EastEnders' Cheryl Fergison reveals support from co-stars during secret cancer diagnosis

The late Dame Barbara Windsor paid some of her bills.

Cheryl Fergison took part in Celebrity Big Brother in 2012. (Getty Images)
Cheryl Fergison has never publicly revealed her womb cancer battle until now. (Getty Images)

EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison has opened up about the incredible support she received during her secret cancer battle.

The actor, who is best known for playing Heather Trott in EastEnders, was diagnosed with womb cancer in 2015 but she has never publicly revealed the news until now. Last year Fergison was given the all-clear and now she is ready to tell her story.

While she had her regular smear test come back clear, she went back to the doctors when she was suffering with backache and began to have blood spotting. After tests and a biopsy, she received the diagnosis of stage 2 womb cancer.

Fergison revealed in her darkest moments she feared she was going to die but she was amazed by the support she received - especially from her EastEnders co-star, the late kind-hearted Dame Barbara Windsor.

Scott Mitchell and his wife, the late Dame Barbara Windsor. (Getty)
Scott Mitchell and his wife, the late Dame Barbara Windsor. (Getty)

Windsor came to her rescue through financial generosity. "I can hear her now saying, 'Come on darling, how are you feeling? You know you can get through this,'" she told The Mirror.

The actor was invited to Windsor and husband Scott Mitchell's home after they learned of her cancer news. She added: "I popped to the loo and when I came back Barb said, 'right, darling, how much? How much are your bills and your mortgage because we'd like to support you'. I was in shock and said no but Barbs was insistent - I wasn't earning.

"They sat there and wrote a cheque. I was sobbing but Barbara hugged me and said: 'don't worry. We're always going to be here for you'. Their support meant the world to me."

At home, Fergison also had the incredible support of her husband of 12 years, Yassine, and her 24-year-old son Alex. The three of them live together at their home in Blackpool.

Fans have flooded Fergison's social media with support following her news. Among the comments, one person wrote: "Cheryl I have said before and I will say it again you are one of the most strongest souls out there, through your fears you showed nothing but love and strength for others, not letting on about your fears and worries. I am so pleased you have found the strength to tell your story. Your such an inspiration thank you for being you for the love light and strength you give so many, and the awareness you raise. I truly hope your doing ok much love always x."

Another shared: "Such stunning courage. When we speak of our battles we ease the approach that others face with theirs. xx."

More people shared their praise for the star. "You are so beautiful and wonderful, I wish you all happiness and I want you on Strictly," one person wrote.

"Thank you for sharing something so personal and for raising awareness to so many people. Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way."

"So sorry to hear your story and thank goodness you are fit and well again. Thank you for raising awareness of health issues. Keep smiling...as always! X."

Cheryl Fergison is best known for playing Heather Trott in EastEnders
Cheryl Fergison is best known for playing Heather Trott in EastEnders. (BBC)

Fergison is best known for her role as Heather Trott in EastEnders which she played for five years. It has been 11 years since her on-screen persona was killed off in a dramatic plot in EastEnders. Heather was brutally murdered by Ben Mitchell (who was played by Joshua Pascoe at the time) in 2012.

Reflecting on her time on EastEnders, the actor said her character's ending was "bittersweet". She told Best magazine: "It was a bittersweet day. What you get with one hand, you get taken away with another!

"When they told me Heather was for the chop, (the boss) had to get me a tissue. Sometimes a character is sacrificed to make other stories work. I get it. I knew it was going to come but it was still a shock."