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“Earlier this year, Valisia LeKae made a splash on The Great White Way in what many thought was to be the role of her lifetime as Diana Ross in Motown The Musical. A little over six months after the Berry Gordy-produced show became one of Broadway’s biggest box-office hits of 2013, the Tony Award-nominated performer discovered she had ovarian cancer.”
Clearly, this was something that came as a shock to the 34-year actress. One moment you being praised for being on stage and the next moment, you’re confronted with medical news that will change your world.
The actress had been on leave since August and revealed her diagnosis via Facebook. As you can imagine, this shocked the theatre community. LeKae wrote, “I feel that it is important that I share my story in order to educate and encourage others about this disease and the fight against it. God has given me another role to play and like all my previous roles, I plan to go all in, only this time I plan to win!”
Lekae is doing everything she can to bring attention to this disease. She plans to use her voice as a tool to educate people from all over the world. We asked about any warning signs, Lekae said, ‘being a woman, we face menstrual issues every month, and I’ve had reflux and all that other stuff for a while, but nothing that would make me think that I had ovarian cancer. So long story short, no, I wasn’t feeling anything. I went to have my checkup and I had a cyst, and that was the only thing we saw in the sonogram.’
Before her declaration, LeKae had surgery (unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) for clear cell carcinoma of the ovary. Dr. Fishman of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital said, “Her cancer is associated with genetic inherited cancers, yet she has no family history. He added that ‘the cancer can be very aggressive and survival can range from 40 to 90 percent. She required an operation and will need six rounds of chemotherapy.’
[Note; LeKae’s Broadway credits include The Book of Mormon and Ragtime]
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an inspirational speaker, motivator, author, organizer and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for communal change. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey