The doctors of a star from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” have recommended that she go into hospice care, but her husband refuses: “As long as I’m able and capable, I’ll be where I belong right beside her.”
Valerie Harper, 79, is most famously known for her character Rhoda Morgenstern on the 1970s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” but her achievements in her acting career didn’t end there.
Fans loved Harper’s character so much that a spinoff show, “Rhoda,” was created and aired from 1974 to 1978. Then in the 1980s, she starred in “Valerie,” appeared in several movies and accepted four Emmy Awards.
“I’ve had a wonderful career,” she told Fox News in 2017. “I got to be an actress. I was a dancer. And then I grew into this area of acting and that was just so wonderful.”
In 2013, Harper learned that she had been diagnosed with a form of terminal brain cancer called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; this rare condition occurs when cancerous cells spread in the membrane around the brain.
Doctors predicted she only had a few months to live, but the actress refused to let her grim diagnosis ruin her ability to appreciate life.
“I don’t think of dying,” she told People. “I think of being here now.“
But this wasn’t the first cancer diagnosis the Hollywood starlet endured. In 2009, she also battled lung cancer and beat it, according to Fox News.
Then on July 23, 2019, Harper’s husband of 32 years, Tony Cacciotti, posted on her Facebook page to update fans on her condition.
“I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can’t [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won’t because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she’s been here on earth,” he wrote.
He continued to compare two specific people who have taken care of Harper as “ANGELS on this planet masquerading as humans.”
Cacciotti vowed that he would continue to do everything within his power to make sure that his beloved wife is as comfortable as possible.
“We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible,” he continued.
“For those of you who have been in this position,” he said. “You will totally understand that ‘it’s hard letting go.’ So as long as I’m able and capable, I’ll be where I belong right beside her.”
A friend name Deanna also thanked Harper’s fans for their concern during this difficult time. She said that she would be updating the star’s Facebook page in the future.
We will be praying for Valerie Harper, her husband and her friends as she continues to battle for her life.
CORRECTION, July 25, 2019: As originally published, this article referred to Ms. Harper’s character on “The Mary Tyler Moore” show as “Rhonda Morgenstern.” The character’s name was Rhoda, and we have corrected that in two places in the article.
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