Presenter Stacey Dooley has taken to Instagram to pay tribute to her friend who died aged just 29. Jemma McGowan, a vibrant presence on an episode of “Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over” titled “Mum Fighting the Clock,” died “peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family“.
Jemma’s friendship with Stacey blossomed during their time together on the show. Devastated by the news, Stacey took to social media to pay tribute to her beloved friend.
She shared a video of them dancing together and wrote: “Fly high darlin’. Thank you for being so kind and so so FUN. Thinking of her Clive and her gorgeous babies.”
In another poignant post, Stacey wrote: “Just heartbreaking. Jemma was a joy to work alongside and we continued our relationship as pals.
Coincidentally, our film airs this evening where we reflect on our time spent with Jemma. She knew it was coming out in August and was keen to hear all about it. Fly high darlin.”
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A post shared by Stacey Dooley (@sjdooley)
Jemma, who resided in Omagh, Northern Ireland, had openly discussed her friendship with Stacey following their collaboration on the show.
In February, she shared: “So , our secret is out. I made a new forever friend @sjdooley and we made a tv documentary together. It really was an emotional rollercoaster.”
Jemma’s battle with ovarian cancer began in 2016 when she was six weeks pregnant with her second child.
After undergoing surgery to remove the cancer, Jemma received hopeful news from doctors it would not return. For the next four years, she remained symptom-free. However, during her third pregnancy, at 36 weeks, Jemma discovered a lump. In January 2021, she received the devastating diagnosis of stage 4 ovarian cancer.
A Service of Thanksgiving will be held on Sunday to celebrate Jemma’s life. In the episode with Stacey, Jemma shared her experience of being a mother while battling cancer.
Stacey delved into the lives of those closest to Jemma, exploring how they coped with her terminal diagnosis. “Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over,” which first aired in 2019, aims to provide an authentic portrayal of life in contemporary Britain.
The show immerses Stacey in the lives of extraordinary individuals and families for 72 hours, capturing their stories and shedding light on diverse experiences. With three series under its belt, the latest episode featuring Jemma aired in April 2022.
Upon hearing the tragic news, Stacey’s fans flooded social media with their tributes to Jemma, sharing their own heartfelt messages of love and support.
One said: “So sad, been following her since your documentary.” Another added: “Oh no, that’s so sad. I watched the episode & she seemed such a good person and an amazing mum,”.
Another commenter said: “aw gutted reading this. watched the episodes and she seemed magical.”
Someone else added: “Heartbreaking news – Iv followed her since watching her on your show! What a truly inspirational woman who fought bravely, life is cruel! RIP Jemma xxx”.
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