Fiona Phillips feared sharing diagnosis would write her off as batty old woman

Kate Garraway discusses heartbreaking last conversation she had with Fiona Phillips

Fiona Phillips has spoken out about her fears over her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

On Wednesday, the beloved broadcaster shared that she had been diagnosis with the same condition that she nursed her parents through years ago.

The 62-year-old had held off on sharing the news for over a year and revealed the reason why.

She told The Mirror on Friday after receiving overwhelming support from the British public: “ I was worried about sharing the news I have this awful disease.

“I was anxious people would be staring or whispering about me or would just write me off as a batty old woman.”

Instead, the TV journalist was greeted with “incredible kindness”, both online and in-person as countless viewers and readers shared their support and their own experiences with the progressive brain disorder.

READ MORE: Kate Garraway emotional as she recalls last conversation with Fiona Phillips

Fiona’s diagnosis also saw an outpouring of celebrity tributes, from Piers Morgan to Lorraine Kelly and politician Harriet Harman.

While many called her ‘brave’, the former GMTV star insists she’s not, explaining that her only other alternative is to “lie down and give up”.

The broadcaster received her diagnosis after suffering from brain fog and intense anxiety for months, symptoms she had initially written off as menopause but when they persisted despite her starting HRT she began months of tests to find the true cause behind it.

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She feared the brain fog would make the end of her career as a journalist but after receiving the diagnosis she understood that the disease had “ravaged my family and now it has come for me”.

Fiona’s parents, uncle and grandparents all battled the devastating disease, but the 62-year-old has remained optimistic, enrolling herself in a drug trial in the hopes that it could slow her Alzheimer’s progress or at the very least help future generations of patients.

Her mother died at the age of 74, after battling Alzheimer’s for over two decades, while her father was diagnosed in his early 60s and was later moved to a psychiatric hospital where he died at the age of 76.

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