Last night, I covered the “Stand Up to Cancer” event for the first time, holding down the green room interviews for the organization. Twice a year, since 2008, the Hollywood community comes together to stand in the fight against cancer. During the one-hour telecast that broadcasts across nearly every network, cable provider and website, hundreds of celebrities showed support and shared personal stories on how they have been directly affected by this disease. One out of every two men, and one out of every three women will face this terrible disease called cancer. The moment is NOW and the time has come for EVERYONE to stand up! Below are my #Reasons2StandUp
My father had to suffer through lung cancer, breathing with an oxygen tank, which caused further complications that eventually took his life on August 31, 2000. I stand for him. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, and luckily is still here with me, and our strength is solid as a rock. I stand for her. Their courage and strength while battling cancer has kept me going and continues to inspire me every single day. I cherish every single moment I have to connect with my father spiritually, and have built a very close relationship with my Mom. My mission is to support everyone in my life who has to deal with this terrible disease, and I aim to lend my experience in dealing with loved ones who suffer whenever I can to friends and family going through the same pain.
During the telecast, I had conversations with Bradley Cooper (who lost his father to lung cancer in 2011) and Mitch Carbon (cancer patient), as they both expressed their admiration for one another. It was nice to see them get to interact and tell us ways in which we can help and donate to this cause. Out of all the interviews I conducted during the event, it was my conversation with Viola Davis (who lost her father to Pancreatic Cancer) that really hit home for me. I was impacted by every word she said. It was almost as if she was describing the suffering that my father went through verbatim. The way she dealt with it, and feeling helpless was exactly how I felt personally. She echoed sentiments that the support system for the family and loved ones who have to watch them suffer is also important to recognize. We are not alone, and for the first time – I really felt connected to every single person in that room. We’ve all had to deal with it throughout our life, in some way.
Hollywood truly let their guard down, and everyone felt united. It was a beautiful feeling to be a part of this world, and see everyone come together as one. I found myself in tears a few times, following my interviews where I would share that I, too, have lost people in my life and dealt with the same thing. There was a silent comfort in the room, which was heartfelt and welcoming. The most inspiring moment for me, was watching Celine Dion perform her new single “Recovery” from the green room. She captured the entire room’s attention and all eyes were on the TV screens. Seeing Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Emma Stone, Kristen Wiig, Kathy Bates, Klay Thompson, and many more moved by her strength and courage was quite a moment I will never forget. There was not a dry eye in the house.
It was also great to see the young influencers support SU2C, and glad I was able to have a conversation with Klay Thompson, as his impact on the young generation and sports community is imminent right now. Glad he was there to support this cause. He told me he was awe struck by all the celebrities who came out to support, but it was being on the calls that really hit home for him.
To donate to #SU2C – CLICK HERE or dial 1-888-90-STAND. Whether it’s $1.00 or $ 100,000 that you can spare – anything and everything counts.