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The Project: Lisa Wilkinson’s emotional tribute to Mary-Louise McLaws after brain tumour diagnosis

The Project host Lisa Wilkinson delivers emotional tribute to Professor Mary-Louise McLaws as the disease expert – who helped spearhead Australia’s fight against Covid – reveals shock brain tumour diagnosis


The Project host Lisa Wilkinson became visibly emotional as she said a number of kind words about Professor Mary-Louise McLaws on Sunday night, following her devastating brain tumour diagnosis.

A day earlier, Prof McLaws – who has been working tirelessly with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an adviser for health emergencies – confirmed the tragic health news on Twitter, after suffering from severe headaches.

Lisa became tearful as she praised the professor at the end of Sunday’s episode, thanking her for being ‘so generous with her knowledge’ following a number of guest appearances on the current affairs show.

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‘Heartbroken’: The Project host Lisa Wilkinson (left) became visibly emotional as she said a number of kind words about Professor Mary-Louise McLaws (right) on Sunday night, following her devastating brain tumour diagnosis

‘This evening we wanted to take a moment to send our love to a very dear friend of the show, epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws,’ Lisa began.

‘Yesterday, Mary-Louise revealed that after suffering a severe headache on Thursday, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Understandably, she’s taking a month’s leave from her roles with the University of New South Wales and WHO to be with her family.’

With tears in her eyes, she continued: ‘Mary-Louise, I think it’s fair to say that all of us here at The Project were heartbroken to hear the news. 

Announcement: Professor Mary-Louise McLaws confirmed the devastating news on Saturday afternoon on Twitter, announcing she will take a month of sick leave from her two roles with the World Health Organisation and University of New South Wales

Announcement: Professor Mary-Louise McLaws confirmed the devastating news on Saturday afternoon on Twitter, announcing she will take a month of sick leave from her two roles with the World Health Organisation and University of New South Wales

‘In these troubled times, your calm, considered information and advice has been invaluable to millions of Australians across the country.

‘We want to thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge, time and we wish you and your beautiful family all the strength in the world at this difficult time.’

‘Just make sure you put that wonderful husband of yours to good work,’ she added with a smile.

Comedian Susie Youssef appeared equally as emotional with the news, adding: ‘That’s beautifully said, Lisa, and we all send our love. 

‘This show is lucky to have extraordinary guests and experts, and we’re so grateful – and during a time where we needed a voice of reason and a beautiful sense of humour. We will forever be indebted to you, we love you so much.’

Shocked: Comedian Susie Youssef appeared equally as emotional with the news, adding: 'That's beautifully said, Lisa, and we all send our love'

Shocked: Comedian Susie Youssef appeared equally as emotional with the news, adding: ‘That’s beautifully said, Lisa, and we all send our love’

Tragic: Prof McLaws revealed her diagnosis on Twitter, writing: 'Thank you media for helping me spread knowledge. Now it is time with my family. Best wishes to you all'

Tragic: Prof McLaws revealed her diagnosis on Twitter, writing: ‘Thank you media for helping me spread knowledge. Now it is time with my family. Best wishes to you all’

Jan Fran added: ‘Could not have said that better myself, and look forward to having you back on the show in no time.’

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws confirmed the devastating news on Saturday afternoon on Twitter, before announcing she will take a month of sick leave from her two roles with the World Health Organisation and University of New South Wales.

‘Thank you media for helping me spread knowledge. Now it is time with my family. Best wishes to you all,’ she wrote in the message. 

During the pandemic, Prof McLaws has been working with the WHO as an adviser for health emergencies, playing a key role in the prevention and control response to Covid-19.

Prof McLaws has also been a regular on TV screens since 2020 for her expert health advice and has often called out the government for what she perceives as ‘poor handling’ of the pandemic.

In recent weeks she said the refusal to widely distribute free rapid antigen tests across Australia was a clear example why the government’s ‘outbreak management has failed.’

Powerful voice: Prof McLaws has also been a regular on TV screens since 2020 for her expert health advice and has often called out the government for what she perceives as 'poor handling' of the pandemic

Powerful voice: Prof McLaws has also been a regular on TV screens since 2020 for her expert health advice and has often called out the government for what she perceives as ‘poor handling’ of the pandemic

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