MAFS expert Mel Schilling reveals devastating health news: 'Three little words'

'In an instant my whole life changed.’

Married At First Sight expert Mel Schilling has revealed that she has been diagnosed with colon cancer just a few days before Christmas.

The 51-year-old mother-of-one took to Instagram on Wednesday morning to share the devastating news with her followers.

MAFS expert Mel Schilling hugging her husband Gareth and their eight-year-old daughter.
MAFS expert Mel Schilling has revealed that she has cancer. Photo: Instagram/mel_schilling1

“‘YOU HAVE CANCER’. Three little words that everyone dreads but no one ever expects to hear,” she captioned a photo of herself hugging her husband Gareth Brisbane and their eight-year-old daughter Madison.

“Last Thursday my consultant told me those 3 words.”


Mel explained that she had developed “severe stomach cramps” while filming the upcoming season of MAFS in Australia last month.

“I put it down to all the travel I’d been doing and the upset it caused to my system,” she wrote. “I saw my GP in Sydney and he put it down to constipation, gave me some laxatives and sent me on my way.

“Fortunately I knew something still wasn’t right so I booked in for a scan when I returned to the UK. On Thursday I was told I had colon cancer and in an instant my whole life changed.”

MAFS expert Mel Schilling.
Mel said she developed ‘severe stomach cramps’ while filming MAFS in Sydney last month. Photo: Instagram/mel_schilling1

'Incredibly blessed'

Mel went on to say that she and her family had planned to travel to Northern Ireland this week to spend Christmas with loved ones but instead, she will be undergoing surgery.

“Tomorrow morning I’m checking in to hospital to have an operation to remove a 5cm tumour in my colon, a tumour that had it gone undetected for much longer would have killed me,” she said, adding that she has named her tumour ‘Terry’.

“Despite this I feel incredibly blessed that it’s a cancer that is relatively easy to eradicate, I’m expected to make a full recovery though it’s a rough road ahead. I also feel so lucky to have an incredible support network around me, both personally and professionally, my own family and my TV family have been amazing these past few days.”

She ended her post by saying that although it will be “tough” spending Christmas Day in hospital, removing the tumour will be “the best present of all”.

“I just wanted to finish by saying that if something doesn’t feel right, please, please don’t ignore it,” she concluded. “And if you don’t think the answers you have got are right, keep going until you do, it might just save your life.”


Mel’s post was quickly flooded with messages of support from former MAFS participants, including Tahnee Cook, Caitlin McConville and Sarah-Jane Roza.

“Sending you so much love and strength during this time ❤️ thinking of you and the family,” Ella Ding commented, followed by Domenica Calarco who said, “Sending you and your family love, you've got this Mel”.

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