CNN’s Drew Griffin Dies of Cancer, Jane Fonda Offers a Cancer Update and More

From investigative journalist, Drew Griffin’s cancer-related death to Jane Fonda’s lymphoma update, here’s what’s happening in the oncology space this week.

CNN journalist Drew Griffin died of cancer.

Drew Griffin, Senior Investigative Correspondent at CNN, died after a long experience with cancer, according to his family. He was 60 years old.

Of note, Griffin’s award-winning investigative reporting uncovered issues in medical care within the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, sexual assaults with Uber drivers, fraud claims of Trump University, among others.

“Drew’s death is a devastating loss to CNN and our entire profession,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a note to staff. “A highly acclaimed investigative journalist, Drew’s work had incredible impact and embodied the mission of this organization in every way.”

Jane Fonda’s cancer is in remission.

Actress Jane Fonda announced on Instagram this week that her cancer is in remission and that she feels, “so blessed, so fortunate.” The 84-year-old actress initially shared that she received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in September.

"I'm especially happy because while my first (four) chemo treatments were rather easy for me, only a few days of being tired, the last chemo session was rough and lasted (two) weeks making it hard to accomplish much of anything," Fonda said on Instagram.

Former NFL player Ronnie Hillman died from renal cancer

Ronnie Hillman who played for the Denver Broncos as a running back from 2012 to 2015 and helped the Broncos win a Super Bowl in 2015, died this week from cancer. He was 31 years old.

Hillman was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma in August. According to the National Institutes of Health, renal medulla carcinoma is an aggressive form of kidney cancer that is most common in young black males who carry the sickle cell trait.
In a statement on social media, Hillman’s family said, “Ronnie quietly and peacefully transitioned today in the company of his family and close friends.”

“We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman,” said the National Football League (NFL) in a statement on social media. “A key contributor to the winningest four-year period in franchise history, Ronnie was part of two Super Bowl teams and led the Broncos in rushing during our Super Bowl 50 season.”

A performer in the Broadway production of “Mean Girls” died of cancer.

Stephanie Bissonnette, a 32-year-old dance teacher, choreographer and performer who was in the Broadway show, “Mean Girls,” died from brain cancer.

"Our hearts are broken as the Mean Girls community mourns the loss of Stephanie Bissonnette," the show’s production company wrote in a statement. “Stephanie was part of our Broadway company from our first performance to our last."

Terry Hall, British musician and lead singer The Specials’, died of pancreatic cancer.

Terry Hall, the lead singer of UK-based ska band the Specials and former member of the bands Fun Boy Three and the Colourfield, died earlier this week at 63 years old.

His bandmate, bassist Horace Panter, revealed on social media that Hall became ill in September shortly before the band planned to record a new album. The illness was originally suspected to stem from a stomach bug but was later revealed to be effects from pancreatic cancer.

In October, the band’s manager revealed to the rest of the band that Hall’s cancer spread to the liver and that he had developed diabetes as result of the cancer. He then underwent chemotherapy.

Hall originally responded to treatment well; however, his health started deteriorating in December.
“The world has lost a unique voice and I have lost a good friend,” Panter wrote.

“Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls,” wrote the Specials’ in a joint statement. “His music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life … the joy, the pain, the humor, the fight for justice, but mostly the love.”

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.