A SOAP star will be guest of honour at a ball being held near Selby to raise funds for the battle against the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
BAFTA -nominated former EastEnders actress Kierston Wareing, who played Kirsty Branning in the BBC drama until Christmas, became a patron of Mesothelioma UK after her mother Carol died from the disease.
She will attend a ball being organised on Saturday at Drax Sports and Social Club by three local women, Fran Miller, of Carlton, Rachel Thackray, of Osgodby and Amanda Miller, of Thorne, who all have personal experience of the devastating impact of the illness.
Fran's father Peter Bason, of Camblesforth, Amanda’s father, Dennis Digby, of Snaith, and Rachel's father Toni Spooner, of Drax, have all died from the cancer in the past few years.
Saturday's event is the third in a series of balls held by the trio to raise public awareness of the disease and raise funds for Mesothelioma UK.
Amanda said it was 'wonderful' to have someone of Kierston’s standing to support the ball. "She understands how devastating the loss of a loved one can be from this terrible disease," she said.
Rachel said: “ It is always been our hope to raise the profile of this awful disease. Kierston’s story and profile as a leading actress will be of enormous help”
Howard Bonnett, of Corries Solicitors Limited of York, who is a friend of Fran and Amanda, said mesothelioma was often thought of as a man’s disease but Kierston’s mother was one of an ever increasing number of women who were dying through it.
"Nationally 400 of the 2,600 annual mesothelioma victims are women," he added.
The ball is a complete sell-out but anyone wanting to donate raffle prizes or auction lots to help raise more money can contact Amanda Miller on 07899 761458.