Douglas "Optimistic"

CURE, Fall 2010, Volume 9, Issue 3

People, news, and events about cancer

Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas, 65, will undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy for a tumor found in his throat. His doctors say they expect him to make a full recovery, and Douglas is said to be optimistic. The actor’s latest film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a sequel to the 1987 hit Wall Street for which Douglas won an Academy Award portraying the cut-throat Gordon Gekko, will hit theaters beginning Sept. 24. Douglas has also been active in supporting roles for various charities over the years.

Christopher Hitchens announced on June 30 that he had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The British-born author, best known for his atheist book God is not Great, canceled the book tour for his memoir Hitch-22 so he could begin chemotherapy.

Over the summer, singers Rihanna and Alicia Keys began challenging fans to register as bone marrow donors after learning that 11-year-old Shannon Tavarez was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April. Tavarez was diagnosed about six months after she landed the role of young Nala in the Broadway production The Lion King. Her best chance of survival is through a bone marrow transplant. However, Tavarez’ father is Dominican (Hispanic) and her mom is black. Both ethnic groups are highly underrepresented in donor registries (Latinos make up 10 percent, blacks 8 percent, in the National Be The Match Registry). To learn more about becoming a bone marrow donor, visit www.getswabbed.org.

To mark the first anniversary of her death, friends and family of Farrah Fawcett dedicated a cancer research foundation in her honor. The Farrah Fawcett Foundation was created by close friend Alana Stewart, beau Ryan O’Neal, his daughter Tatum O’Neal, and their son Redmond O’Neal. The Charlie’s Angels star died June 25, 2009 from anal cancer, and through the foundation her friends hope to raise awareness about this rare form of cancer. The foundation will also focus on funding alternative research and treatment methods and pediatric cancer.

Lady Gaga fan Lance Chung created “Monsters against Myeloma,” a fundraising contest and awareness campaign for multiple myeloma after his mom was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year. To raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, he auctioned off his floor seats to Lady Gaga’s concert in Edmonton, Canada. With the help of other “little monsters,” which is Gaga’s name for her fans, the 21-year-old student from Alberta, Canada, raised more than $2000, which included the winning bid for the tickets and additional donations. You can view Chung’s MMRF fundraising page here.