Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah’s Legacy


Farrah Faucett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, it spread to her liver in 2007 and today she lost her three and a half year battle against the disease. Known for her charm and incredible beauty on screen, she would later become known for her brave and indelible spirit as she chronicled her painful struggle in the television documentary “Farrah’s Story.”


“Cancer is a disease that is mysterious, headstrong and makes its own rules,” Fawcett said in the documentary. “And mine, to this date, is incurable. I know that everyone will die eventually, but I do not want to die of this disease.”

Farrah’s willingness to share this private part of her life with the world served to focus our attention on the issues of cancer. Her documentary dealt with the issues surrounding how we each must eventually face our own mortality and the deeper story of watching a cultural icon fight a cancer diagnosis. The transparency of Farrah’s personal story unveiled to the world that if a vibrant celebrity with money and quality healthcare can still suffer and ultimately loose the battle against cancer, then the same can apply to any of us.

I believe Farrah’s inner strength was a beacon to all of us about the immediate necessity to direct our energies toward finding a cure for cancer. It seems almost impossible to me that in America today, with all of the technology and brilliant scientific minds working on finding a cure, our battle against cancer remains elusive. How can it be that the global wide medical community is still unable to find a cure to a disease that has undoubtedly touched at least one person in your life? For detailed information about this specific issue I encourage you to read through the Stand Up to Cancer website at: http://www.standup2cancer.org/

Today I read that 47 million people in America still do not have healthcare insurance. I can not begin to imagine having to deal with this issue if I were sick, without health insurance, and facing end of life issues.

Farrah’s long-time friend Alana Stewart was quoted saying, “Her big message to people is don’t give up, no matter what they say to you, keep fighting.” At the conclusion of the documentary, Fawcett was seen shaving off most of her trademark locks before chemotherapy could claim them. Toward the end, she’s seen huddled in bed, barely responding to a visit from her son. But this is not how I will remember Farrah Faucett. NBC estimated the May 15, 2009, broadcast of “Farrah’s Story” drew nearly 9 million viewers. Through all the setbacks in her medical prognosis, Farrah’s story opened our eyes to the need to take action now as we continue our collective hope for a better day. A day when no person will be forced to face a cancer diagnosis.

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