Thursday, June 13, 2013

Celebrity Skin

When Celebrities speak, people listen.  Regardless if it’s crazy rants a’la Mel Gibson or if it’s glimpses into their private lives via Twitter.  They have a lot riding on what they say or don’t say and what they do or don’t do.  Some celebrities like to stay private with their personal matters, some choose to go public because - come on, in all reality it will more than likely end up public at one point or another. One recent announcement was that Angelia Jolie decided to pursue a double mastectomy solely based on preventative measures to avoid breast cancer.  I personally think it was amazing that she told her story; I hope that it can help other women faced with the same decision.

Another recent public announcement was from Steve Perry – the former front man of Journey.  He had a mole removed on his face that he's had for years and it came back as Melanoma.  He just came out last week, and I am so glad he did.  Although, I don’t think it would be an easy task attempting to hide it because the scar on his face is fairly large and visually unavoidable at the moment, but it’s out in the open.  Here are a few other club members that opened up their story to the public and some are doing (or did) huge things with that news. 

Troy Aikman had a positive mole on his shoulder and hasn’t had any issues at all.  It was caught super early, as in insitu - just in the first layer of skin, and calls himself “fortunate”…because he is. 

Dino De Laurentiis, brother of Chef Giada De Laurentiis, was diagnosed at age 29 and passed within a short 9 months.  Giada is using her celebrity voice and has done a PSA on Melanoma.

Bob Marley, I’ve mentioned him before, the disease metastasized and spread to his brain which lead to his passing in 1981 at the age of 36.

Senator John McCain has had a few positive moles removed from his body and subsequently underwent the surgery to remove ALL of the lymph nodes in neck region from a positive biopsy on his temple.  That particular surgery left him with his left cheek being ‘puffier’ than his right.  He’s joked that he "has more scars than Frankenstein”.   

Burgess Meredith played Mickey in “Rocky” and the lively father of Jack Lemmon in “Grumpy Old Men”.  He passed in 1997 from complications from Melanoma and Alzheimer's.

Maureen Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, passed in 2001 also after it spread to her brain during her 5 year battle. 

Cybill Shepherd had a scaly patch removed from her back in 2002 and has not had any further complications from diagnosis.

Shonda Shilling, Kurt Shilling’s spouse, was diagnosed and started the SHADE Foundation of America.  This foundation helps educate children and even assists with putting up shaded areas in school and park playgrounds.
All of these celebrities have made their diagnosis known.  We've got famous people in our "Melanoma Roar"!  When a celebrity is diagnosed with something that people don't know about, it tends to perk up curiosity and peeps look it up to find out what the heck it is.  With Melanoma, you wouldn't know much about it unless you, a family member or friend was diagnosed. It just doesn't have the same "word power" as other cancers...and of course, it's just skin cancer. 

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