On September 5, ABC, NBC and CBS will all participate in one of the largest cancer telethons called "Stand Up to Cancer" with over 60 celebrities coming out to help raise money for cancer research. Everyone from Jessica Alba to Keanu Reeves to Jennifer Garner to Salma Hayek will be on hand to encourage viewers to donate money to help scientists find a cure and work together.
This is such an important cause. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes and its hard to think of anybody who hasn't known someone that was touched by one form or another of this disease. I lost my mother to breast cancer in January 07 and participated in the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer the following July as a way to help me deal with my grief and hopefully help prevent others from having to suffer the same loss. Together with my fiance and several of my best friends, we raised over $7,000. We also walked 26 miles over two days through San Francisco and Southern Marin County. Talk about a challenge! It was one of the hardest yet most rewarding things I have ever done and to see all these other people that have been touched by cancer as well was oddly comforting. I chose to be involved with the The Avon Foundation because it has been instrumental in raising awareness and extremely effective at raising money for a cure and other programs for people battling cancer.
It is great that so much attention is being given to cancer by the media and the Hollywood community, however, I do find these telethons to be somewhat patronizing. It's just hard for me to be asked by somebody that is making $5 million a movie to give money. I obviously don't know if all of these celebrities are donating themselves, and I seriously hope that they are. Regardless of this one irk of mine, I will still watch and donate because this is a cause that is worth fighting for. And at the end of the day, regardless of who is talking about it, it is good that somebody is.
Sheryl Crow and Christina Applegate, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a bilateral masectomy to remove it, will also be there to talk about their own experiences. To others who may be going through breast cancer, or any other form of cancer, this helps show you can come out the other side. Christina Applegate was diagnosed at 36 years old through an MRI, something that many doctors won't do because it is such a new and "unproven" method. As a woman who has an EXTREMELY high likelihood of being diagnosed with breast cancer, I am so thankful to her for spreading the word and reiterating how crucial it is to take care of yourself and be vigilant about your health. Being diagnosed that young must have been very scary for her, but finding out when she did and dealing with it quickly has saved her life.
My mom was an incredibly strong woman who fought breast cancer for 19 years ---most of my life. Although she is not here physically to be apart of my future, I learned so much from her about taking care of yourself and being your own advocate. And no matter who is on TV asking for my money, I will donate in my mother's memory and I hope that many others who have been touched by this horrible disease will make their contribution as well. It is my hope that nobody else will have to suffer the terrible loss of someone they love to cancer. And if it takes celebrities to help get the word out, that is OK.