Leah Bracknell has penned an emotional update on her battle with lung cancer after being given just months to live at the time of her diagnosis in 2016. The former Emmerdale actress labelled herself a "cancer rebel" in a new manifesto, in which she vowed to continue living for as long as possible, after already defying odds by living longer that she was expected to.
Leah was diagnosed in 2016
Speaking at Trew Fields last week, the UK’s very first cancer awareness and holistic health festival, Leah explained to the audience that she wrote "The Cancer Rebel’s Manifesto for Life" to "reject the notion of being a victim." She added: "I embrace every opportunity that cancer gives me to learn, to grow, to expand, I embrace the glass half full, I embrace healing, I embrace laughter, I embrace joy, I embrace hope... And above all else I embrace life."
Detailing her points on her blog, Leah explained: "I REBEL against the fear of cancer, against pity from others and myself, against being defined by cancer, and against being bullied by cancer. I EMBRACE the strength of my spirit and every opportunity that cancer gives me to learn, to grow, to expand. I embrace the path on which I find myself, embrace gratitude and above all else I embrace LIFE."
Leah has already defied the odds
She added: "For 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."
When Leah – who played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale between 1989 and 2005 – was first diagnosed after a hospital check-up related to her heart, she was told that she'd have just eight months to live. She has now exceeded doctors' expectations by over 24 months. Previously opening up about the diagnosis, she told Loose Women: "I don’t wake up every morning feeling fearful, I wake up feeling grateful and excited about life."
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