Ashley Park is talking about something she doesn’t often talk about: her battle with cancer.
The Broadway star gave us wanderlust when she played the ever-up-beat BFF, Mindy, in Netflix’s heavily dissected show Emily in Paris. But what her Francophile fans didn’t see onscreen is that Ashley has been on another journey in her personal life, after she was diagnosed with leukemia at age 15.
“Many times people bring up my cancer experience,” she told Cosmopolitan on Friday, Oct. 23. “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.”
She explained that one of her biggest fears about cancer is allowing the illness to forever define her career or identity.
Ashley said, “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.”
The high schooler simply looked forward to having long luscious hair, while wanting to ignore any harmful side-effects of her chemotherapy treatment.