Leah Bracknell, who played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale for more than 15 years, has written a “cancer rebel manifesto”, two years after doctors gave her just months to live.
In the heartfelt message posted to fans on her blog, the 55-year-old actor promised to “embrace the glass half full” and “above all else embrace life” despite her illness.
Bracknell was diagnosed with stage four terminal lung cancer in October 2016 and was told she had only months to live, but she is still vowing to fight the disease more than two years later.
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She portrayed vet and businesswoman Zoe in Emmerdale from 1989 until 2005.
The character suffered from schizophrenia and, in 1993, she came out as gay and became the first lesbian character in a British soap.
The star, who is writing a book about her experiences, presented her new manifesto as a “cancer rebel” at the holistic health festival Trew Fields over the weekend.
She described the festival as an “extraordinary event that is suffused with joy” and spoke to offer her manifesto as a starting point for others battling cancer.
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The final words of the manifesto detail Bracknell’s pledge to keep fighting the illness for as long as she can.
She writes: “I am a CANCER REBEL with a fierce heart, an independent mind, a warrior spirit, and an ocean of desire to keep on keeping on and making a difference and making a noise as long as there is sweet breath in my body.
“To LIFE. Long and sweet may it be for us all.”
Bracknell appeared on This Morning and Loose Women following her diagnosis in order to raise awareness of the condition and discuss her fight.
She was able to raise £50,000 in just three days in order to fund experimental treatment in Germany.
Since leaving Emmerdale, Bracknell has worked as a teacher of yoga and meditation.