Leah Bracknell still hoping for the ‘impossible’ to happen in cancer fight

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell has said she is still hoping for an “impossible miracle” after living with terminal cancer for the past three years.

The actress, who played Zoe Tate in the soap for 16 years until 2005, was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer in 2016 and was given months to live by doctors.

Bracknell, 55, said she lives in hope for a cure with the help of medical science as well as positive thinking and a more psycho-spiritual influence, which she called “a combination of mystical magic”.

The former soap star, who is currently on an immunotherapy clinical trial, told The Mirror: “People think, ‘Oh, she’s crazy’, but I believe in thinking outside the box.

“Medical science is an amazing thing and it is keeping me alive, but it has limitations because it is to do with the logical mind.

“But things we call miracles, things we don’t understand, happen all the time, they happen outside the realms of logic and scientific data.

“Nobody knows why they happen, but it is possible for the impossible to happen. I still hope I could get my impossible miracle.”

Bracknell added that, if it does not work, she intends to “have a bloody good time along the way”.

She said she is not planning on completing a bucket list, and would prefer to do the things she wants to do while she is still capable.

“I won’t let myself live in fear, I’m just going to live a good life.”

Bracknell said that she currently is not in any pain, and that she has been using cannabis oil as a treatment to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy.

“I’m running out of time, I’m terminal and I’m doing all I can to prolong that and I’ve also broken the law,” she said.

“I’ve made myself into a criminal because I used cannabis.”

Bracknell’s battle with cancer came to light in October 2016 when her husband Jez Hughes launched a Go Fund Me page to raise money for her to undergo treatment overseas, due to a lack of options available on the NHS.

She had been diagnosed in September after rapid weight gain around her abdomen and breathlessness prompted her to seek medical help.

After Bracknell was diagnosed, fans helped her raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment in Germany.

She started taking new medication, but later revealed that it had failed.