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Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli celebrates baby boy returning home cancer-free

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Renowned chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and fiancee Michelle Kennedy are celebrating the news their baby son is free of cancer.

Eight-month-old Valentino has spent most of his life undergoing gruelling treatment after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer.

The pair spoke to Hello! magazine about the heart-breaking months before they were finally able to bring their little boy home from hospital.

“His only communication was his sad expression and tears,” said Jean-Christophe, 56.

Michelle, Jean-Christophe and little Valentino (Hello!/PA)

“If I could have swapped places with him, I would have done it like a shot.”

Speaking about his efforts to stay strong for his family – which includes Valentino’s older brothers Jean, eight, and Jacques, four – he continued: “What was happening to our baby made me think about my life.

“I had everything I’d ever wanted: a family I love, a job I adore, my own cookery academy and a home in the best country in the world to me, the place of my childhood dreams.

“But, suddenly, I was faced with the worst situation possible: my youngest child’s life was at stake.

“In my prayers I asked God, ‘What are you doing? What’s going to happen?’ But I didn’t get an answer for a long time.”

Michelle, 41, said she was looking forward to a “fabulous summer” with her baby son home and healthy.

Jean-Christophe cooking in Shetland.
Jean-Christophe cooking in Shetland (PA)

She said: “He (Valentino) never smiled before – now he laughs all the time.

“When his two older brothers come home from school, the first thing they do is bomb upstairs to see him.

“His face lights up and he gets really excited when they rush in.”

The family suffered another health scare earlier in the year when Kennedy was rushed to hospital with deep vein thrombosis, adding to what she described as a “winter of misery”.

“Now the sun is shining and little Valentino will be enjoying every minute,” she said.

Read the full article in this week’s Hello! magazine.

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