Slather on Will Ferrell's sunscreen, and relive Paul Ridley's trans-Atlantic row for cancer.
Actor and comedian Will Ferrell recently released “Will Ferrell’s Sunscreen” for sale through the nonprofit Cancer for College (www.cancerforcollege.org), which raises money for college scholarships to young adult cancer survivors. Ferrell has worked with the organization since it was founded in 1993 by a college friend and two-time cancer survivor Craig Pollard. On September 18 in San Diego, Ferrell will host the 16th Annual Cancer for College Golf Classic, where the nonprofit will award $150,000 in scholarships.
Paul Ridley, 25, completed an almost 3,000-mile solo rowing trip across the Atlantic Ocean in late March in an effort to raise cancer awareness and money for research. Ridley and his sister, Joy, co-founded the nonprofit Row for Hope (www.rowforhope.com) in honor of their mother, Katherine, who died of skin cancer in 2001. The youngest American to ever accomplish this feat, Ridley set off on the trans-Atlantic journey on January 1 with a goal to raise $500,000 for Yale Cancer Center; he has raised $100,000 so far. Read the daily blog he kept during the row at solorow.blogspot.com.
CBS News veteran and 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt, 86, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March. According to his spokesperson, the cancer had not spread, and Hewitt underwent successful surgery to remove the tumor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Hewitt joined CBS News in 1948 and served as founding executive producer of 60 Minutes from 1968 to 2004.
Recording artist and poet Michael “MIKE-E” Ellison teamed up with the American Cancer Society this spring for his second AfroFlow Tour (www.afroflow.com), a nationwide anti-tobacco tour of college campuses that uses spoken word and musical performances to raise awareness and educate students about the health risks of tobacco use.
Referred to as the “Jade Goody effect,” the number of women asking for cervical cancer screenings in England has increased dramatically since British reality TV star Jade Goody documented her battle with cervical cancer on live television leading up to her death in March. Goody, who died at age 27, signed up for her third reality TV show, India’s version of Big Brother, in 2008 and received the news of her diagnosis over the phone, which was revealed on air. According to BBC News, director of National Health Service screening programs Julietta Patnick said laboratories have reported a 20 to 50 percent increase in screenings since Goody’s diagnosis aired.
Farrah’s Story, a documentary-style film following actress Farrah Fawcett’s ongoing struggle with metastatic anal cancer, attracted almost 9 million viewers when it aired May 15 on NBC. First diagnosed in 2006, Fawcett, now 62, underwent surgery and chemotherapy, but the cancer returned the next year and spread. The former Charlie’s Angels star narrated much of the documentary and said in a statement, “As much as I would have liked to have kept my cancer private, I now realize that I have a certain responsibility to those who are fighting their own fights and may be able to benefit from learning about mine.”
Emmy Award-winning actress Bea Arthur, 86, best-known for her starring roles in hit TV shows Maude and The Golden Girls, died of cancer on April 25. Maude became one of the top-rated sitcoms during its six-year run in the 1970s followed by hit-series The Golden Girls from 1985 to 1992. In honor of Arthur, the Hallmark Channel added a 3-day marathon of The Golden Girls beginning April 28 with hand-picked episodes executives described as the “best of Dorothy Zbornak.”
Award-winning actress and former oncology nurse Bonnie Hunt received the “True Grit” Humanitarian Award for her continued support to raise funds for cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary’s 24th annual Odyssey Ball held April 18. Established in 1982, the yearly fundraising event has raised more than $15 million for cancer research and treatment programs at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Hunt also served as the mistress of ceremonies at an annual benefit in May for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation.
Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated actor Terrence Howard recently attended a Dana Farber Cancer Institute community event in Boston to encourage colorectal cancer screening. Howard’s mother died of the disease at the age of 56. He has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance on a nationwide campaign to raise colorectal cancer awareness.
Award-winning actor Ron Silver, 62, died of esophageal cancer March 15. Silver starred in the hit television series The West Wing.