Emmerdale’s Eden Taylor-Draper opens up about younger sister’s ‘tough’ cancer battle

Emmerdale star Eden Taylor-Draper, best known as the ITV soap’s Belle Dingle, has emotionally opened up about her younger sister’s battle with cancer on TV for the first time.

Four years ago, Eden’s little sister Francesca was diagnosed with cancer, aged just 14.

And appearing side by side in their first joint TV interview on ITV’s Lorraine, 24-year-old Eden praised her sister’s strength and courage as they spoke about her recovery, as well as how she’s feeling now.

Recalling that she found out the news while on the set of Emmerdale, Eden told Lorraine Kelly that she was in total “shock.”

However, she continued to say that soap bosses allowed her time off so she could support her sister through an intense round of chemotherapy treatment.

The actress explained: “Emmerdale were amazing. We were on tea break and they just said, ‘go, whatever you need, we’re here.”

She then went on to explain how ‘tough’ it was to watch her younger sister fighting the disease every day, and how she often felt helpless knowing there was nothing she could do.

Eden said: “It was so tough to see someone you love so much, and someone so tiny, going through all of that. As much as you’re there supporting them, you can’t fix it or help.”

Now, the siblings are coming together to support a Teenager Cancer Trust campaign that highlights the impact the disease has on a patient’s mental health.

Eden explained: “Supporting the campaign is so important because Francesca was in a position where she did have a psychologist she could talk to, there was mental health support."

“For people who have been diagnosed and not had that support, I can’t imagine what them and their families must be going through.”

Explaining the heartbreaking experience had only bought them closer together, Eden concluded they have an unbreakable bond.

She said: "We talk a million times a day. It is so nice that we've found this friendship in being sisters through this experience."

Meanwhile, Francesca, who explained she is now doing “really well”, opened up about her own experience and the importance of having people to talk to throughout treatment.

She said: “A lot of things that you’re feeling in that moment you don’t want to say to your family. I know I felt awful because I was so upset and finding it really difficult but I didn’t want to say to my mum and dad.”

“It’s nice because everyone is so affected by it, it wasn’t just affecting me, it was all my family.”

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