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Emmerdale’s Laura Norton on her children’s life-changing diagnosis, her new show Drama Queens and how Kelvin Fletcher could save her wedding

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Laura Norton felt like her perfect world was crumbling when her two young children were diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.The Emmerdale star, 40, is engaged to be married to her former co-star Mark Jordon, with whom she shares son Jesse, three, and daughter Ronnie, who is 17 months.

Just over a year ago, both children were diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that leads to severe sight and hearing loss.The news has been life-changing for the whole family, but after a period of grief, Laura and Mark have thrown themselves into charity work.They are now patrons and trustees of the charity Cure Usher, raising money to fund research that could help their children, and others like them around the world. “It’s still quite raw,” Laura tells OK !. “It’s a huge part of our lives.

A lot has happened in this last year. It’s very scary because you want to know what the future is going to look like for your children.” The news was devastating, but Laura and Mark are careful to focus on appreciating what they have, while also working towards a cure in the future. “There are so many people who are so much worse off,” says Laura stoically. “We’re so lucky to have what we have, but it’s all relative.There’s only one way out of the other side, and that’s to go through.

All you want for your child is for everything to be OK. You don’t want them to face challenges, you don’t want them to have any less opportunities than anybody else.” Despite their difficult diagnosis, both Jesse and Ronnie are happy and thriving in their loving family unit. “They’re doing amazing,” says Laura. “They’re surpassing all their milestones, they both wear hearing aids and they’re thriving in the face of adversity.

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