From Jeff Bridges achieving remission from cancer to a cancer survivor who became a runway model, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
Actor Jeff Bridges, 71, recently shared in a blog post on his website that his lymphoma mass has shrunk following treatment. He initially announced his diagnosis in October 2020.
He also revealed that he and his wife, Susan Geston, were infected with COVID-19. The virus caused him to spend five weeks in the hospital due to a weakened immune system as a result of chemotherapy treatment, while his wife was in the hospital for five days.
"My dance with (COVID-19) makes my cancer look like a piece of cake," Bridges said.
He also added that he has been fully vaccinated and has not experienced any long-lasting symptoms from his bout of COVID-19, and he hypothesizes the two facts could be related.
Bridges shared that he was able to walk his daughter, Hayley, down the aisle at her wedding and participate in the father/daughter dance.
“Life is brief and beautiful,” Bridges wrote. “Love is all around us, and available at all times.”
Erica Campbell was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 27, and as a result underwent months of chemotherapy, surgeries, biopsies and blood transfusions. However, she has since become a face and a voice for cancer communities across the country, she said.
In September 2013, Campbell had her last chemotherapy treatment, after which she became interested in plus-size modeling. In 2014, she did her first runway show for cancer awareness, which sparked a love for modeling that prompted her to become further involved.
Now, she has since walked the runway for D.C. Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and various other events. She has also graced the cover of Luxe Magazine and continues to use her influence to help others.
“It’s been a blessing to use my modeling platform to help women and young girls who are facing adversities in their life and it doesn’t have to be cancer,” Campbell told WTOP News. “To let them know that you too can overcome this. You’re resilient.”
She went on to write a book about her experiences titled “I Survived: From Cancer to the Runway,” and works with various cancer advocacy groups to help others going through the difficult journey.
Actress Shannon Doherty, 50, recently discussed the challenges with living as a patient with stage 4 breast cancer during a virtual panel for her upcoming movie, “List of a Lifetime.”
The movie is focused on a woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer and goes on a journey to find the daughter she gave up for adoption years prior. The two reconnect and create a meaningful bucket list.
In terms of her own cancer journey, she told reporters, “I feel like I have a responsibility in my more public life, which I separate from my acting life ... to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more and let people know that people with stage 4 are very much alive and very active.”
The movie is her first public project related to cancer. She was first diagnosed in 2015 and was in remission two years later. However, her cancer returned in 2020 as stage 4.
"I want people to not hear stage 4 cancer and think of the person that is gray and falling over and they can't move and they're going into hospice and they can't work," she told friend and fellow actress Sarah Michelle Gellar during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "You get written off so quickly, even though you're vital and healthy and happy and wanting to go out there and work."
Morgan Labelle, a B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivor, was first diagnosed at age 17 and received treatment at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
During her time there, she witnessed a special tradition that occurred each time the university had a home football game: fans do “the wave” to pay tribute to the young patients at the hospital, who get to watch from their windows.
Now, Labelle has experienced the wave from the other side of the window, live and in-person at a game.
“When you can have a special moment with thousands of people, but not be face to face with them, is just really amazing,” she told KCRG.
She also expressed that since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on visitor, current patients likely appreciate the tradition even more.
“In my head I know that they’re so happy to get to do the wave because during COVID there’s no volunteers, no one that can hang out with them like those volunteers,” Labelle said. “So I know that for these families it’s just a little bit of a break from having to think about their diagnosis.”
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