EMMERDALE star Eden Taylor-Draper has revealed the heartbreaking moment she was told her younger sister had cancer while on set.
The actress – who plays Belle Dingle in the ITV soap – has spoken for the first time about her sister Francesca’s battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2018.
Eden was filming on set when she got the phone call from her dad giving her the devastating news.
Francesca, then 14, was rushed to hospital in excruciating pain before doctors discovered cancer in her blood.
The teenager was left devastated – but rallied for treatment while her parents broke the news to her older sister.
Eden told the Mirror: “When I came off set for my tea break, Dad called and it was such a blur.
“I felt like someone had ripped my stomach out and I broke down.
“I was with Issy Hodgins, who plays Victoria [Sugden], when I got the call, and she just held me for ages.
“I couldn’t go back to do my next scene. But Emmerdale were so supportive and let me go see Chess at Leeds General hospital straight away.”
Francesca underwent extensive treatment and is on course to complete it later this year in time for her to go to college in September.
The sisters have spoken out in an effort to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust after it helped them through the ordeal.
The charity is facing a short-fall of £5m in funding due to the pandemic shutting down its main ways of fundraising for its vital work.
Eden added: “Without the Teenage Cancer Trust, I don’t think our journey would have been the way it has. You realise the power that a charity has to make your worst nightmare a little bit more bearable. And that’s something we have to support.”
To donate £5 to the Teenage Cancer Trust, text HELP to 70575 or click here.