Dame Julie Walters has pledged her allegiance to health workers working on the front line to battle coronavirus.
The actress – who is a proud supporter of THET (Tropical Health and Education Trust) – has shared a message of hope and defiance for those affected by the deadly virus around the world. And most importantly, those health workers risking their lives to save others.
Julie, 70, said, “Today the world is in the midst of a pandemic and we cannot face this alone. We must stand together. I’m proud to stand in solidarity with health workers all around the world and to support THET’s Lives on the Line: Health Worker Action Fund campaign, please stand with us.”
Having trained in nursing and worked as a nurse in casualty, coronary care and ophthalmic wards at the age of 18, Julie knows first-hand the hardships of the job – which is no doubt why the work of THET is so important to her.
“I came to know of THET through the story of Saed. A nurse on the frontline in Somaliland, the challenges he is facing are different but his dedication to ensuring his patients receive the care they need has remained the same,” she added.
Her involvement in THET’s campaign comes just weeks after Dame Julie opened up about her own health, after she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer last year.
The Mamma Mia star kept her diagnosis a secret until she’d been given the all clear after chemotherapy as she “didn’t want to upset people”.
Opening up about her decision to keep it under wraps, she said, “People deal with it in different ways. I couldn’t bear the thought of everyone worrying – particularly my daughter.”
The mum-of-one added, “I didn’t want to upset people around me.”
And now she’s had time to reflect on the cancer – which started with two primary tumours in her large intestine before spreading to nearby lymph nodes – Julie has a newfound perspective on life.
“It seems unreal now, it seemed unreal at the time, but it was very real. Very real,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s changed me because it’s changed the way I live my life.
“I’ve let a lot of noise go and now a year and a half has passed. I’ve gone from thinking of my cancer as a shock and something terrible that has happened to me, to thinking in a way it was a gift.”