EastEnders fan favourite Lola Pearce is set to be diagnosed with a brain tumour on the BBC soaps, in an upcoming storyline.
The soap have said they are working alongside Brain Tumour Research and Macmillan Cancer Support on the storyline, which will begin this autumn.
EastEnders viewers will watch Lola and her loved ones deal with her diagnosis in the ‘emotional’ arc.
The plot will follow the experience of Lola and those around her as she reckons with her diagnosis and the reality of being a young person living with a brain tumour.
Lola actress Danielle Harold said ‘it means so much’ to be trusted with the emotional storyline on Albert Square, noting it will be one close to many EastEnders fans.
She said: “Sadly many of our viewers will be able to relate to Lola’s story and it’s been heartbreaking to speak to the families affected by brain tumours and hear their stories.
“They’ve been so amazing in sharing their experiences with me, and I’m so lucky to have them. I wouldn’t be able to do this storyline without their support.”
EastEnders executive producer Chris Clenshaw added: “It was vital for us to work alongside Macmillan and Brain Tumour Research to take on, and accurately present, such a profound and emotional storyline for Lola, one that many viewers may relate to.
“Danielle has thoughtfully relayed the realities of being diagnosed with a brain tumour with grace and understanding.
“We hope that this storyline resonates with the audience, and that we represent it as sensitively, and accurately as possible.”
The soap have said they worked ‘closely’ with the leading charities on this storyline to ensure it is portrayed ‘as realistically and as sensitively as possible’.
Sue Castle-Smith, head of PR and communications for the charity Brain Tumour Research said: “We are extremely grateful to EastEnders for helping to raise awareness of brain tumours.
“Sadly, Lola’s story is all too familiar to thousands of families. Brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age, they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.”
Macmillan Cancer Support's strategic advisor for treatment, Dany Bell, said that storylines such as Lola’s play a ‘crucial’ role in raising awareness and can genuinely save viewers’ lives.
They added: “We are really pleased to be helping EastEnders ensure a realistic experience is being portrayed on the show.
“The moving storyline will show how suddenly a diagnosis can impact every aspect of a person’s life and how challenging it can truly be.
“We know that what Lola and her fictional family are going through on EastEnders is a daily reality for many people around the UK right now, and Macmillan is here to offer advice and support to anyone who needs it.
“Anyone watching with concerns about any potential signs or symptoms of cancer must also speak to their GP as soon as possible.”
EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One