Things That Matter

These 19 Celebrities Have Survived Cancer And Continue To Thrive In Their Lives And Careers

Beating cancer is no easy fight. It takes such a physical, emotional and spiritual toll while you’re in the trenches. If you’re in the trenches right now, we hope that seeing faces and spirits of people who have come out the other side as warriors will be a comfort.
Learning about your cancer and fighting it is a deeply personal experience. Each of these people had their own ways of coping. Whatever is right for you, is right for you.

1. Sofia Vergara

CREDIT: @sofiavergara / Instagram

Sofia Vergara had a somewhat miraculous diagnosis of thyroid cancer back in 2001. While she was taking her son, Manolo, to his doctor, he noticed something abnormal in her neck and recommended medical care.

The Colombian actress now channels her newfound energy into activism for early detection campaigns.

2. Draco Rosa

CREDIT: @dracorosa / Instagram

Draco Rosa, of Menudo, has had a recurrent battle against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, near his liver. After relapsing and surviving again, Rosa collaborated with his nutritionist on a plant-based cookbook called, “El secreto de la vida a base de plantas.”

Rosa said, “We found the way to healthy eating. We don’t pretend to be doctors, we just want to share what we learned, and the benefits that plant-based eating has given us.”

3. Eric del Castillo

CREDIT: @fankatedelcastillobrasil / Instagram

Kate del Castillo’s own father had a bout of prostate cancer, though it was detected in its early stages back in August 2012. Less than a year later, he was cancer-free, and has since been advocating for early detection screenings, like the one that saved his life.

4. Patricia Reyes Spíndola

CREDIT: @reyesspindola / Twitter

Mexicana actress Patricia Reyes Spíndola also decided to keep her breast cancer to herself, and even kept the secret from her own mother to protect her. She eventually went public years later as part of a public campaign to fight against breast cancer in Mexico.

5. Alejandra Guzmán

CREDIT: @laguzmanmx / Instagram

Mexican rock star Guzmán admitted her breast cancer experience felt like a battle for her body. She said it was painful to have her “femininity mutilated”, but that, “It’s an honor to be alive, to be a survivor, to be able to give a message of fighting, of strength, to all women and friends who are going through this.”

6. Jaime “Taboo” Gómez

CREDIT: @taboo / Instagram

Black Eye Peas star was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in 2014. After he survived, he dropped the song “Fight” in 2016, of which all the proceeds went to the American Cancer Foundation.

7. Maria Marín

CREDIT: @mariamarinmotivation / Instagram

The Puerto Rican motivational speaker definitely had to give herself many pep talks when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Her own mother died of cancer at age 33. She had a double mastectomy, and is now cancer-free and even more motivated to be alive.

8. Alicia Machado

CREDIT: @machadooficial / Instagram

She was once Miss Universe, but decided to keep her diagnosis of breast cancer from the world back in 2013. Eventually, she opened up to the world in an interview for CNN en Español.

9. Juan Manuel Cortés

CREDIT: @juanmaconfiesa / Instagram

“Suelta la Sopa” anchor Cortés was open about his cancer from the beginning. He was diagnosed with lymphoma and even brought his fans with him for his treatments. He’s been cancer-free since December 2015.

10. Ana María Polo

CREDIT: @anapolot / Instagram

Cuban lawyer and host of legal reality show “Caso Cerrado” says that beating breast cancer has helped her appreciate the little things, like writing songs and paddle-boarding. She’s since become very active in raising awareness and money for cancer research.

11. Daniela Romo

CREDIT: @danielaromoweb / Instagram

Mexican superstar Daniela Romo is best known for her hair, which was a significant experience when she had to shave her head. The actress battled and, eventually, beat breast cancer.

“I remember how I lost the last hair on my eyebrow. I saw myself being reborn,” she said, “I embraced the disease with love.”

12. Cecilia Galliano

CREDIT: @ceci_gallian / Instagram

“One day I was walking in a store, and I felt a very strong sting,” she said. “They take me to the doctor and tell me I’m full of cancerous cysts. Three days later, I had surgery, an operation that was 8 hours long.”

The “Sabadazo” alumna is a survivor, though she admits that she’s afraid to get pregnant again.

13. Adamari Lopez

CREDIT: @adamarilopez / Instagram

Puerto Rican actress and Telemundo morning show “Un Nuevo Día” television host overcame breast cancer. The experience helped give her a new perspective on her resilient body.

”It doesn’t matter if at times I am fuller or thinner. What’s important is that I’m alive. I value every single moment.”

14. Vicente Fernández

CREDIT: @_vicentefdez / Instagram

El charro de Huentitán has been through the ringer. He was diagnosed with liver cancer back in 2012 and has to have part of his liver removed. He survived, but it was only a few years later before he found out he had prostate cancer. But he survived that, too. 🙇🏽

15. Adriana Barraza

CREDIT: @adrianabarrazaoficial / Instagram

Just a few years ago, “The 33” actress had a mastectomy to overcome her breast cancer. She’s been in remission for years. You can find her at “Adriana Barraza’s Black Box” acting school in Miami, FL, taking names.

16. Angélica María

CREDIT: @alanhernz / Instagram

The “Bride of Mexico” had breast cancer back in 1997, which has required maintenance surgeries ever since. She was one of the first Latinas to make her cancer public, which was a fierce undertaking back before pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness was on the public radar.

17. Fernando del Solar

CREDIT: @fernandodelsolar / Instagram

The actor has confessed that the five years it took to beat his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was the hardest of his life. “And out of nowhere in 24 months I lost my wife, money and fame, my children’s mother fled, she could not do this.”

He was near death, and was even put into an induced coma, but woke up on the tenth day, when they discovered that 70 percent of the tumor had disappeared. “When you realize that everything depends on you and you no longer become the victim, it is when everything is achieved.”

18. Lorena Meritano

CREDIT: @lorenameritanooficial / Instagram

We know Meritano has the Argentinian telenovela star that carried “Pasión de Gavilanes,” but what you might not know is that she’s been battling breast cancer since 2014. She went into remission in April 2015, but has been fighting the relapse since January 2016.

Once a survivor, always a survivor.

19. Jorge Ortiz de Pinedo

CREDIT: @showtimeradio / Instagram

The actor was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day up until the day before he learned he had lung cancer back in 2012. Once he started inexplicably losing weight, he knew something was wrong. To this day, he’s shocked that he beat it.

Activist and Disabled Model Jillian Mercado Shares Her #DisabledAirlineHorror in Hopes of Raising Awareness of Ableism in the Travel Industry


Activist and Disabled Model Jillian Mercado Shares Her #DisabledAirlineHorror in Hopes of Raising Awareness of Ableism in the Travel Industry

For disable model and activist, Jillian Mercado, travel is a regular part of her schedule. About every three weeks, Mercado flies as part of her job and she has used almost every single airline through the course of her travels. No matter what airline she chooses, the result is always the same. Without fail, there is always a problem with airline workers properly checking and stowing her electric wheelchair. Mercado has spastic muscular dystrophy that tightens her tendons and muscles. As such, walking for any substantial amount of time quickly becomes very exhausting for the disabled activist. In order to aid her mobility, Mercado regularly uses a wheelchair.

“It gives me the freedom to move around and be extremely independent,” Mercado recently shared with FIERCE by mitú. “Without it, my life is pretty much put on pause.”

The model’s most recent interaction with an airline resulted in her chair being manipulated to the point of breaking.

Twitter / @jilly_peppa

While traveling out of JFK Airport, Mercado encountered an unfortunately common situation. As per usual, the model filled out the “Claim At Gate” voucher for her assistive device — her 300-pound electric wheelchair. The claim allows her to write down all instructions for her wheelchair so airport workers are able to move and stow the device without problems. Mercado also always verbally explains the important details of her chair’s care to (hopefully) prevent any damage from being done.

There’s also a box to mark if one’s wheelchair can fold down or not. Mercado’s specific chair does not fold down and she was sure to note this both on the form and verbally. Still, it didn’t do anything to stop what happened once her chair was checked.

“There is too many times where — even though you go by the book and add your extra steps — everything is looked past and done by their own accord,” Mercado explained. “In this incident that’s exactly what happened.”

The flight would be delayed by three hours because the airline had difficulties forwarding the model’s chair.

Twitter / @jilly_peppa

The disabled activist was told about the difficulty surrounding her chair while she was seated on the full plane. Mercado told FIERCE that she felt embarrassed knowing that the plane full of people knew that her wheelchair was the reason for the delay. Six hours later, she was at her destination but still had to wait an additional hour to get her wheelchair.

Once she saw it being wheeled towards her, Mercado knew there was something majorly wrong with the situation. Realizing what the issue was, she went live on Instagram to document the damage.

“I realized that my chair was not the way that I left it,” the model explained. “They completely snapped the backside where I rest my upper body forward. Like I mentioned before, my chair does not fold and here I saw it completely folded. Soon after, I realized that some cables were also pulled apart.  I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me once again.”

Mercado had no recourse besides reporting the damage at baggage claim.

Twitter / @jilly_peppa

It’s important to note that wheelchairs and other assistance devices are not baggage. They’re essential to the mobility and freedom of their users. Often, without access to their devices, disabled people are left to seek aid from friends, family or the kindness of strangers. It’s a completely dehumanizing experience. There is no piece of luggage that can compare to the importance of these devices.

Mercado had to be pushed in a manual wheelchair by an airport worker to report her damaged chair. She was then stuck at the airport without a chair she could leave in and without the ability to get anywhere on her own. Luckily, the model had some friends in the area who were able to help her but she easily could have been stranded without access to the device that affords her freedom.

Mercado has yet to receive a suitable response from JFK about the damage to her chair.

Twitter / @jilly_peppa

The only answer Mercado received was an unspecific tweet from JFK Airport. The tweet reads:

“Jillian, we are so sorry that you had to be put through this at our airport. We hope that your chair was functional when you arrived at your next destination. You should reach out to the airline directly if you need to make a claim for any damage to the wheelchair. Good luck.”

Mercado pointed out that the clear lack of a personalized and caring response goes to prove that the airport lacks any disabled representation in leadership.

“This definitely would have not happened if somebody internally knew how important our devices are. I always say: you can’t speak about us without us in the conversation.”

To encourage other disabled Twitter users to share their travel horror stories, Mercado has encouraged the use of the hashtag #DisabledAirlineHorror.

Twitter / @jilly_peppa

Traveling while disabled is oftentimes difficult and uncomfortable but it is something that disabled people can do on their own as long as they are given access to the tools needed. Most importantly, Mercado wants the abled people who read her story to understand that disabled people have the right to live — and access to everything that comes with life.

“It’s already enough that society already has us in this stereotype were we don’t go out, aren’t fashionable or date but to experience life is to live it as you please,” Mercado insisted. “We are human beings just like everyone else. If you are going to provide a service, provide it to everyone with respect. This is how we literally move forward in life. That should be respected.”

Here’s Why Cardi B’s New Tattoo Maybe Isn’t The Best Idea


Here’s Why Cardi B’s New Tattoo Maybe Isn’t The Best Idea


Big time rapper Cardi B might have carved her career from a different path, but there’s no doubt she’s done a lot of things right to get where she is today. The Dominican-Trinidadian rapper managed to transform her career multiple times within the span of just a few years. Having started as a stripper she turned her life around as a reality tv star and then came up on the up as a multi-platinum rapper. Now, the stripper-turned-reality-star-turned-rapper is turning a new leaf and becoming an actress ( if you didn’t already know her film debut will be alongside J.Lo in the film “Hustlers.) So like we said, she’s done a lot of things right and made some clearly lucrative decisions.

However, we’ve gotta say Cardi’s latest choice is giving us some pause. 

It looks like Cardi has a new tattoo and the content and location of her newest ink has people talking. 

Instagram / @offsetyrn

On July 22nd, Cardi’s hubby, Offset, shared a Face-Time snapshot of a call between him and his wife on Instagram. In it, we can see Cardi contoured to show off her newest tattoo. In elaborate script on the back of her thigh, the tattoo reads “Offset.” This tat matches Offset’s own “Cardi B” tattoo that he sports on the back of his neck. 

While getting a tattoo isn’t a big deal, the fact that she’s decided to ink her husband’s name on her has us a tad concerned. It’s no secret that Offset and Cardi have been on-again, off-again in the past. As recently as five months ago, the Grammy-winning rapper addressed rumors that Offset was once again stepping out. The pair has appeared publicly many times since their reconciliation and have appeared to be totally in love but, as we know, passions can burn out quickly. 

Many see tattooing a lover’s name on oneself as a set up for the relationship to soon end.   

Twitter / @Xtreme104SVG

It’s tattoo superstition that once you get your love’s name inked on you, the relationship is about to be over. Unlike most superstitions, however; this one has a little bit of truth to back it up. 

Take for example the singer and actress Adrienne Bailon. 

She famously dated a certain Kardashian brother back in 2007. During their time together, the Latina inked the famous last name on her butt before the relationship ended because of infidelity. 

“I made a very bad decision!” Bailon shared. The Latina eventually got the tattoo removed in 2013 in a very painful procedure  “You can smell your flesh burning,” she graphically explained. 

Bailon is far from alone in her former tattoo regrets. 

Actress Eva Longoria also knows the pain of regrettable tattoos. 

Back when she was married to NBA star, Tony Parker, the star got a set of three tattoos honoring their marriage. The first was Parker’s jersey number, the second was the date of their wedding and the third was Parker’s initials. When the marriage ended in 2010, Longoria also endured the painful procedure of getting all three tattoos removed.  

Christina Aguilera also made the mistake of getting a tattoo in honor of now ex-husband, Jordan Bratman. 

The Latina diva got her then-husband’s initials tattooed onto her elbow in the Hebrew alphabet. Whether it was a sign or just a mishap, the tattoo DOESN’T actually say “JB.” It was actually mistranslated and says the number “12” instead. This could have been a lot more embarrassing had the couple stayed together but we’re sure that Aguilera still has to regret the tattoo a little bit. 

It isn’t just people who get their loved one’s names tattooed on themselves who regret it. 

A spur of the moment decision resulted in Demi Lovato getting her friend’s lips tattooed on her forearm.

 The singer soon grew annoyed with the piece, however; and re-dubbed it the “vagina tattoo.” In 2012, the Latina had it covered up with new art in the form of a white rose. Lovato likes the new tat better but still definitely regrets that first one. 

Jessica Alba also recently admitted that she had a couple of tattoos that she wishes she never committed to ink. 

She told REFINERY29 about her skin art:

“I do have a few tattoos, and I regret one of them…maybe two. I got it when I was like 17 and I’m so irritated that I got it. I got it lasered many times and it’s not coming out.”

She’s referring to a back and back-of-neck tattoo that she got as a young woman. The neck tattoo is a sprig of flowers and the back ink is a pair of angel wings. The neck tat has been lasered a few times but some tattoos take longer than others to remove. 

The point we’re trying to make is that sometimes you love something and think it makes sense to immortalize it on your skin. Yet, the truth is that a tattoo isn’t all that permanent anymore so maybe you should find a less painful way to commit to your love. Either way, a good tattoo is one that you don’t end up regretting later. 

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