Eva Longoria has recently opened up on a subject that she hasn't discussed too much in the past. She has a special needs sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eva is now using her celebrity platform to raise awareness and support for her beloved sister. Liza is not only Eva Longoria's sister, but her hero.
Breaking the silence
At the 'Kiss Thi's 4MBC launch event in New York City, Eva Longoria explained, "it was a couple years ago. I never said anything at the time because it was a private thing. They caught it early - stage 1 during a mammogram. We were lucky. But one in three women who get breast cancer that spreads."
This opens up a conversation about the intersectionality of diseases. Often overlooked, those who get cancer are often battling other mental and physical health issues as well, making it even more difficult on the patient and their family.
Longoria explained why she had finally begun to speak out about her sister's condition, "I haven't spoken about my sister on purpose and then when this campaign came up I felt like, you know what, I'm literate on the breast cancer subject and I didn't even know about metastatic breast cancer. So, I thought, how many people don't know about this? And if I have a platform that can help women learn about this, if I have a platform that can help raise funds, that's even better."
Beth Fairchild is the president of METAvivor and she also emphasizes the important of heightened awareness and funds regarding metastatic breast cancer, stating "the majority of funds raised for breast cancer research go to early-stage breast cancer. This is why we've joined the Kiss This 4 MBC initiative to bring increased attention to metastatic breast cancer and increase research funding that will hopefully one day make this terminal disease a manageable illness.
Eva Longoria was asked what advice she could offer those who were interested in attaining further information about metastatic breast cancer. She said the necessity was not only with breast cancer itself, but changing the outlook that results in women not always seeking the assistance they need. She said, "women are terrible at putting themselves ahead of others. And the thing that suffers is your health. So, I would encourage every woman that comes here to be their own advocate, because you must insist on that test or insist on that mammogram - insist on that extra step. Trust your gut. And don't take no for an answer when it comes to your own health. That's a general life thing, not just health. It's the airplane thing, put your own mask on before helping others."
Liza is more than just a sister to Eva; she is her hero. Longoria explained, "it was such a blessing to watch her overcome obstacles - tying her shoes, putting on a shirt, getting out the front door. And yet she still had a job and would come home on the bus by herself and help with dinner."
Spreading the word
Longoria doesn't only want to speak about breast cancer, but wants to make a significant difference. As a result, she has joined the team of Novartis and 'Kiss This' 4MBC campaign. For each and every boomerang and selfie that is posted with #kissthis4mbc, Novartis donated $10 to metastatic breast cancer research. Along with these selfies, people sent messages of hope that explain why metastatic breast cancer can "kiss this."
Renee, who describes herself as a mother, wife, sister, friend, artist, and writer, who has been living with metastatic breast cancer since 2011, writes "#MBC: You might be able to do many things, but you can't change me #KissThis4MBC"
Elena, who is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, and friend, and has been living with metastatic breast cancer since 2016 writes "I fight with everything in me, for those that mean everything to me, so MBC can Kiss This! #KissThis4MBC"
These selfies and descriptions of why MBC can "kiss this" shows the tremendous resilience of women who are dealing with metastatic breast cancer, as well as highlighting the importance of continuing research so they can continue to be the wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins, artists, and everything else that they intend to be.
There are approximately 155,000 people living with metastatic breast cancer, and one in three people that are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will end up developing the metastatic disease, which is ultimately incurable. Bill Hinshaw is the Executive Vice President and Head, US, Novartis Oncology and has even stated "there remains a significant unmet need in metastatic breast cancer as this devastating disease claims the lives of an estimated 110 people a day in the United States. For more than 25 years, Novartis has been focused on developing innovative treatments and support programs for people living with breast cancer. Our hope is that Kiss This 4 MBC helps rally broad public support for this community.
For more information on how you can get involved in the movement, feel free to visit https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8162931-novartis-kiss-this-4-mbc-eva-longoria/. You can also learn more about Novartis and their commitment to donations per post at http://www.novartis.com.