with her mum as she recovers from the procedure in a hospital in hometown Newcastle.

“The Myer team have been incredibly supportive and have shown great flexibility in rescheduling some of her Spring Summer parade commitments this week so she can be with her family, which is her number one priority,” Anderson told the Daily Telegraph. (Post continues after gallery.)

The 31 year old is said to be extremely close to her family and has shared a number of photos on social media since receiving the news, including one with the caption, “Family is everything.”

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News of cancer or a serious illness affects more than just the person diagnosed – it can have a devastating impact on family and friends too.

A previous Hawkins family snap. Image via Instagram (@jenniferhawkins)

If you know someone going through a similar situation, it can be difficult to know the best way to act.

Pyschologist Pinar Karabulut recommends being genuine in the way you communicate, rather than being too anxious about saying the wrong thing that you don't actually offer support.

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"I think absence of support can be detrimental to those affected by it, because this is the time when they need the most amount of help," she tells The Glow. (Post continues after gallery.)

Ms Karabulut also suggests letting your friend know that you're there and happy to listen and help when they feel ready.

"You could say something like, 'I've just heard the sad news, I can only imagine what you're going through,' or, 'I'm so sorry for what's happened'. It's also about communicating hope; 'I'm here for you, I'm here to listen to you, and we'll go through this together'."

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While you may mean well, avoid mentioning other similar cases you known about and focus on the people who are directly affected by the news.

"It's more about offering an opportunity for them to have someone to talk to and being a listening ear, rather than being the one who advises as to how they should do things and what they should do to manage their difficult situation," she explains.

How do you express your support to a loved one who's going through a tough time?

Tags: cancer , health-2 , jennifer-hawkins , kidney-cancer
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