Actresses Sofia Vergara and Christina Applegate were among the numerous celebrity cancer survivors cramming the red carpet Friday leading into the second “Stand Up To Cancer” telethon.
“Modern Family” star Vergara, 38, talked about beating thyroid cancer, which was diagnosed about 10 years ago.
“Well, I think cancer for me was a very hard experience in my life, because I was young and I had my kid,” said the Colombian actress. “But I think it was also very good, because I changed the way I live my life. I think now I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. It makes you realize, it makes you change your priorities in life. So, I was very lucky that I was able to beat it, and I’ve been in remission for a very long time now. And I learned from it. I learned to live a better way,” she said.
Virtually all of the others walking the press gauntlet also shared stories about how they or loved ones were affected by cancer. Among them: actresses Marcia Cross and Fran Drescher, sports figures Dorothy Hamill and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, musicians Neil Diamond and Kelly Osbourne.
Osbourne, 25, said her presence was solely due to her mother Sharon’s battle with colon cancer. “I know how hard it is to watch somebody you love so much be so sick, and not know how to help them,” Osbourne noted. “But the one thing that I did learn from it is that just being there and just helping my mom out, and just trying to cheer her up was all I really needed to do, because that’s all she wanted.”
The “Stand Up for Cancer” telethon, which aired on virtually all major television networks in the United States and in many countries worldwide, included taped appearances by actor Michael Douglas, who is currently battling throat cancer, and actor George Clooney, whose legendary aunt, actress and singer Rosemary Clooney,died from lung cancer in 2002. Others appearing on the telethon included actor Will Smith, musician Stevie Wonder and U.S. president Barack Obama.
The first “Stand Up To Cancer” telethon took place in 2008 and raised some $100 million for cancer research. A publicist for the event said a tally of this year’s donations would not be available until later in the weekend.
The event was hosted by news anchors Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Katie Couric and produced by Film and TV producer Laura Ziskin, a cancer survivor.