From Taylor Swift’s heartfelt tribute to a 4-year-old boy who died from cancer to Senator Amy Klobuchar’s announcement that she is cancer-free, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
Taylor Swift’s song “Ronan” tells the story of a 4-year-old boy who died from cancer.
This past week, Taylor Swift released a re-recorded version of her 2012 album, “Red.” One of the songs on the album, “Ronan,” tells the story of a 4-year-old boy who died from cancer from the perspective of his mother.
The song was originally released as a charity single exclusive to iTunes nine years ago, but Swift decided to add the song to “Red (Taylor’s Version)” when she released the album this year, according to TODAY.
“I remember the drive home
When the blind hope turned to crying and screaming ‘Why?’
Flowers pile up in the worst way, no one knows what to say
About a beautiful boy who died,” Swift sings.
Ronan, who had neuroblastoma, died just after his fourth birthday. The song came about after Swift found a blog post from his mother, Maya Thompson, about her story. Thompson had received an email from Swift this year asking for permission to include a new recording of the song on her album re-release.
“I wrote Ronan while I was making Red and discovered your story as you so honestly and devastatingly told it,” Swift wrote in her email to Thompson. “My genuine hope is that you’ll agree with me that this song should be included on this album. As my co-writer and the rightful owner of this story in its entirety, your opinion and approval of this idea really matters to me, and I’ll honor your wishes here.”
Thompson enthusiastically agreed and thanked Swift.
“I tried my best to articulate how much this meant to me through my tears, but there are not enough words in the English language that will ever be able to appropriately convey my feelings about this,” Thompson wrote in her blog.
When it was released this past week, Thompson shared several posts on Twitter, including a teary-eyed video.
“Forever ours, thanks to @taylorswift13. I am sobbing. It is so painstakingly perfect,” she wrote.
Senator Amy Klobuchar shared that she is now cancer-free.
In a post shared on Twitter this week, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota shared that she is now cancer-free following a stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
"Good news to share: I got my results back from my first six-month post-cancer exam and everything was clear. I'm so grateful to be healthy and thankful for my family, friends and the incredible doctors and nurses who have helped me," she wrote. "And don't forget-- schedule that mammogram today!"
Klobuchar had received radiation treatments in May and was told her treatment went well at a visit in August.
NFL Hall of Famer Curley Culp was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Curley Culp, an NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman who spent his career playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
He announced his diagnosis on Twitter this week, where he wrote, “To my followers, family and friends I have stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Do donate to your local cancer organizations so this dreaded disease is eradicated. Love life, family and friends. Folded hands pray to God for all physical and spiritual healing. Love, Curley Culp HOF#13.”
Culp, who is 75, was added to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013 after a successful career, according to ESPN. He is considered one of the best interior linemen from his time, and played for 14 seasons.
The FDA announced a hand sanitizer recall due to contaminants with cancer concern.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that ArtNaturals issued a voluntary recall of 10 lots of its Scent-Free Hand Sanitizer after FDA testing showed potential cancer-causing impurities.
The impurities were found in one of the lots – all 10 lots include eight-ounce bottles of the sanitizer. They each have a Universal Product Code (UPC) of 816820028205, and an expiration date of May 1, 2022. They were all manufactured at some point between May 5 and May 9, 2020.
Valisure, a company that checks the composition of health-related products, found traces of benzene in samples of 44 hand sanitizer products in March, including several products from ArtNaturals. The company requested a recall of several identified batches of hand sanitizers in a letter to the FDA.
On October 4, the FDA announced it had found unacceptable amounts of benzene, acetaldehyde and acetal contaminants in the ArtNaturals sanitizers. It was also mentioned in the statement that the sanitizer company had yet to respond to multiple FDA requests to discuss the issue, which is why it recommended consumers stop using the products.
Benzene is associated with an increased risk of leukemia; due to an effect it causes in bone marrow.
On October 27, the FDA announced ArtNaturals’ voluntary recall.
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