The character, played by Michelle Hardwick, was revealed to have bowel cancer in tonight’s episode of the ITV soap.
Vanessa’s worrying news was disclosed to viewers by Pierce Harris (Jonathan Wrather) who is holding her hostage.
“This is such a challenging storyline, but we have been working closely with Bowel Cancer UK, who have been enormously helpful to me in researching Vanessa’s symptoms and treatment. I hope to do Vanessa’s story justice. I was actually really shocked to learn that bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and the second biggest cancer killer, but diagnosed early is treatable.” – Michelle Hardwick
Vanessa’s current predicament means that she is unable to share her devastating news with her loved ones – only hostage taker Piece in the know about what she is going through.
This important storyline will play out on Emmerdale over the coming months as Vanessa comes to terms with her diagnosis, which she will eventually get to share with others, and undergoes treatment to fight the disease.
The soap sought advice from charity Bowel Cancer UK when devising Vanessa’s storyline.
“We greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with the Emmerdale team on this important storyline. While everyone’s experience of diagnosis is different, it is vital that Vanessa’s story is as accurate as possible. Although bowel cancer is more common in the over 50s, it can affect people of all ages. More than 2,500 people under 50, like Vanessa, are diagnosed with the disease in the UK every year. This storyline will help to raise awareness of bowel cancer, and we hope it encourages viewers to recognise the symptoms and visit their GP if they’re concerned.” – Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK
Emmerdale continues tomorrow at 7pm on ITV, STV and UTV.