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Rove McManus and Belinda

Secondary cancer shock… Belinda Emmett with partner Rove McManus at this year's Logie Awards. Photo: Paul Harris.

Brave Belinda battles bone cancer

Actor Belinda Emmett has at last revealed the nature of the secondary cancer that interrupted her television career and has threatened her life. The 27-year-old has bone cancer.

The All Saints star underwent four months of chemotherapy treatment earlier this year and, after 10 months, is still battling the disease.

Treatment for the cancer—one of the more fatal forms affecting young people—is ongoing, with Emmett having regular bone scans to monitor the condition.

"She is focused on being positive and is still on the journey to recovery," said a close friend last week.

The source confirmed Emmett is still uncertain of her future.

In a new book being released next month by Random House, Emmett speaks for the first time of her hopes.

She has a humble wish: "To grow old and be happy."

In a brief chapter in the book, Emmett talks for the first time about the terrible news she received last September when doctors detected the secondary cancer.

After having her young life turned upside-down in 1998 when at age 24 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Emmett admits she has "truly been tested" by news that the cancer had travelled to her bones.

"At 27, my life so far has been an incredible journey," she said, displaying characteristic optimism.

"And although sometimes the challenges I've faced have seemed overwhelming, overcoming that feeling has given me enormous respect for and faith in the human spirit."

Emmett's contribution to the book, What Women Want, published in conjunction with marie claire, follows her appearance at a women's forum sponsored by the magazine last year.

She joined fellow celebrities and media stars speaking publicly about personal tragedy. Emmett burst into tears when she addressed the audience and discussed the breast cancer that had been in remission for three years.

"Essentially I want to be a living, breathing example of the fact that cancer need not be a death sentence," she said to a hushed and teary group of women supporters.

Her contribution to the book is entirely life affirming and conveys none of the sickness and exhaustion usually associated with chemotherapy and cancer treatment.

The actor also makes no reference to her three-year relationship with TV personality Rove McManus.

After commuting each week from Sydney to Melbourne to see McManus, Emmett quit Sydney this year to move in with the Rove star. Friends say she has found her soulmate in McManus.

Showing his loyalty, McManus continues to evade questions relating to Emmett's condition.

Emmett, for her part, has maintained total silence on the subject since the diagnosis last year.

But the buoyant actor has refused to let the cancer derail her career.

Having first found fame as a young actor on television comedy series Hey Dad!, Emmett has grown up on Australian television starring in programs such as The Cartoon Connection, Home And Away and most recently All Saints.

Only three months ago she completed work on a film, The Nugget, shot in Mudgee and co-starring Chopper star Eric Bana.

By Annette Sharp
August 11, 2002
The Sun-Herald