Oscar winner Marlee Matlin has been left devastated after learning her father has been diagnosed with cancer.
Doctors discovered Don Matlin, 80, was suffering from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, in June (10) when he checked into hospital for spine surgery to treat sciatic pain.
He is currently undergoing chemotherapy to treat the deadly disease and the deaf actress admits she is struggling to come to terms with the news of his health battle, which has plagued numerous relatives in recent years.
She tells People magazine, "My heart sank. But I want to stay strong to help take care of him."
The Children of a Lesser God star's mother, Libby, and sister-in-law Gloria have both fought cancer - and now the actress is urging fans to get themselves checked out regularly in a bid to prevent the disease going undetected.
Dishing out some well-heeled advice, she says, "Get your exam, see your doctor, be aware of your body."
Matlin is set to take part in Friday's (10Sep10) Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon in the U.S. The TV special will also feature Michael Douglas, who recently went public with his throat cancer battle.
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