Chicago Med star Marlyne Barrett has revealed that she's been diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer and that she's undergoing treatment while filming the popular NBC drama. Barrett confirmed the news in an interview with People, revealing that doctors discovered a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary in July and that she felt it was important to share her story — especially since her character, Maggie, battled cancer on Chicago Med.
"I'm an extremely private person, but I felt a responsibility to tell my story," Barrett said. "When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media. They brought me courage and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me."
"We as human beings are so scared to face the mortality of life, or to even pronounce the word cancer," she added. "But we have so much more strength inside of us than we think."
Barrett went on to explain that she's continued to film Chicago Med as she undergoes treatment and that she's had a lot of support from the cast and crew — including those who have shaved their heads in support of her — while she's also made adjustments to continue during treatment.
"I start an hour earlier to get my bearings before I start my day," she said before adding that "work brings me a lot of joy right now. It brings me a lot of reprieve to think about something other than 'When is my next chemo shift?' and 'How am I going to hug my children?'"
Created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead, Chicago Med is the third installment of Wolf Entertainment's Chicago franchise, following the emergency department doctors and nurses of the fictional Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. The series, which debuted in 2015, is currently in its eighth season.