Emmerdale star Eden Taylor-Draper has shared the emotional moment she took an on-set call to hear the devastating news that her sister had been diagnosed with cancer.
The actor, who plays Belle Dingle in the ITV soap, told Lorraine on Tuesday morning how she had heard that younger sister Francesca had blood cancer while at work.
Taylor-Draper, 24, told Lorraine Kelly of her Emmerdale bosses: "They were amazing. We were on tea break and they just said, ‘Go, anything you need we’re here’, and I was just in shock. They gave me a month off, so while Chess was in intensive chemo, I could be there. They’re amazing.”
Francesca, who is now 17, said that she was doing really well now but that when she was first diagnosed, only 3% of her blood was classed as healthy.
Talking about her symptoms, she said: "I felt tired and I lost quite a bit of weight but the most telling thing was I was having these really bad leg pains, like excruciating to the point where I couldn’t walk and I was having to leave school early, and I also had this massive rash on my legs which was when doctors starting thinking it could be something more serious.
"But a lot of the symptoms were quite generic, which I think is the scary thing about it because feeling tired and a little bit under the weather, your mind would never go to cancer."
The sisters appeared on video call together, where Francesca admitted her treatment had taken a huge toll on her mental health while her older sister talked about how tough it had been to see her so ill.
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The teen said: "I didn’t want to say to my mum and dad that I really couldn’t keep going with treatment - that was one of the things I could speak to the psychologist about. Everyone is affected by it. It wasn’t just me."
Taylor-Draper added: "It was so tough to see someone you love so much and so tiny go through all of that and as much as you’re there supporting them, you can’t fix it and you can’t help."
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