Jim Gaffigan is used to drawing laughs, but the comedian has been dealing with a serious ordeal at home. His wife, Jeannie Gaffigan, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The couple have five children.
On April 17, Jim announced he had to reschedule some shows due to a “family emergency.” Two weeks later, he is sharing that Jeannie, an actress and producer and his frequent collaborator (she co-wrote and executive-produced many of his hit comedy specials as well as The Jim Gaffigan Show, based on their life raising five kids in a two-bedroom apartment in NYC) had surgery to have a brain tumor removed.
“Two weeks ago an MRI revealed @jeanniegaffigan had a large tumor around her brain stem that was life threatening,” he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday morning. “After nine hours of urgent surgery the tumor was completely removed. She is now recovering at home. We thank you for your continued prayers.”
The Fargo actor, who will appear in the upcoming movie Chappaquiddick, also shared a photo of his wife of 14 years in her bed at home (with a trach tube) as two of their kids “work” on her with their doctor kit.
“’Mom takes care of us. Now we take of her,'” he wrote. “The miracle of baby medicine. Thanks for the prayers everyone.”
Jeannie also shared a photo getting a kiss from one of her wee ones. “I’m coming back!” she wrote. “Thanks for your prayers. I’m alive!”
As Jim mentioned, Jeannie’s illness came out of the blue. The family had just celebrated Easter, and things looked fine from this family photo of her with the kids.
Last year, the pair, who are both Catholic (Jim opened for Pope Frances in Philly in 2015), gave the commencement speech at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Jim told the students, “Remember happiness is not found in accomplishments, income, or the number of Twitter followers you have. True happiness is found in family. Living for each other, sacrificing together, and enjoying the blessing of fresh guacamole delivered promptly to your door.” (He can’t resist a food joke.) Jeannie added, “Love what you do, love who you are, and love those around you.”
A New York Times feature on Jeannie from 2015 called her the “quiet powerhouse” behind The Jim Gaffigan Show, which was canceled last year, and described how she “worked in the background to help her husband become a household name.”
“People are curious,” she told the paper. “They’re like, ‘Why did you give up your career? You gave up your career to do this.’ Which is kind of a traditional thing, and it’s kind of looked down upon. And I absolutely disagree. I think a team is the most amazing thing that you can be on. … I’m really against the idea [that] I gave up anything.”
Hear Jim talk about his fam here in a recent interview while promoting his fifth comedy special, Netflix’s Cinco:
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