8 Popular Breast Cancer Survivor Stories You Must Read
The pink ribbons are back with breast cancer awareness campaigns being organized everywhere. For the uninitiated, the month of October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month internationally.
You might wonder what’s with the pink ribbons. Well, after the red ribbon became a popular symbol for AIDS awareness, the colour of pink came to be associated with breast cancer, as it represents the feminine gender in most cultures. The first time a pink ribbon was used to raise awareness about breast cancer was in 1991 when a popular breast cancer foundation in New York distributed pink ribbons to participants in a race for breast cancer survivors. (Source: Wikipedia)
“The pink ribbon represents fear of breast cancer, hope for the future, and the charitable goodness of people and businesses who publicly support the breast cancer movement.”
– Gayle A Sulik in Better Cancer Care: A Systemic Approach to Practice
While the pink ribbons are being handed out again this year, here’s sharing a few inspirational stories of famous celebrities across the world who fought breast cancer with courage, dignity and grace:
Angelina Jolie: Cited as Hollywood’s highest-paid actress once, Angelina discovered that she was at an 87% chance of developing breast cancer due to a mutation in her genes. She underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 and got her breasts surgically removed. The actress didn’t shy from the public and openly shared her story. This inspired many others to fight breast cancer without fear.
Mumtaz: You read that right. Our very own yesteryear Bollywood diva, Mumtaz, fought and survived breast cancer at the age of 54. She followed a strict regime of fitness, diet and gymming to recover post her cancer fight. “I don’t give up easily. Even death will have to fight me”, she was quoted in an interview. She was also featured along with many other celebrity cancer survivors in a documentary called ‘1 a minute’
Cynthia Nixon: The ‘Sex and the City’ star was 12 years old when she witnessed her mother battling breast cancer. Decades later, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she remained strong and scheduled her surgery on a Sunday, so as not to miss work and emerged a brave winner. She spoke to her kids openly about it, educating them and making them aware of her condition. The show that catapulted her to fame, ‘Sex and the City’, also dealt with the subject of breast cancer through one of the characters, Samantha.
Barbara Mori: The Mexican actress, who made it big in India with her role in Kites, starring opposite Hrithik Roshan, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. Thanks to her early detection, she fought the disease and conquered it. She has been very vocal about cancer awareness
Kylie Minogue: The Australian singer, popularly known as the Chiggy Wiggy girl in India, not only fought breast cancer but also received an honorary Doctor of Health Science degree by a university in the UK for her work on spreading awareness about early detection of breast cancer.
Christina Applegate: If you have watched the popular TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S, you would recognize Christina as Amy Green, Rachel’s spoilt sister. Christina’s story is very similar to that of Angelina Jolie’s. She had an inherited gene mutation and was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early stages. She underwent a double mastectomy in 2008.
Devika Bhojwani: A popular theatre actress in Mumbai and the vice president of Women’s Cancer Initiative, Devika discovered her cancer at an early stage after she decided to take a mammogram, on seeing an advertisement at a hospital. She not only survived breast cancer but also set up the Women’s Cancer Initiative, in partnership with Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. She spoke at TEDxPune in 2014 about her experience with breast cancer.
Namrata Singh Gujral: An Indian American actress who fought breast cancer at the age of 32 after an early detection, Namrata took the initiative to produce ‘1 a Minute’, the docu-drama that featured popular celebrities across the world who fought breast cancer.