In the latest issue of People magazine, “Saturday Night Live’” funny girl Vanessa Bayer says her bout with cancer eventually led her into a career of comedy. The 35-year-old comic stated that when she was a high school freshman, she had been diagnosed with leukemia at the tender age of 15. Bayer told the magazine that she was not really afraid at the time because her dad, who is a really funny guy, would make jokes about leukemia to put her mind at ease. The comedian goes on to say she was given intense treatment, which included chemotherapy and radiation, immediately after the diagnosis.

The treatment program did force her to miss the end of ninth grade.

During her ordeal, there was one bright spot. The Make-A-Wish foundation contacted her family in 1999 and granted Bayer’s wish for a family vacation in Hawaii. Bayer said Make-A-Wish took care of everything and the trip was amazing. She remembers staying in the presidential suite where she and her brother tried on all the robes because it was “so fancy and fun.” After high school graduation, the Ohio native joined a sketch comedy group.

She performed stand up comedy in Chicago for six years before catching her big break on “Saturday Night Live.”

The joke is on cancer

In a pay-it-forward kind of way, Bayer got a chance to work with Make-A-Wish and granted children with life threatening ailments their wish to visit the “SNL” set in New York City. Bayer described the moment as being very emotional and full-circle for her especially when she shared with the parents and children that she too was once a “Wish kid.”

When wishes do come true

Before being promoted to repertory status in 2012, Bayer joined “SNL” as a featured player a couple of years prior to that.

Often praised for her performances, HitFix calls her “one of the strongest members of the ensemble.” Rolling Stone magazine refers to her as the show’s secret weapon. Vanessa Bayer is now the longest serving female cast member. The newest edition of People magazine is set to hit newsstands this Friday.

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