Our beloved Charlotte Rae has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time. The actress who portrayed Edna Garrett on Different Strokes and The Facts of Life revealed that she had recently found out that she was battling bone cancer.
“Last Monday, I found out I have bone cancer,” said Garrett to PEOPLE. “About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — which is a miracle that they found it because usually, it’s too late. My mother, sister and my uncle died of pancreatic cancer. After six months of chemotherapy, I was cancer-free. I lost my hair, but I had beautiful wigs. Nobody even knew.”
The actress went on to say, “So now, at the age of 91, I have to make up my mind. I’m not in any pain right now. I’m feeling so terrific and so glad to be above ground. Now I have to figure out whether I want to go have treatment again to opt for life. I love life. I’ve had a wonderful one already. I have this decision to make.”
Rae, who just celebrated her 91st birthday on April 22nd was supposed to begin treatment this past Thursday but decided to cancel. She explained her decision by stating,
“I wanted to think about it first. I think I’m going to go for it. The side effects were not too bad when I did it originally. I’ve had a great life, but I have so many wonderful things happening. I’d like to choose life. I’m grateful for the life I’ve already had.”
The actress released a memoir of the life entitled The Facts of My Life in 2015. She tells about surviving the death of her eldest son, Andrew, who suffered from dementia and autism, her 44 years of sobriety and dealing with the discovery of her husband being bi-sexual.
We here at Fan Fest News are sending Charlotte all of our heartfelt thoughts and prayers and wish her a strong and happy future.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo