End a love affair and everywhere you go people are in love. Every song on the radio is a note of steadfast devotion or wistful infidelity. We know this is just our perception, the world has not changed, only the status of your love life, still it’s agonizing when you’re in the throes of heartache to have constant reminders of sudden aloneness. This is how I’ve felt the past month, only it isn’t the loss of a lover fueling my despair, but the specter of illness. It seems every day I learn another artist, celebrity, acquaintance, or person I follow on social media has died– suddenly!— from cancer. It’s maddening. I tell myself it’s a hyper-awareness because the one year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis is quickly approaching, but it also is the realization cancer really is everywhere, its fingers threading through and thinning out the population. Cancer is a persistent motherfucker that can and too often does come out of nowhere and sometimes the light of a thousand suns is no match for its gluttony.
Below are a few public personalities who lived with cancer and boldly shared that journey through art, philanthropy, community, and raising awareness. Click the photo and follow the link to learn more about their work and lives.
Aretha Franklin The Queen of Soul
Anya Krugovoy Silver American Poet
Amanda Kyle-Williams, crime novelist
Kyrzayda Rodriguez fashion blogger
Rachael Bland BBC broadcaster & co-host of You, Me and the Big C podcast