Leah is 'in deep gratitude' for the kindness of the public


Following the sad news that former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, members of the public have rallied round in an attempt to raise money to help.

And now, less than a week after the revelation, fans have contributed £56,000 to Leah’s cause – smashing the original target, and now enables her to receive treatment at a specialist clinic in Germany!

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Last Thursday (6th October), Leah – who played memorable character Zoe Tate – revealed that her life had been completely changed in a matter of weeks, in which she learned of the heartbreaking news:

‘I began to feel breathless climbing stairs. Really breathless. I just put it down to a bit of stress. My abdomen suddenly ballooned- and within a matter of a few days I looked heavily pregnant. I could barely walk or breathe. Then, one Saturday night at the beginning of September I ended up in A & E.’

Doctors soon found cancer of the lung and deemed it ‘incurable’ and ‘inoperable’. Yet, refusing to let that defeat her, 52-year-old Leah and her partner Jez Hughes set up a fundraising page in the hopes of raising £50k, enough to be treated at the Hallwang Oncology private clinic in south-west Germany – and fans contributed in their hundreds to help, getting the fund to

Having played Zoe in the soap for 16 years until 2006, she’s a familiar face in the households of many – so it’s lovely to see all the support.

‘What an incredible response, thank you all so much!!!’ Leah and Jez wrote in response to the donations.

‘We’re in deep gratitude from the bottom of our hearts. We really didn’t expect such an dramatic reaction when we put the post up on Facebook a couple of days ago.

‘It is humbling to witness the generosity of the human spirit.’

Leah Bracknell as Zoe Tate, Emmerdale

Leah Bracknell as Zoe Tate, Emmerdale

‘We’ve reached our initial target which means Leah will be able to visit and stay at the clinic for the first batch of treatment. We are in contact with them and waiting for clinical results of the tests to be passed on.

‘It’s all been such a whirlwind. Depending on Leah’s response to the treatment, it may mean more visits, so it is an ongoing campaign.’

If you’d like to contribute, head over to ‘Leah’s Cancer Fund’ here.