These public figures fought cancer bravely at a young age—and still managed to rise to the top of their game.
Actress and comedienne Vanessa Bayer sent audiences into hysterics during her time on Saturday Night Live, but life wasn’t always laughs for the funny lady. At the age of 15, Bayer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that starts in the bone marrow and can invade the blood quickly, according to the American Cancer Association. She told HuffPost that she was treated for nearly two-and-a-half years and, fortunately, it never recurred.
Musician Andrew McMahon, a member of Jack’s Mannequin, was also diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but at the age of 23. He received a successful bone marrow transplant and is in remission, according to an interview with the Chicago Tribune. To help others who are currently battling the disease, he set up the Dear Jack Foundation, a non-profit organization to help young people who have recently been diagnosed or are in recovery. These are the leukemia symptoms you absolutely should not ignore.
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At just 14 years of age, actor DJ Qualls was diagnosed with Stage 3 (near Stage 4) Hodgkin’s Disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system, according to the Mayo Clinic. He cites his chemotherapy treatment as the reason his development stalled out as a teen. “Chemotherapy kills all fast-growing cells. So my bones never widened, just lengthened,” he said during a press conference for the 2012 FX series Legit.