Leah Bracknell reaches fundraising target for cancer treatment
Leah Bracknell has successfully raised the £50,000 she needs to undergo potentially life-saving treatment.
The former 'Emmerdale' actress - who starred as Zoe Tate on the ITV soap - revealed earlier this week that she has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer by doctors, but subsequently launched a fundraising campaign in the hope of receiving treatment at a cutting-edge hospital in Germany.
Leah explained her health situation on her fundraising page, writing: "Just over 5 weeks ago, I was feeling perfectly well, fit and healthy. Teaching yoga classes and workshops, it was a time of new beginnings: preparing to move house, youngest child fleeing the nest, and excited to be starting rehearsals for a comedy play, being back onstage, going on tour.
"But, it turns out that the universe had other plans. Life was about to be unexpectedly turned on its head.
"I began to feel breathless climbing stairs ... 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. (sic)"
The mother-of-two had an emergency procedure to remove excess fluid from around her heart, but was subsequently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
She said: "A fairly brutal and bleak diagnosis but one I am determined to challenge and see from the perspective of "a glass half full", going against a lifetime of pessimism, negativity and fear!!!!
"By the way, please imagine me writing this and speaking in quite an upbeat and cheerful voice. Do NOT imagine me sitting here writing through a veil of tears. I am not. Or feeling sorry for myself. I am not (yet). (sic)"
She added: "My priority is getting well and strong, so that I can continue to endeavour to be a good, mother, daughter, wife, or at least the best I can be."