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Queens birthday honours Saturday, 12 June, 1999, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Honour for courageous Helen
helen rollason
Helen Rollason: Cried when she heard of her MBE
BBC Sports Presenter Helen Rollason has told how she was in tears when she heard she had received an MBE in the Birthday Honours list.

Queens Birthday Honours
The 43-year-old, who is battling cancer, is commended for services to sport, broadcasting and charities.

Rollason has already astonished her doctors and endeared herself to millions by surviving several deadlines they had set her - and remained cheerful throughout.

She said: "It is such a wonderful honour and I am grateful for all the support I have had to make sure I can keep all my sports broadcasting and my charity work going.

"I am thankful that so many women now have the opportunity to come through and are high quality broadcasters, and I have seen the disabled receive the platform they deserve on the BBC.

"Quite honestly, it is the charities themselves that have enriched my life and I have met some marvellous people through this work.

"Thank you, it is a wonderful honour."

Helen's heartache

In October last year she told of the heartache she faced in her fight against cancer.

In a BBC QED special programme, Hope for Helen, she spoke of the devastating impact she fears her death could have on Nikki - her teenage daughter.

rollason
Rollason in her Newsround days
She said: "I don't fear death - I fear the carnage I'll leave behind in the sense of an emotionally-stunned child

"Nothing could prepare Nikki for something so awful. It seems desperately unfair to have a mum you've been incredibly close to - and suddenly you haven't got her."

It was in March 1998 that she was told she had only six months to live after doctors diagnosed inoperable liver and colon cancer.

Now Rollason is a presenter of the relaunched Six O'Clock News and is writing a book about her experiences.

PE teacher to sports reporter

Born in London and educated at Bath High School for Girls, she continued her studies at the Chelsea College of Physical Education, then headed over to Dalhousie University in Canada.

She then worked as a PE teacher at an Essex comprehensive, before joining commercial station Essex Radio when it first opened, becoming deputy sports editor.

Rollason then went to Channel 4 to produce and direct American football, basketball and golf among other sports.

In 1985 she returned to reporting and presenting, working for ITV and Channel 4.

Then in 1987 she joined the BBC's children's news programme, Newsround. This was followed by a move to BBC Sport in 1990 as the first female presenter of Grandstand.

See also:

28 Oct 98 | Health
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