Zoe Brown Derry Girls

Derry Girls actress Zoe Brown, who played Baby Anna, has been diagnosed with leukemia

Young actress Zoe Brown, who played Anna in Derry Girls, is battling leukemia (Picture: Channel 4/Supplied)

The little girl who played Baby Anna in Derry Girls has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Four-year-old Zoe Brown, along with her twin Sophie, played the younger sister of lead character Erin Quinn in the hit Channel 4 sitcom.

Zoe, who is from Belfast, shared the role in series two and three of the show, which revolved around teenagers growing up in Derry during the Troubles and the ensuing peace accord.

The baby girl is now undergoing grueling chemotherapy and other treatments after being diagnosed with the cruel illness in May.

His mother, Leah, said Belfast Live her daughter is “still smiling” although she is now so sick from the treatment that she can no longer walk.

Diagnosed just seven weeks ago, Zoe underwent multiple bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures, and lost her hair, which her mother says is “the saddest thing for her”.

Zoe Brown

Zoe always smiles through it all, her mum Leah says (Picture: Supplied)

“Zoe just had the longest, thickest hair and it was the first thing everyone talked about when they saw her,” she said.

However, she added that they had met other little girls who had lost their hair in the hospital’s pediatric ward and “made her feel better”.

Leah had to give up her job to look after Zoe during her treatment, with her twin sister starting primary school without her, and Leah says she is “overwhelmed with the help and support from everyone”.

Zoe and her twin, Sophie, played Erin’s little sister on the hit sitcom (Picture: Channel 4)

Zoe will need intense treatment until Christmas and maintenance chemotherapy for two years after that.

A fundraiser has been set up by a family friend to help cover costs and other hardships as the little girl battles cancer, with the JustGiving page describing the “brutal” side effects of Zoe’s medication.

“It’s a long way to go, so with the help of our community, we can all come together and do what we can to help the family,” the page reads.

The girls appeared in two series of the show as Anna, with creator Lisa McGee describing her as ‘the most wonderful little girl’ (Picture: Channel 4)

He went on to say that an in-person fundraiser will take place in Belfast in July to raise additional funds for Zoe and her family “to help ease the pain of what they are all going through”.

Set up with an initial target of £500, the JustGiving page has far exceeded that, currently standing at over £3,500.

It was shared on social media by Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee herself, who told Belfast Live she was ‘so sorry’ the little girl was ill, describing her as ‘the most wonderful of young girls”.

She added that they were “so lucky to have her in the Derry Girls family”.

You can find Zoe’s JustGiving page here.


Macmillan Cancer Support

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, Macmillan can offer support and information.

You can contact their helpline on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week from 8am to 8pm), use their online chat service or visit their site for more information.

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