What Disease Did Vanessa Bayer From 'SNL' Beat?

Vaness Bayer Instagram

Comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Vanessa Bayer recently shared she is a childhood cancer survivor with CNBC Make It. Bayer signed a deal with Showtime to star in the show, Big Deal, which she is co-created.

The show sounds very autobiographical. Because it is about a woman who beats childhood leukemia. And then reaches her dream of becoming a home shopping television star. Bayer said the series is based on what she endured when she beat cancer as a high school freshman.

This is how Bayer discovered she had cancer

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#tbt ❤️

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#tbt ❤️

A post shared by Vanessa P Bayer (@vanessabayer) on

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#tbt ❤️

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Even though many teenagers get tired during the day, especially if they get up early and stay up late, Bayer’s case was different. “It generally shows somewhere and my eyes swelled up,” she told The Huffington Post. “I was getting sick and not getting better ― this was all in ninth grade. I was having all of these issues and then I was diagnosed.” She adds that she recalls the doctor took a sample. “Biopsied my bone marrow or something ― and saw that I had it. Again, I was 15 and it’s a long treatment but it’s curable right now. I was very lucky.”

She recalls her parents being with her when she received the scary diagnosis. “I feel like my parents were in the room with me ―  it was such a long time ago. It was definitely a scary thing, but I had a lot of support from my family and I was always very optimistic in general. I always felt like I was on a path to recovery.”

Her treatment and battle consumed her high school years

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Happy birthday to my super chill brother

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Happy birthday to my super chill brother

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Happy birthday to my super chill brother

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Bayer told The Huffington Post her treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia lasted for about two and a half years. “I was treated for about two-and-a-half years. It was obviously a difficult thing to go through. I do think surviving something like that definitely affected my sense of humor and made me want to go into comedy because my family, my friends and I all laughed about it a lot.”

And thankfully the treatment worked. “I was very lucky because once I was treated for leukemia it never recurred, but I know that had it recurred there was a likelihood I would have had to get a bone marrow transplant.”

She adds she used humor to survive

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#tbt to the most amazing goodnights!

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#tbt to the most amazing goodnights!

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#tbt to the most amazing goodnights!

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Bayer’s position as an A-list comedian began when she faced adversity. “I used humor a lot to get through,” she told CNBC Make It. “It was something that I think made me sort of go into comedy because, you know, my friends and I could laugh about it all so much and so I think it really helped me get through that time.”

She adds, “A lot of times it helps to laugh to get through things, and so I think that that’s why a lot of comics have been through some pretty serious stuff because, you know, if you laugh at it, it makes it sort of a little bit easier to get through,” she explains.

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