Emmerdale's Eden Taylor-Draper opens up on sister's cancer battle

·2-min read

Emmerdale actress Eden Taylor-Draper has spoken about the shock of finding out that her teenage sister had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of just 14.

Eden's younger sister Francesca, who is now 17, was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer three years ago but is happily now in remission.

Eden, who has played Belle Dingle in Emmerdale since 2005, is now an ambassador for charity Teenage Cancer Trust and she and Francesca appeared on Lorraine today (November 9) to speak about their experiences.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

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Saying that her diagnosis was a "massive shock", Francesca explained: "I don't think any of us were expecting it. The treatment started very fast, so we didn't really have a lot of time to process it, but I'm doing really well now."

Eden also spoke about how Emmerdale responded to the sad news, praising the soap for being "amazing" after she received the call about Francesca's diagnosis.

"We were on tea break," she said, of the moment she heard the news, "and they just said, 'Go, whatever you need we're here,' and I was just in shock. They gave me a month off, so whilst Chess was in intensive chemo, I could be there. They were amazing."

The actress added that she had found it very difficult to watch her sister go through the intensive treatment, saying: "It was so tough to see someone you love so much and so tiny go through all of that and, you know, as much as you're there supporting them, you can't fix it, you can't help."

She went on to speak about Teenage Cancer Trust's campaign to provide mental health support for young people fighting cancer, saying: "Supporting this campaign is so important because Chess was in a position where she did have a psychologist she could talk to, there was mental health support there.

"The fact that there's kids being diagnosed, young people being diagnosed, and not having that support, I can't imagine what them and their families must be going through."

More information about Teenage Cancer Trust is available on their website, where you can also make a donation.

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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