'Saturday Night Live' Star Vanessa Bayer Battled Leukemia As A Teen & She's Now Helping Others In An Inspiring Way
If you adore this funny lady on Saturday Night Live, I have a feeling you're going to love her even more now. While chatting with People, Vanessa Bayer talked battling leukemia as a teenager. At 15 years old, the comedienne and actress was diagnosed with the form of cancer, which affected her life greatly. She revealed, "Being a sick child is obviously extremely difficult. You're in hospitals all the time undergoing treatments, and you're not getting to do all of the things that other kids your age are doing."
Bayer also dealt with a lot of stress at such a young age, especially when she went through 10 days of radiation, 11 months of chemotherapy, and two years of follow-up chemo. She said, "As a child or young adult going through an illness, it can be stressful at times and boring and extremely alienating." She was unlike most other kids she knew, but Bayer fought her way through the chemo and is now one successful, talented, and hilarious woman contributing to Hollywood and the world in more ways than one.
For example, the 33-year-old is an avid supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Actually, during her leukemia fight, Bayer was selected by the admirable non-profit to visit Hawaii with her family. "It is so powerful to get to experience a wish, and it was amazing," she recalled to People. "I remember a stretch limousine picked us up to take us to the airport, and it was my first time ever in a limo." She described the experience as "uplifting," "wonderful," and "such a special time for [her] to be away from hospitals and from all the stressful, bad things."
Now, Bayer is giving back to the very same foundation that gave her so much. Not only was she the host of the 2015 Evening of Wishes fundraising gala, but the one-time Mindy Project guest star was overjoyed with the fact she can help other kids going through similar situations. She said, "It was an overwhelming feeling be[ing] able to give back to an organization that helped me through such a difficult time. To contribute in any way to granting more kids a wish experience as joyful and uplifting as mine was just amazing. Plus, having my family and my wish granter at the gala made the whole evening feel very full-circle."
This isn't the first time Bayer has talked about her illness. In 2014 during a Reddit AMA chat, she revealed the following about how leukemia affected her life and comedy career: "I think it really gave me a good perspective on life in general and taught me that comedy really does have the power to make you feel better and lift your spirits. During everything I went through, my family and friends never stopped making me laugh."
So, if you were looking for someone to inspire you, I think I found the perfect person.
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