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Source: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

'Chicago Med's Marlyne Barrett Draws on Her Own Experiences With Cancer to Play Maggie

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The mid-season finale for Chicago Med has everyone on their toes after this insanely dramatic fifth season. April is set to receive some unfortunate news that will lead to her questioning her future with Ethan, while Natalie's memories from the car wreck are beginning to return.

But we're also set to experience some drama with regards to Dr. Charles and Maggie's relationship, so much so that many viewers are wondering whether the doctor, played by Oliver Platt, or Maggie are actually leaving Chicago Med altogether. 

So, is the head nurse, played by Marlyne Nayokah Barrett, leaving Chicago Med? Keep reading to find out.

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Source: Adrian Burrows/NBC

Is Maggie Lockwood leaving Chicago Med?

To recap on her character, Maggie has been a mainstay on Chicago Med's roster since Season 1. We've seen her go through many arcs, from being unjustly arrested in Season 1 to the intense bond she forged with her trans sister Denise in Season 2.

But Season 5 has arguably been the most heart-wrenching, as far as the Charge Nurse of the ER is concerned. After donating her kidney to a woman who developed cancer, Maggie realized that she too has metastatic adenocarcinoma, also known as metastatic breast cancer, but decides to keep it from the rest of her colleagues.

And chemo hasn't been treating the head nurse too well. After her first round at East Mercy Medical Center, she nearly passes out during her shift in the ER. 

But we are really hoping that this no-nonsense nurse isn't going to be fated for doom. 

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Source: Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

Marlyne Nayokah Barrett opens up about her own experience with breast cancer.

While Marlyne has been sharing photos of her directorial short film debut, we are definitely hoping that juggling multiple projects doesn't affect her character's arc on the show.

After all, Maggie is the brains of the ER department and the glue that is keeping everyone together. But in a recent interview with Black America Web, the actress explained how she was "shocked" to find out her character was battling cancer this season, and how she drew from her personal experiences with the disease to prepare.

"I approached Maggie with bravado," she told the outlet. "She could eat metal, like Superwoman. She definitely had moments of humility, but she never had moments of frailty. The moment I heard it took me aback because my mom is a survivor."

In fact, both of her parents battled cancer when Marlyne herself was already an adult. "My biggest prayer was, 'God don't let me punk out of a scene. Don't let me revert to a shtick!'," she continued, noting that she didn't want to "hide behind bravado" and instead "tell a truthful story to honor my mother."

"I have an aunt that died from cancer too," she said before adding, "we should be able to find a cure."

Thankfully, there is no mention of a departure from the show in any of Marlyne's recent interviews. What's more, we're encouraged by the words of co-showrunner Andy Schneider who assures us that they "want to do a year-long arc about her cancer treatment to show the possibilities of cancer treatment and new technology."

Phew! Hopefully we see Maggie make a full recovery, though it may take the rest of the season to get there. Don't miss new episodes of Chicago Med, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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