Grease may have made Dame Olivia Newton-John famous, but her breast cancer campaign will also be central to her legacy.
Her widow, John Easterling, said in a brief statement Monday the 73-year-old “passed away peacefully” in Southern California on Monday, surrounded by friends and family .
She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, which recurred in 2013 in her shoulder and again in 2017, this time in her spine.
Her long experience with the disease has made her a staunch advocate for cancer awareness.
The Grammy Award-winning singer, who plays Sandy in the hit musical Grease, has founded the Olivia Newton-John Foundation, an independent charity that funds global research into cancer botanicals. letters.
The charity said it was “committed to realizing a cancer-free world”, through pioneering scientific research into less invasive ways to treat the disease, and her family asked for help. wise men supported it in her memory.
She also founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Health and Research Center in Melbourne, Australia, a public hospital dedicated to providing innovative treatments and wellness programs to support mental health. patient spirit.
The oncology facility is also a research center, with more than 200 clinical trials underway that focus on immunotherapy – which helps the body’s immune system recognize and fight cancer cells – and personalized medical diagnosis.
When asked in a September 2018 interview with Australia’s Channel 7 if she was scared after her third cancer diagnosis, Dame Olivia said: “I believe I’m going to win it” and swear that “that’s my goal”.
But in an often frank admission, she added: “I would be lying if I said I never went there. There are moments; I am human. If I allow myself to go there, I can easily create that great fear. But my husband was always there, and he was there to support me.”
Dame Olivia, who underwent a partial mastectomy after being diagnosed in 1992, revealed in 2018 that she was on a holistic wellness regimen that included cannabis/cannabidiol, and called medical marijuana.
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She explained that her husband had grown cannabis for her and made tinctures for her to consume along with botanicals, as she disliked taking prescription drugs and found it helped with anxiety, sleepiness, and pain relief.
That same year, she had to learn to walk when the disease spread and she broke her spine.
Just last year, when her cancer was stage 4, she appeared on The One Show on the BBC with her daughter Chloe Rose Lattanzi to say that “every day is a gift”.
“Oh no, I’m fine, I’m just – listen, I’ve been dealing with metastatic breast cancer for the past seven years but I feel great,” she said. “I feel really great.”
The Hopelessly Devoted To You singer has campaigned for better ways to cope with cancer, beyond the traditional treatments she undergoes like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
But it is the positive outlook of Dame Olivia, who was born in Cambridge and lived most of her life in Australia and the US, that has many people captivated.
She told the Guardian in 2020 that cancer was “the journey of my life – it gave me purpose and intention and taught me so much about compassion”.
She refutes two widely used stereotypes about cancer – the first is the terminology surrounding “battles”, and the second is doctors’ “death sentence” predictions about how long a person will live. cancer patient.
“I don’t think I have cancer,” she told the newspaper in an interview. “I choose not to consider it a war because I don’t like war. I don’t like fighting anywhere – whether it’s outside or a real fight inside my body.
“I choose not to see it that way. I want my body to be healthy and balanced again. Part of it is your mental attitude towards it. If you think: ‘Poor me,’ or ‘I’m sick,’ you will be sick. “
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/how-olivia-newton-johns-cancer-campaigning-inspired-millions-41898562.html How Olivia Newton-John’s Cancer Campaign Inspires Millions