06/10/2016 22:27 BST | Updated 07/10/2016 11:59 BST

'Emmerdale' Star Leah Bracknell (Who Played Zoe Tate) Suffering From Lung Cancer

Leah Bracknell starred in the soap for 16 years.

‘Emmerdale’ star Leah Bracknell is suffering from lung cancer, it was reported on Wednesday. 

The actress who played central character Zoe Tate in the soap for 16 years until her departure in 2005 was only diagnosed a few weeks ago and has already undergone surgery, according to her partner’s post on Facebook. 

Jez Hughes writes that doctors have since diagnosed Leah with lung cancer, and that her partner is now raising funds to send the actress for further specialist treatment in Germany. 

Leah Bracknell is seeking specialist treatment in Germany, says her partner Jez Hughes

Leah was one of ‘Emmerdale’s biggest stars in her time in the soap, during which her character Zoe made history by coming out as gay, the first female character to do so in a British soap.  

She later played Jenny Carrington in ‘The Royal Today’. Most recently, she has worked as a yoga teacher. 

Leah’s partner Jez has appealed for help with fund-raising in an emotional post on his Facebook page, in which he describes the last horrendous weeks for the couple. 

He writes:

“Hi all. So it’s been an incredibly tough month as my beloved partner and soul mate, Ali/ Leah, was rushed to hospital 5 weeks ago. 

“Luckily they were able to drain a litre of fluid from around her heart which saved her life.   

“Unfortunately the diagnosis for the problem that caused the fluid build up was lung cancer, stage 4, what the doctors call ‘terminal.’ 

‘She’s responded with incredible positivity and we’re determined to fight this, knowing that the medical profession doesn’t always know the whole story. 

Zoe Tate made history on 'Emmerdale' as British soaps' first female character to come out

“We’ve already had Marakame’s (Mexican shaman) in the hospital doing healings on her and incredible support from friends and loved ones. This is helping keeping us very positive and upbeat.’ 

“And already there are positive signs. 

“After a month of researching and getting advise from professionals, we’ve found there are incredible breakthroughs being made in clinics in Europe that combine the best of integrative (alternative) medicine with the most cutting edge modern treatments such as immunotherapy, which actually use DNA testing to attack the specific cancer cells in your body.

‘The downside is these treatments are expensive. So I’ve set up a Go Fund Me campaign for Ali to help raise money towards these potentially life saving treatments.” 

In a later post, he added thanks for messages of support, adding: “We are both feeling incredibly buoyant and positive. Ali has such a strong spirit and has responded to this healing crisis in an amazing way.” 

Click here for information about Leah Bracknell’s fund. 

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