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Broadway Actor Discusses Cancer Experience, A Man’s Remission Is Celebrated on a Plane and More

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From Broadway actor Jeff Gorti opening up about his childhood cancer experience to Brian Barczyk of The Reptarium dying, here’s what’s happening in the oncology space this week.

The red curtains are opening for the theater show | Image credit: © - alphaspirit © - stock.adobe.com

Jeff Gorti, a Broadway actor in the musical, "Chicago," opened up about his experience with a rare eye cancer.

A Broadway actor opened up about his childhood cancer experience.

Jeff Gorti, an ensemble member in the Tony Award-winning musical, “Chicago,” was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer called retinoblastoma when he was only one year old. Soon after, the Philadelphia native had to undergo surgery to remove his eye — a surgery that not only deemed him to be cancer-free but also one that changed his life, according to Playbill.

Now, Gorti has a prosthetic left eye and has no left-side vision.

“I have learned to wear it as a badge of honor that I’ve made it this far, and that I did survive something like that,” he said in an interview with Playbill. “Because there are other people like me out there,” says Gorti.

Brian Barczyk, social media star and owner of The Reptarium, died of cancer.

Brian Barczyk, of Michigan’s The Reptarium, who was known around the globe for his social media page that featured up close, educational videos of reptiles and other animals, died of pancreatic cancer, according to a Monday post on The Reptarium’s Facebook page.

Barczyk was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer in February 2023 after experiencing back and abdominal pain. Then the disease progressed to stage 4. In early January, he posted a goodbye message to his 5 million YouTube subscribers, explaining that he was at the end of his life and entering hospice care, and would not be able to see The Reptarium’s expansion, called the LegaSea Aquarium, be completed.

“I’m going to be able to look down on the legacy, I’m going to be able to look down on my family and everyone who I love,” he said in the video. “I love you guys, you guys be good… inspire people.”

A woman asked a flight attendant to announce that her husband was cancer-free on the flight to their honeymoon.

Hayley and Josh Louvelle had to postpone their honeymoon multiple times after Josh was diagnosed with stage 4 thymoma — a rare cancer that occurs in the thymus, which is the organ responsible for making immune cells — in 2020. After undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to remove his right lung, thymus gland, heart lining and part of the diaphragm, Josh was deemed cancer-free, and recently the couple finally booked a flight to Jamaica to celebrate their honeymoon.

While boarding the flight, Hayley secretly gave the flight attendant a note asking her to make a special announcement, while she stood by and filmed her husband’s reaction.

"A young man on this plane named Josh was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in June of 2020 …He was on life support two times and was in and out of the hospital for years. He fought for his life and is now cancer-free and on his way to his honeymoon in Jamaica! Please join me in giving Josh the biggest round of applause!"


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