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Gavin and Stacey fan, 17, with brain tumour celebrates Christmas early with message from show’s cast

Aug 02, 2019
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A teenage Gavin and Stacey super fan who may not live to see the Christmas has celebrated early having a day of festivities – including a message from the cast.

Izzy Withers, 17, has an inoperable brain tumour and has been was sent a a video message from the show’s stars Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon while eating a festive dinner at a Children’s Hospice in south Wales.

The teenager is a huge fan of the hit BBC sitcom and was previously treated to special videos from cast members – including James Corden and Rob Brydon, as well as a visit from the show’s creator and star, Ruth Jones.

She’s been living in the hospice after she was given the devastating diagnosis last September, when she was only 16.

Izzy Withers, 17, has an inoperable brain tumour and has been was sent a a video message from the show's stars Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon while eating a festive dinner at a Children's Hospice in south Wales. She earlier met Jones on a visit to the hospital

Izzy Withers, 17, has an inoperable brain tumour and has been was sent a a video message from the show’s stars Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon while eating a festive dinner at a Children’s Hospice in south Wales. She earlier met Jones on a visit to the hospital

The teenager is a huge fan of the hit BBC sitcom and was previously treated to special videos from cast members - including James Corden and Rob Brydon, as well as a visit from the show's creator and star, Ruth Jones

The teenager is a huge fan of the hit BBC sitcom and was previously treated to special videos from cast members – including James Corden and Rob Brydon, as well as a visit from the show’s creator and star, Ruth Jones

She's been living in the hospice after she was given the devastating diagnosis last September, when she was only 16. Pictured with Ruth Jones

She’s been living in the hospice after she was given the devastating diagnosis last September, when she was only 16. Pictured with Ruth Jones

She had her very own Christmas Day at a children’s hospice with a turkey dinner, pigs in blankets and a Gavin and Stacey sketch by staff.

The highlight for Izzy, from Risca, near Newport, was a message from Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon wishing her a ‘Merry Christmas’.

The stars, who played Nessa and Uncle Bryn respectively,  have just finished filming for a Christmas special of the comedy set in nearby Barry Island, which will air this Christmas, 10 years after the show’s last episode.

Jones was even able to take time out during filming to visit Izzy in the hospice, where the teenager dressed up like Nessa – complete with the iconic black bob wig and a Welsh dragon tattoo on her arm.

Tracy Jones, of Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice said: ‘Izzy is such a special young lady and it’s so important that we’re able to put a smile on her face during this difficult time and provide opportunities for the whole family to create special memories.

She had her very own Christmas Day at a children's hospice with a turkey dinner, pigs in blankets and a Gavin and Stacey sketch by staff and a visit from Santa

She had her very own Christmas Day at a children’s hospice with a turkey dinner, pigs in blankets and a Gavin and Stacey sketch by staff and a visit from Santa

The highlight for Izzy, from Risca, near Newport, was a message from Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon wishing her a 'Merry Christmas'

The highlight for Izzy, from Risca, near Newport, was a message from Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon wishing her a ‘Merry Christmas’

Jones was even able to take time out during filming to visit Izzy in the hospice, where the teenager dressed up like Nessa - complete with the iconic black bob wig and a Welsh dragon tattoo on her arm

Jones was even able to take time out during filming to visit Izzy in the hospice, where the teenager dressed up like Nessa – complete with the iconic black bob wig and a Welsh dragon tattoo on her arm.

The teenager, pictured before her prom last July, discovered she had a brain tumour in September last year after suffering bad migraines for some time

The teenager, pictured before her prom last July, discovered she had a brain tumour in September last year after suffering bad migraines for some time

‘For children and young people with life-limiting conditions, there is always a chance that they may not be able to enjoy special days in the year like birthdays, Easter or Christmas – and that’s why it’s so important for Ty Hafan to hold days like this one, no matter what time of the year.

‘It’s also wonderful to see the whole charity come together to make events like these possible.’

While on set, the actors have since sent several videos of support to help lift Izzy’s spirits.

Izzy is also planning to tick another wish off her list this weekend by attending her very own music festival, called Izzyfest, on Sunday, August 4.

Izzy is also planning to tick another wish off her list this weekend by attending her very own music festival, called Izzyfest, on Sunday, August 4

Izzy is also planning to tick another wish off her list this weekend by attending her very own music festival, called Izzyfest, on Sunday, August 4

Izzy was shocked to receive a personal message from James Corden and the rest of the cast of one of her favourite shows, Gavin and Stacey last month

Izzy was shocked to receive a personal message from James Corden and the rest of the cast of one of her favourite shows, Gavin and Stacey last month

The cult sitcom written by Corden and Jones who appear as Nessa and Smithy is returning for a one-off Christmas special this year

The cult sitcom written by Corden and Jones who appear as Nessa and Smithy is returning for a one-off Christmas special this year

The festival has been set up by the organiser of Glastonselfy, Jayne Jeremiah, who has arranged the entire thing in just a couple of weeks to make sure it takes place while Izzy feels well enough.

Earlier this year, the team at the hospice got in touch with Ruth Jones, who co-wrote the show with James Corden and plays the iconic character of Nessa.

As the cast were in rehearsals and not yet filming in Barry, they were unable to visit Izzy but instead sent her the video message.

The stars, who played Nessa and Uncle Bryn respectively, have just finished filming for a Christmas special of the comedy set in nearby Barry Island, which will air this Christmas, 10 years after the show's last episoe.

The stars, who played Nessa and Uncle Bryn respectively, have just finished filming for a Christmas special of the comedy set in nearby Barry Island, which will air this Christmas, 10 years after the show’s last episoe.

A recent photo of rehearsals sent fans into a frenzy after waiting nine years for the show to return

A recent photo of rehearsals sent fans into a frenzy after waiting nine years for the show to return

In the recording, Corden says: ‘Hello Izzy. We heard you’re a fan of Gavin and Stacey, and we’re so thrilled with that we’re rehearsing our new Christmas special right now and this is the only camera that’s ever been allowed in here for you.

‘There’s Pam and Jason and Gavin and Stacey and there’s Dawn – give us a wave – and there’s Mick.

‘We wanted to say we’re thinking about you and keep that chin up and we hope everything is okay and we love you very, very much, here from all of us here at the rehearsals at Gavin and Stacey.’

Izzy was so shocked she could only reply, ‘Oh my gosh’ after receiving the message from her heroes.

In the recording, Corden says: 'Hello Izzy. We heard you're a fan of Gavin and Stacey, and we're so thrilled with that we're rehearsing our new Christmas special right now and this is the only camera that's ever been allowed in here for you.

In the recording, Corden says: ‘Hello Izzy. We heard you’re a fan of Gavin and Stacey, and we’re so thrilled with that we’re rehearsing our new Christmas special right now and this is the only camera that’s ever been allowed in here for you.

Izzy's family have set up a GoFundMe page so the teenager can complete her bucket list which has included meeting one of her heroes Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Broadway legend best known for creating Hamilton

Izzy’s family have set up a GoFundMe page so the teenager can complete her bucket list which has included meeting one of her heroes Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Broadway legend best known for creating Hamilton

Staff at Izzy's hospice contacted Ruth Jones, who plays Nessa and co-writes the show with Corden, to send the message

Staff at Izzy’s hospice contacted Ruth Jones, who plays Nessa and co-writes the show with Corden, to send the message

Staff at the hospice put on a show, their own version of the Gavin and Stacey sketch, for Izzy

Staff at the hospice put on a show, their own version of the Gavin and Stacey sketch, for Izzy

Doctors initially thought the teenager had meningitis but, after carrying out tests, they later discovered she had a tumour.

She went through radiotherapy, scans, biopsies and a permanent brain shunt implant, and Izzy is now in palliative care at the children’s hospice in Sully.

A GoFundMe page set up by Izzy’s family has raised £11,000, allowing her to visit Disneyland California and go to the premiere of Mary Poppins and meet another of her heroes Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Broadway legend best known for writing Hamilton.

She still dreams of seeing the Northern Lights and killer whales in the wild.

Many of the stars in the cult comedy can be heard in the message to Izzy, including Gavin, Stacey, Mick, Pam, Jason, Dawn and Nessa

Many of the stars in the cult comedy can be heard in the message to Izzy, including Gavin, Stacey, Mick, Pam, Jason, Dawn and Nessa

Izzy, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumour, was shocked James Corden knew her name and she could only reply: 'Oh my gosh!'

Izzy, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumour, was shocked James Corden knew her name and she could only reply: ‘Oh my gosh!’

Izzy’s mother Tracey said: ‘Izzy is absolutely ecstatic about the video — she didn’t stop smiling for the whole day.

‘She just couldn’t believe that James Corden knew her name.

‘It’s moments like these that make such a difference and lift her spirits.’

James Corden recently announced the cult sitcom is returning after ten years for a one-off Christmas special to be shown this year.

The actor, who has found fame in the US in recent years as host of the Late Late Show, recently shared a photo of the cast in rehearsals, sending fans wild.

Little is known of the project but it appears most of the original cast will return.

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