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'Emmerdale' Lesley Dunlop: 'Brenda's brain tumour brought back memories'

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Emmerdale star Lesley Dunlop has revealed that Brenda's brain tumour brought back memories of her own mother's illness.

Brenda got diagnosed with a brain tumour last week but soon decides against treatment.

Lesley Dunlop as Brenda Walker in Emmerdale

© ITV

Lesley Dunlop as Brenda Walker



Speaking to The Mirror, Dunlop said: "I lost my mum, Marion, to leukaemia 14 years ago when she was just 68. She decided against treatment - just as Brenda does.

"Mum didn't want chemotherapy. She'd seen friends who'd had it die during it or shortly afterwards. She had a 35% chance of survival with chemo, which was difficult because it gave us hope that she would make it. Doing this story is bringing those memories back.

"Mum said she'd rather spend the year they said she might have with us, her children, than go through treatment. But she only had seven months in the end."

Dunlop admitted that because of her own experience with the illness, she understands the difficult situation that Brenda is facing.

"I know from my own experience that Brenda is in a difficult situation, the kind where each person has to decide what's right for them. You just don't know what you'd do until it happens.

"I've been where Gennie, Brenda's daughter, is going to be. I've been the one saying 'Mummy please, you're choosing to leave us and you're my mum'."

Emmerdale, Brenda has a brain tumour, Thu 7 Mar

© ITV

Brenda and Gennie in Emmerdale



Dunlop revealed how she struggled with shooting the scenes where Brenda has a seizure.

"I've been looking on the internet, reading and speaking to crew members whose relatives have been affected," she said.

"When it came to shooting the scenes, we were doing it over and over. By the end, my head was thumping and I felt as though I was almost hyperventilating. Once we'd finished, I went to the dressing room and just cried.

"It's one of those storylines that has really made me think a lot about my own health and the choices we have to make."

Dunlop recently revealed she was scared about Brenda's brain tumour plot.

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.

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