Lisa Wilkinson appeared to fight back tears on The Project as she delivered an emotional and supportive message to a “very dear friend” of the show, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws.

Professor McLaws, an epidemiologist who works for both UNSW and WHO, announced over the weekend that she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour after developing a severe headache on Thursday. Taking to Twitter, she wrote, “After a severe headache Thursday, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. I will now be on a month’s sick leave from UNSW and WHO. Thank you media for helping me spread knowledge. Now it is time with my family.”

Professor McLaws has regularly appeared on The Project throughout the pandemic. At the end of their show on Sunday evening, Wilkinson said, “Before we go this evening, we wanted to take a moment to send our love to a very dear friend of the show, epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws.

“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 the WHO to be with her family.”

She then appeared to become choked up as she addressed the professor directly, saying, “Mary-Louise, I think it’s fair to say that all of us here at The Project were heartbroken to hear the news.

“In these troubled times, your calm, considered information and advice has been invaluable to millions of Australians across the country and we want to thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge, your 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, aka the pool boy, to good work.”

Fellow panellist Susie Youssef also appeared to be emotional as she said, “That’s beautifully said Lisa, and we all send our love out to Mary-Louise McLaws. This show is lucky to have such extraordinary guests and experts, we’re so grateful, and during a time when we needed a voice of reason and such a beautiful sense of humour.

“We will forever be indebted to you, Mary-Louise McLaws, we love you so much.”

Image: Network Ten

This article first appeared on OverSixty.