Dexter, the Bonanza family, Jason Mraz's love song, and Heinz Kerry's bout with breast cancer.
Michael C. Hall, 38, announced in January that he was being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma. Hall, the star of Showtime’s Dexter, recently won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for best actor in a television drama for his role in Dexter. Hall, who starred in HBO’s Six Feet Under, also announced that the disease is in complete remission.
Recording artist Jason Mraz recently recorded a “song of love” for 13-year-old cancer patient Christian Burns through the Songs of Love Foundation, which provides personalized songs for seriously ill children and teens. Mraz’s song, “Love Is All Around (Quote Christian),” speaks about the special things and people in Burns’ life. For more information and to hear the song, visit www.songs?oflove.org/jasonmrazsong.
Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, announced in December that she had been diagnosed with early-stage cancer in both breasts. Heinz, 71, initially diagnosed in September, decided to go public to challenge the controversial U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that average-risk women should begin getting routine mammograms at age 50 instead of 40.
Pernell Roberts Jr., 81, who played eldest son Adam Cartwright in the 1960s and ’70s TV show Bonanza, died of cancer on January 24. Roberts, who later played the title role in Trapper John, M.D., battled pancreatic cancer for two years—the same cancer that claimed fellow Bonanza co-star Michael Landon in 1991.
The Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center, named after Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, and his wife, opened its doors on February 8. Roy Disney, 79, died in December from stomach cancer. Before his death, he donated $10 million toward the creation of the center, which focuses on both Western and Eastern medicine practices.
Lawrence Garfinkel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society who helped link smoking to lung cancer, died January 21. Garfinkel, who joined the society as a statistician, helped conduct a study in the 1950s that showed smokers had a marked increase in lung cancer risk. His research on alcohol, medications, hormones, occupational exposure, and reproductive issues are still being used by researchers today.
Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, won a $100,000 Pepsi Refresh grant that will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in his home city. The lodge offers free housing for cancer patients being treated in the New Orleans area. Brees visited the New Orleans Hope Lodge in November with his wife and the director of Brees Dream Foundation to express his interest in supporting the Hope Lodge. Part of foundation’s mission, which Brees established in 2003, is to find cures for cancer and improve the quality of life for cancer patients.
Soul and R&B icon Teddy Pendergrass, 59, died from complications of colon cancer on January 13. Pendergrass was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. He had undergone surgery, but his son told the Philadelphia Inquirer he had a difficult time recovering.