Valisia LeKae, who received a 2013 Tony Award nomination for her performance as Diana Ross in Broadway's Motown The Musical, has withdrawn from the show after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The 34-year-old actress confirmed her diagnosis on her Facebook page.
"On, Nov 22, 2013, I had laparoscopic surgery to remove an endometrioma from my right ovary. A sample was taken from that endometrioma and on December 2, 2013, my pathology results reveled that I was positive for Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma, Ovarian Cancer," LeKae writes. "After receiving a second opinion it was confirmed by my Gynecologic Oncologist on Dec 9, 2013, that the diagnosis had been correct. Per the advice of my doctor, I will need to have another surgery (unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) as well as chemotherapy. I am scheduled for Thursday (December 19, 2013) and chemotherapy soon thereafter."
She continued, "As a 34 year old, African American woman, 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. 2013 has been full of blessings, from being nominated for a prestigious Tony Award for my portrayal of "Diana Ross" in Motown The Musical as well as many other accolades. 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!"
The producers of Motown the Musical released the following statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Valisia during this challenging time, and we, along with the entire Motown the Musical family, are hoping for a complete and speedy recovery." The role of Diana Ross is currently being played by Felicia Boswell.
TheaterMania sends LeKae best wishes for her surgery and recovery period. We look forward to seeing her on stage again soon.