Cancer no match for Marleau

Emily Montzka

Contributing Writer

Judy Marleau as Yente, the matchmaker, during the scene where Marleau says, “And that’s what comes from men and women dancing.”

Fiddler on the Roof’s Matchmaker, Judy Marleau, didn’t choose cancer as her own match, but on February 3, 2012, it chose her.

A diagnosis of breast cancer was shocking news, but Marleau was determined not to let cancer win.  Her fight began on February 27 with surgery.  In March, the oncologist appointments to discuss treatment plans began.

Marleau was not going to let cancer take over her life.  Chemo treatments were April 4 through July 19.  Marleau says her family, friends, the Fiddler cast, and her medical crew have all been very supportive.

Marleau has been optimistic since the first diagnosis.  She told her doctor that she was planning to continue teaching at Linwood Elementary School, and to audition for the part of Yente or Golde in the musical that she’s always dreamed about (in addition to teaching summer school!).

Most say she is crazy to maintain that hectic schedule, but Marleau was determined to follow her plan. Dr. King said that if she made it through the audition, he would come to see her on stage.

True to his word, Dr. King, with Marleau’s care coordinator Laurie from the Cancer Institute, plan to see The Fiddler on July 27. Marleau will be on stage with two of her children, Zach (Fyedka) and Hope (Gavriella).

Shortly after her diagnosis, Marleau discovered a quote which has helped her through the painful and tiring cancer process, “When you come to struggles in your life, you can either be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both.  Your attitude determines your success.”

Marleau says, “I chose to be powerful. It isn’t always easy, but I’m determined to fight and win this battle. Cancer is no match for me.”