Emmerdale‘s Sian Reese-Williams talks to Soaplife about the terror and helplessness Gennie feels when she finds out her mum Brenda has a brain tumour – and doesn’t want to have the surgery that could save her life!

So how does Gennie react to her mum’s illness?
“She panics. Brenda’s everything to Gennie and this becomes really clear as this storyline goes on. She thinks the worst and she’s cross with her mum because she feels she’s not taking it seriously. Brenda’s reaction is that everything will be fine. She’s obviously scared, too, but she isn’t showing it. Gennie’s trying to get Brenda to face the truth maybe more than she wants to.”

Brenda doesn’t even want to tell Bob she’s seriously ill…
“And that makes Gennie angry. She cares about Bob and she doesn’t want him left in the dark. Brenda’s behaviour is confusing to Bob and yet Gennie’s having to keep quiet. She feels Bob should know as he and Brenda are now an item, but Brenda doesn’t want Bob to stay with her out of pity. A few times Gennie thinks about telling him herself!”

And how does Gennie react when the neurosurgeon reveals Brenda has a brain tumour?
“Gennie goes into practical mode and says they need to figure out when Brenda can have the operation she needs. As far as Gennie is concerned, it’s a black-and-white situation and Brenda should definitely have the op. So when Brenda says: ‘Actually I don’t know if it’s what I want’, the whole world goes from beneath Gennie’s feet. She’s reeling. This is literally a life-or-death thing and Gennie’s furious. She’s also scared about her mum not being around any more. It’s devastating that she can’t get Brenda to change her mind, even though she tries and tries.”

Is there anyone else who might be able to get through to Brenda?
“Gennie’s pushing Brenda to tell Bob, hoping that if he knows what’s going on he’ll manage to talk her round. Gennie can’t cope with the pressure. Her biological mother died, her biological father died and her adoptive father died. Even though she and Brenda have always had their differences, Brenda is everything to Gennie and it would be terrifying if her mum was no longer around…”