Broadway star Ashley Park – who recently made waves on the small screen after starring in the much talked-about Emily In Paris – has opened up about her battled with leukemia when she was a teen.
The American actress of Korean descent told Cosmopolitan she was 15 when she was diagnosed with the disease.
Park, now 29, underwent chemotherapy and eventually triumphed over the disease. After surviving cancer, she felt it was important to protect her mind, and not dwell on the long-term side effects of chemotherapy.
“I didn’t want to know that I might be infertile or that my heart might stop working or any of that stuff because once you say it, you’re thinking about it.
"Even though my body beat the disease, if I let it change anything, it’s won.”
Park, who plays Chinese heiress Mindy who strikes up a friendship with Emily (Lily Collins) in the hit series, also did not want to let the disease define her.
“Many times people bring up my cancer experience and I totally don’t mind talking about it. I think it’s very important to talk about, but I also appreciate when I’m not asked to talk about the experience, or about how it’s informed how I’ve lived my life.”
“I never wanted to be just the Asian girl, just the ‘whatever’ girl, and then I got to 16 and was the bald girl and the sick girl.”
Nevertheless, the actress added she has learnt to embrace the painful experience more now, as it not only built resilience and fortitude but led her to discover acting as a form of therapy.
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