Marlin Barrett thanks fans after cancer diagnosis

Image Source: NBC / George Burns Jr

Marlene Barrett shares her gratitude for the amazing fan support she’s received since announcing her cancer diagnosis on September 27. In an interview with People, the “Chicago Med” star revealed that she has been quietly dealing with uterine and ovarian cancer since July 18, when doctors told her she had a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary. “The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my femininity,” she told People. “I didn’t believe them, but when they showed me the CT scan I was like, ‘Oh my word.’ The first questions were “Will I live?” I just fell into my husband’s arms. It still takes my breath away when I think about it.”

“I took my own razor and shaved my head. I did it in front of my babies so they could see she was still mommy. I cried, cried, cried. But it was a beautiful experience to do it in front of them.”

The star’s journey with cancer first began in April when she began to feel unwell following hernia surgery. “I had this fluid build-up [in my abdomen] that I couldn’t shake,” she said. “I looked nine months pregnant. And I was short of breath too, but no pain, which was interesting.”

After being diagnosed, Barrett was told she would need “aggressive” chemotherapy and a hysterectomy, an experience she chose to face head on. “There’s no running away from it because it’s my life,” she said in her interview with People. “And eventually you just give up because it’s so much bigger than anything you’ve ever faced. I found that courage and just buckled down and said, ‘I’m going to face it.'”

Still, accepting the hair loss as a result of chemotherapy was difficult. “I didn’t want to give away the power of chemotherapy,” Barrett said. “My hair has always been an essence of beauty. But I took my own razor and shaved my head. I did it in front of my babies so they could see she was still mommy. I cried, cried, cried. But it was a beautiful experience to do it in front of them.”

Barrett, who has 11-month-old twins Joshua-Jireh and Ann-N’Uriah with her husband, pastor Gavin Barrett, gave countless emotional performances as nurse Maggie Lockwood throughout the Chicago franchise. Memorably, her character, nurse Maggie, was battling breast cancer, a storyline that had an unexpected impact on the star’s real life due to outpourings of love from fans. “When my character went through breast cancer, I had a ton of people reach out to me through social media,” she said. “They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met mine.”

Since announcing her diagnosis, Barrett has been overwhelmed by the continued encouragement from fans. “I am overwhelmed by the support and love I have received,” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for the encouragement. This means a lot to me and my family at this time… Words cannot express how grateful my husband and I are. To this extended family around the world, I pray that we as a people remember how BIG life is and how much LOVE can do in a person’s life.”

In the post, the actor went on to thank the cast and staff at Wolf Entertainment for their support and congratulated the second episode of season eight of “Chicago Med,” noting that “it was hard to film the first two episodes for me.” “I’m starting an hour earlier to get my bearings before I start my day,” said Barrett, who has also appeared on “The Wire” and several reruns of “Law & Order.”

The star notes that the costume department also did an amazing job working around the table on her torso. “Work brings me a lot of joy right now,” she told People, adding that it helps take her mind off the difficult day-to-day realities of a cancer diagnosis, such as juggling treatment appointments.

As she prepares to undergo her third round of chemotherapy, Barrett admits she doesn’t “have it all together,” but she’s holding on to her faith with the help of her loving family. “I find new strength to continue every day [my children]” she told People. “I want to see them get married one day. And I will.”

Leave a Comment