Olivia Newton-John promotes Walk for Wellness campaign
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Olivia Newton-John is getting ready to celebrate her 73rd birthday on September 26 and has announced an emotional wish for her special day. The Grease star posted a rare video on August 20th to her 1.2 million fans announcing that she needed their help.
She said: “I want to invite you to my virtual event, Olivia’s Walk for Wellness, on Sunday the 26th of September, which happens to be my birthday, to help raise funds for people with cancer to thrive.
“I’m sure my birthday wish is the same as yours, a world without cancer. A world of wellness.”
Fans were thrilled with the announcement, with one writing: “It’s so wonderful seeing you, looking more beautiful as always.”
A second added: “That smile. Seriously. It gets me every time. Olivia is looking absolutely radiant and beautiful!”
Whilst a third wrote: “Wishing you much-needed health repair. I’m devoting my nightly prayers to your health because you’re a national treasure.”
Olivia has stage four breast cancer which has metastasised, and 2017 marked the third time she has been diagnosed with the illness in the past 28 years.
Speaking about the cancer’s return, she told The Guardian last year: “It’s been a part of my life for so long. I felt something was wrong.
“It’s concerning when it comes back, but I thought: ‘I’ll get through it again’. Three times lucky, right?
“I’m going to look at it like that. Listen, I think every day is a blessing. You never know when your time is over; we all have a finite amount of time on this planet, and we just need to be grateful for that.”
The Grease star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, not long after the death of her father, a former MI5 agent who worked on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park.
When it came back in 2013, her older sister, Rona, had just died and Olivia only found out about the cancer’s recurrence when she was involved in a car accident.
Both times she was still shellshocked with grief. The cancer’s return four years ago was, she says, not unexpected.
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However, one thing that she says has been a big help – alongside surgery, chemo and radiotherapy – is medical cannabis.
The Grease star has become an enthusiastic advocate for the drug, after being introduced to it by her husband, John Easterling.
He grows the plant in a greenhouse at their ranch as part of his business, the Amazon Herb Company.
Her daughter, Chloe (whose father is Olivia’s first husband, the actor Matt Lattanzi), also owns a marijuana farm in Oregon.
“I was nervous of it in the beginning. But I could see the benefits once I started using it. It helps with anxiety, it helps with sleep, it helps with pain,” she stated.
Her belief in the healing power of plants is so strong that she has set up the Olivia Newton-John Foundation to fund research into holistic therapies for cancer.
Cancer Research UK warns that there is not enough reliable scientific evidence to use herbal medicine as a treatment for cancer, something the foundation is hoping to challenge in its work.
However, the charity says clinical trials seem to show that certain Chinese herbs may help people to live longer, might reduce side effects, and help to prevent cancer from coming back. This is especially when combined with conventional treatment.
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