"Chicago Fire," Cindy
Credit: ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collectio

Since she was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this season, fans have had two questions: Is Cindy leaving Chicago Fire and will she die?

Chicago Fire is NBC’s drama series following the professional and personal lives of firefighters, rescue personnel and paramedics of the Chicago Fire Department’s fictional Firehouse 51. Robyn Coffin plays Cindy Herrmann, the wife of senior firefighter Christopher Herrmann, who is played by David Eigenberg. The couple share five children together: sons Lee Henry, Luke, Max and Kenny James, and daughter Anabelle. (Kenny James was born in season 1.)

Since the start of Chicago Fire, fans have called Herrmann and Cindy—who had been together for almost 20 years by the time the show premiered—the heart of the series. But could that heart be breaking? Read on for what we know about if Cindy is leaving Chicago Fire and if she dies in season 11 after her serious lung cancer diagnosis

"Chicago Fire," Cindy

Is Cindy leaving Chicago Fire?

Is Cindy leaving Chicago Fire? Cindy Herrmann, the wife of senior firefighter Christopher Herrmann, discovered that she had lung cancer in season 11, episode 11, “Guy I Used to Know,” which aired on January 11, 2023. In the episode, viewers learn that Cindy had been suffering from a cough and a fever for a while, which resulted in her struggling to take care of her five kids and house with Herrmann. During the episode, Herrmann comes home to check on Cindy to learn that her condition has only become worse. Cindy tells Herrmann that she plans to see a doctor. Believing that Cindy’s illness was just a cold, Herrmann returns to work at Engine 51. The episode ends with Cindy seeing a doctor and learning that she has lung cancer, despite never smoking a day in her life. “And I’m a firefighter. I go into smoke and chemicals all day. I’m the one that’s supposed to get lung cancer. Not her,” Herrmann says in the episode.

In season 11, episode 12, “How Does It End?”, Herrmann asks Batallion Chief Wallace Boden for time off. When Boden asks why, Herrmann doesn’t tell him that Cindy has lung cancer and instead plays the situation off. Later in the episode, Herrmann tells Boden the truth. He also tells him that he hasn’t told anyone else at the firehouse about Cindy’s cancer and that they won’t know how serious it is until after the procedure. Boden offers his support to both Herrmann and Cindy. When Herrmann returns home, he finds his and Cindy’s kids arguing. He calls his family to the table to tell them that Cindy is undergoing a procedure. Cindy tells her children that she has a tumor in her lung that the doctors want to remove it so it doesn’t spread. Herrmann reminds their kids that Cindy is tough and will survive.

During Cindy’s surgery, Boden surprises Herrmann at the hospital and waits with him. After Cindy’s surgery is done, doctors tell Herrmann that she’s doing well and made it through the surgery, though they weren’t able to get the margins clean and she still had the cancer in her lymph nodes, so she still needed chemotherapy and radiation.

So…is Cindy leaving Chicago Fire and will she die? The answer is unclear. However, it’s possible. In November 2022, Chicago Fire co-creator Derek Haas announced he was leaving Chicago Fire and Wolf Entertainment, the production company that produces the One Chicago franchise, after season 11. “Although I am leaving Wolf Entertainment next year to focus on creating new shows, I’m entirely committed to delivering amazing episodes of Chicago Fire and FBI: International through the end of the current seasons,” he said in a statement to Variety at the time. “I learned everything I know about storytelling, pace, characters, production values, and hiring the best cast, crews, and staffs from Dick Wolf and Peter Jankowski, and as hard as it is to leave a place you love and have called home for over a decade, including incredible support from Universal Television, NBC and CBS, I look forward to building my own brand in entertainment.”

In his statement, Haas confirmed he’ll still be writing the rest of Chicago Fire season 11, which he revealed will include “some epic surprises.” “That said, there are many, many twists and turns still to write on these two shows between now and May, so stay tuned for some epic surprises,” he said. Among those “epic surprises” could be Cindy’s death.

Chicago Fire co-showrunner Andrea Newman also teased Herrmann and Cindy’s “rough road ahead” to NBC Insider in February 2023. “It is going to be a rough road for the whole Herrmann family as Cindy battles lung cancer. There’s a tough fight ahead, with no short cuts or easy solutions, but the Herrmann family, and the 51 family, will come together to help in all sorts of ways as the situation progresses,” she said.

There are also fan theories that Cindy hasn’t been honest with Herrmann about her health. “Cindy doesn’t seem to be telling everything hm #ChicagoFire,” Twitter user @logiebearswife tweeted in January 2023. Since Cindy’s diagnosis, fans have been vocal with Chicago Fire‘s writers not to kill her off. “Chicago Fire, what we are NOT gonna do is play with Cindy,” Twitter user @aaryannax tweeted in March 2023. “If Chicago Fire kills Cindy, I will R I O T,” Twitter user @ohshlebs tweeted in January 2023. “if something happens to cindy … chicago fire count your fucking days,” tweeted Twitter user @_ayannaaaa tweeted in March 2023. “Cindy getting lung cancer is the meanest thing Dick Wolf has done to Chicago fire since killing Otis,” Twitter user @smcleod6 tweeted in March 2023.

If Robyn Coffin, who plays Cindy, does leave Chicago Fire, her exit would come two months after news broke that Taylor Kinney, who played Lieutenant Kelly Severide, was taking a temporary leave of absence from Chicago Fire due to a personal matter, a source told Deadline in January 2023. Deadline also reported that the cast and crew of Chicago Fire were informed of Kinney’s leave on January 20, 2023, and that future scripts would be rewritten to accommodate for Kinney’s absence.

Check out our photo gallery of Chicago Fire stars and their real-life loves