Country star Kellie Pickler (right) shaved off her signature bright blond hair yesterday to show support for her childhood friend Summer Holt Miller, a 36-year-old mother of two who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and will begin chemotherapy this week. The two women appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning to discuss Pickler’s buzzed locks and raise breast cancer awareness. “If this compels even one person to change their mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then it will be worth it,” said Miller. What a brave and beautiful display of friendship. [Entertainment Weekly] Keep reading »
Oh, no! Beloved young adult author Judy Blume has revealed on her personal blog that she is currently battling breast cancer. The Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret author writes that this summer she intended to spend four weeks at an artists’ retreat at a castle in Umbria, Italy, finishing her next book. But instead Blume was diagnosed with breast cancer and hastily made plans to undergo a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. It has been a month post-surgery and she’s back to writing and “feeling stronger every day.” Judging by her blog post, she seems to be in high spirits — she even cracked a small boobs/Are You There, God? joke with her doctor. (The doc didn’t get it.) Our thoughts and prayers are with Judy Blume and we have every hope she makes a full recovery! [Judy Blume Blog]
The doctor has prepared me for more weight loss and losing my hair. Dating isn’t the main focus here, but it’s fresh in my mind, because I just got out of a relationship. So I’m just sitting here, thinking, ‘Wow, not only am I single, but I’m about to be four pounds and bald.’
–Comedienne Tig Notaro went onstage last month in Los Angeles and opened her set by saying “Thank you, I have cancer, thank you.” The audience was shocked. In this week’s New York Times Magazine, Notaro talks about how she had a life-threatening infection, lost her mother to a freak accident days after leaving the hospital, and then was diagnosed with breast cancer. To cope, she did what she does best: got up onstage and laughed about it. It really struck me from this interview, jokes aside, that Tig Notaro is an extremely strong person. Very much hoping for she gets well soon — and stops being on the receiving end of life’s shit stick. [New York Times Magazine] [Image: NYT Magazine]
Studies have shown that animals can help sick patients heal. But what do you do when a patient is in quarantine, unable to receive visits from the animals they love? Teenage cancer patient Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem was prohibited from seeing her pet cat Merry, so Seattle Children’s Hospital visiting artist John Blalock decided to help satisfy her kitty cravings. Blalock had helped create awesome artworks and installations for patients around the hospital, and for Maga, he made an immersive cat show. Blalock first collected cat photos from hospital workers, and then took to the Internet to get additional pictures of cute kitties. More than 3,000 images poured in, and Blalock made a cat-filled presentation for Maga, complete with purring sounds. On July 25, Maga reveled in more than 1,800 cat images, specially selected by Blalock.
“It was a big surprise, how big a response I got,” says Barzallo Sockemtickem. “But I think it was the simpleness of it all. People love cats; animals make us happy.” [NPR]
Talia Joy Castellano has makeup chops far beyond her years. The 12-year-old has over 100,000 YouTube subscribers for a reason: she’s exceptionally good at doing her face, and her clever, vivacious onscreen personality makes her step-by-step tutorials a pleasure to watch. If not for her baldness, one would never guess that Talia carries an immense and unfathomable weight that nobody, let alone a child, should have to experience. Keep reading »
A pregnant 16-year-old with leukemia was at the center of a debate over abortion in the Dominican Republic, as doctors feared repercussions of administering chemotherapy that may kill her fetus. Fortunately, hospital officials told CNN the anonymous teen began receiving chemotherapy last Tuesday after conversations between her parents, the hospital, and presumably government officials. There were initial concerns that doctors at Semma Hospital in Santo Domingo would withhold the treatment because she is 10 weeks pregnant and the DR has a strict ban on abortion, claiming life begins at the moment of conception. Keep reading »
Happy birthday, Cancers! To celebrate all those beautiful, sensitive, generous Cancers out there, we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways the rest of us can bring some Cancerian magic into our lives. Check it out after the jump! Keep reading »
Six-year-old Drew Cox’s father was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and the young boy wanted to do something to help his sick dad. So he decided to run a lemonade stand, selling cups for 25 cents a pop. Word spread about Drew and his dad, and friends from around the community showed up to support. One person even donated $5,000 to the cause. At the end of the day, Drew made more than $10,000 for his father. Just try not shedding a little eye water at this touching story. [KLTV]
All young leukemia sufferer Kye wanted was to get to play his favorite comic book character Batman. So the town of Arlington, Texas, got together and put together an adventure for Kye. Kye and his team of do-gooders encountered rascally criminals like The Joker and The Riddler, detonated “bombs” and recovered stolen money. The day ended with a ceremony at City Hall where Kye was given a key to the city.