The Tragic Death Of Soap Star Marnie Schulenburg

Fans were saddened to learn of the death of soap opera star Marnie Schulenburg on May 18, per The Hollywood Reporter. At just 37, she had a slew of acting credits to her name, most notably her leading role as Alison Stewart on "As the World Turns" and, more recently, as Jo on the "One Life to Live."

Schulenburg moved to New York to pursue her acting dream in her early 20s. Though she initially leaned toward theater acting and joined several theater troupes, it wasn't long before others noticed her talent, and within a year, she landed her breakout role on "As the World Turns," per Deadline. Schulenburg's life was about a lot more than acting though. She was a devoted mother to her young daughter Coda whom she shared with her husband, "Succession" star, Zack Robidas.

Sadly, there was not much time for Schulenburg to enjoy her promising career or motherhood as she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 35, just a few months after giving birth. Despite the tough diagnosis, she continued to passionately advocate for others going through something similar.

Schulenburg treasured every moment with her family

Marnie Schulenburg's cancer diagnosis came as a surprise, she explained in a piece for She Knows, and she hoped others would use her story as a cautionary tale. She explained that when breastfeeding Coda, she noticed concerning signs she explained away, like her daughter not wanting to feed from her left breast. She also highlighted the challenges she went through to receive a mammogram and MRI, pointing out there are more hurdles than help for patients — urging readers to always advocate for their health needs. 

She wrote about her heartbreaking situation, "On the eve of my 36th birthday, I was repeating the same question over and over again in my head: "How does one celebrate a birthday with a new baby in the middle of a global pandemic while coming to terms with a Stage IV, metastatic, borderline triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer diagnosis?" Ultimately for Schulenburg, the best way to celebrate her life was to spend it with those she cared about. "It wasn't a guarantee that I was going to be home this Mother's Day. I got released late Friday night but had to be sent home with an oxygen machine," she captioned an Instagram. "I want to show [my daughter] how to move throughout this world with compassion, strength, vivacity, humor and joy like my Mother showed me."

Schulenburg concluded her post, "Two years later I'm still here," she wrote. "The best thing you can do for your child is make them feel loved, safe and supported just like my mother did for me."