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Cancer-stricken columnist loses battle

A newspaper columnist who wrote about his long battle against cancer has died, aged 31.

Jonathan Wilson, a columnist for the Sunday Herald, had been fighting against stomach, liver, and other cancers for five years – after being given only three months to live when he was diagnosed.

In his column Dead Man Writing, he wrote an honest account of his fight with the illness.

Sunday Herald editor Andrew Jaspan said: “He will be a huge loss to the Sunday Herald.

“He was somebody who came to us and who knew he was dying. But his final wish was, in a way, to become a journalist. He asked if he could write for us and with a little help and support at the beginning he grew into the job.

“Not only did he enjoy being a journalist, but he was also able to inform people about the condition he was suffering, and to show people that through a situation like his, through such adversity, can come great strength.

“He managed to do that with huge verve and articulacy, and attracted a huge readership both to his column and the paper.”

Jonathan had written a final column, which had not been filed but was saved on his home computer. It will be printed a week on Sunday.

This Sunday the paper will publish a tribute to him and an interview with his mother.

Jane Wright, editor of the Sunday Herald magazine, said: “For a great number of readers over the past three years, the first question on picking up the paper was, ‘How is Jonathan Wilson?’

“Whenever I met anyone, almost without exception, they said his column was the first thing they turned to. It was a powerful draw and people loved to read him.

“But he was well aware of the fact that, in a way, people were kind of coffin-watching, checking every week to see if he was still there.

“Although we knew this was coming, we just kind of assumed that he was always going to be around, and in that respect it is a real shock.”

To read more about Jonathan, click here.

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