Rachel Maddow
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Rachel Maddow's Long-Time Partner Susan Mikula Is an Artist and Photographer

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Oct. 7 2021, Published 1:29 p.m. ET

News anchors aren't always all that forward about their personal lives, but in recent years, Rachel Maddow has spoken more and more about her long-time partner Susan Mikula. Now that Rachel has revealed that she recently underwent surgery to treat skin cancer, she's also speaking more about the role that Susan played in helping her get through her diagnosis and treatment.

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Who is Susan Mikula?

In addition to being Rachel's partners, Susan is also an artist and photographer. Typically, Susan uses older technologies to produce her photographs, and her work has been featured in galleries across the US. Susan tested positive for COVID-19 in November of last year, but has since recovered from her illness.

Susan and Rachel met in 1999 when Rachel was working on her doctoral dissertation. She hired Rachel to work on her yard, and the two went on a date.

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Susan is the reason that Rachel was treated for skin cancer.

In her return to her MSNBC show, Rachel said that she was doing well after recovering from surgery to treat skin cancer. She further explained that it was actually Susan who noticed that a mole on her neck had changed appearance over the past few months. Rachel then saw a dermatologist, who conducted a biopsy to confirm that the mole was cancer.

“I had a few days off because I had surgery at NYU Langone on Friday. They’re fantastic. They got it. They got all of it." Rachel explained. “I’m good. I have clear margins, the whole thing.”

Rachel also said that, moving forward, she would be extra vigilant to make sure that she didn't miss any signs of cancer.

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“I know I need to have everything checked, like, every five minutes from here on out because I do not want to get this again,” she said. “Susan was right. She always is! I am going to be absolutely fine. I’m going to be totally fine.”

Rachel also had a message for her viewers, urging them to check their bodies regularly.

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“It’s only by the grace of Susan that I found mine in enough time that it was totally treatable, because I have been blowing off my appointments forever to get stuff like that checked, because I’ve assumed it will always be fine,” Rachel said. “You do need to get this stuff checked at the doctor. Do not blow it off.”

“Even the skin cancers that are the deadliest skin cancers in this country — those too — are way more treatable than they used to be," she continued. "On one condition: that you get them early.”

Rachel has been open about her own health recently and has also shared details about Susan's battle with COVID-19.

Through her show, she's established a personal rapport with her viewers. She offers them details about her life not just to create a closer relationship with them, but to offer them advice that's based in her own experience. Clearly, Rachel hopes everyone has a Susan in their life to look out for them.

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