During Cancer, Do What Brings You Joy, Vanessa Bayer Says

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Conference | <b>MPN Heroes®</b>

When going through cancer, former ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast member Vanessa Bayer found comedy. Now, she urges others to find what brings them joy.

When Vanessa Bayer was going through cancer treatments as a teenager, she discovered her love of comedy — something that eventually led her down a career path that included being a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” and starring in multiple comedy movies and television shows.

“Do the things that bring you joy. It’s a really great way to get through (and) to navigate a cancer journey,” Bayer said in an interview with CURE®.

Bayer, who is also an author, was the keynote speaker at CURE®’s 10th Annual MPN Heroes® program in December. In her speech, she discussed how her acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis, which she received when she was 15 years old, shaped her life.

Not only did Bayer discover her love for comedy during her cancer experience, but it also made her determined not to be underestimated; she did not want people to take pity on her or define her by her diagnosis, so she therefore became a self-proclaimed overachiever. “And I think that has a lot to do with where I am today,” she said at her speech during the event.

READ MORE: CURE® Salutes 8 Individuals’ Efforts During 10th Annual MPN Heroes® Program


Do the things that bring you joy. It is really a great way to get through (and) to navigate a cancer journey. And, you know, for me comedy was one of those things. And I think, you know, along those lines, and along kind of the lines of what I was saying in my speech tonight (at the MPN Heroes® Program), I really do tell everyone who is battling cancer, dealing with any kind of trauma, really use it to get like whatever you can get because honestly, what you're going through is so difficult. You deserve whatever sort of perks you can get.

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