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Playing House’s Jessica St. Clair Reveals Cancer Battle

Jessica St. Clair
Jessica St. Clair attends NBCUniversal’s Summer Press Day in 2014.

Jessica St. Clair’s real-life battle with breast cancer will be a new storyline for her character, Emma Crawford, in the third season of Playing House. The actress revealed her diagnosis for the very first time in an emotional essay for Stand Up To Cancer, which was published on Tuesday, May 9.

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“In the new season, my character, Emma, gets diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoes the exact treatment I did. We were worried about bringing such serious subject matter to a comedy show, but we’ve always written what we’ve lived,” St. Clair, 40, wrote. “And our real story is that with the help of her best friend, and the people who love her, my character is able to get through the treatment and actually emerge somehow happier and more fulfilled than she was before she was diagnosed.”

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The writer-producer was diagnosed in the fall of 2015. She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy and returned to work on the USA Network comedy during her 12 weeks of radiation.

Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair
‘Playing House’ co-stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair

St. Clair has starred on Playing House opposite Lennon Parham (also the creator) since its 2014 debut. The costars hope that Emma’s narrative will help others.

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“We hope that by sharing my experience — our experience, Lennon and I — that somebody who is going through this process or helping their loved one through it might feel less alone,” St. Clair wrote, “and might even have some better information for their cancer care.”

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