Kim Taylforth has opened up about the heartbreaking moment she told her sister, EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth, that she’d been diagnosed with skin cancer.
Kim, who’s also an actress and has appeared in Family Affairs and Hollyoaks, has been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and has recently undergone operations to have three growths surgically removed from her face.
Sadly, due to clashing work schedules, her famous sister Gillian couldn’t be there to support her sister straight away.
Kim explained, ‘When I told Gillian she was in Liverpool doing Hollyoaks and said: “I’m so sorry I can’t be with you. I feel terrible”.
‘She was regretful she couldn’t give me the support my elder sister Debbie, who was coming to the hospital with, was.’
Kim revealed that during the emotional phone call, Gillian struggled to hold it together.
‘Gill is very soft-hearted and deals with things by bursting into tears.’
Like many young women, Gillian and Kim spent their teenage years sunbathing without skin protection – something which Kim now believes has resulted in her aggressive illness.
Kim is due to appear on Lorraine this week as part of the VIP (Very Important Parts) Skin Special, to talk about her skin cancer diagnosis.
Appearing on the show this Wednesday, Kim hopes to raise awareness and minimise the risk for other young women. In a survey conducted for the segment, it was found that only 30% of people always wear sunscreen, almost 40% had burned on sun beds in the past month and almost 50% rated a holiday tan as important.
Now Kim is well underway with her treatment – having had three growths removed and five more treated with photodynamic therapy. She’s also had the full support of her soap star sister:
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‘When I sent the picture to Gilly of the scar on my forehead – it looks like a bullet wound – she rang me crying,’ she told The Mirror. ‘She sat with me when I came out of hospital after having the one on the side of my nose removed.
‘My family are amazing – throughout any crisis, we’re there for one another.’