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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@_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

@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

@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

@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

@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

@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.

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9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

Culture

9 LGBTQ+ Latinas Making The World A Better Place Through Representation

Women are a driving force for change. It has been proven time and time again in history. LGBTQ+ Latinas are part of this tradition whether it is in activism, media, or representation in comic books. Here are 9 LGBTQ+ Latinas who are doing their part to make the world a better place.

Stephanie Beatriz

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Stephanie Beatriz is known for her character Rosa on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” The actress wanted to create a character that someone like her could relate to and she made it happen. Rosa came out in the show as a bisexual Latina and it gave Beatriz a chance to play a character that reflects her real identity. For the first time, bisexual Latinas have someone on television that speaks to a very real and important identity.

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson publicly came out of the closet as bisexual in 2018. The actress revealed her relationship with musician Janelle Monáe and fans were there to support her. Thompson made a real splash in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when she portrayed Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok.” She will be slaying again as Valkrie in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Bamby Salcedo

Bamby Salcedo is unapologetically trans and fighting for trans lives and rights. Salcedo founded the TransLatin@ Coalition to create a network for trans Latinas to connect and help each other thrive. Salcedo is often in protests for trans lives including against Pete Buttigieg during a CNN/HRC Town Hall.

Victoria Cruz

Victoria Cruz is a gatekeeper of LGBTQ+ history. The indigenous trans woman was there for the start of the Gay Liberation movement in 1969. Cruz has been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Cruz has continued to her fight for trans rights even in the face of transphobia in the LGBTQ+ community. As the LGBTQ+ community tends for forget its history, Cruz is here to remind them of how important the trans community is in gaing LGBTQ+ rights.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera first came into everyone’s home as a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This was before she started her transition. Since embarking on her transition journey, Carrera has had a very successful career as a supermodel, became a stepmother, and has been championing trans rights in the U.S. and Peru. The activist has spent years breaking down stereotypes about trans people wherever she goes.

Salice Rose

Salice Rose is a major name in social media. With more than 16 million followers on TikTok, Rose has created a place for people to feel safe and included. Using comedy and her spirituality, Rose has been able to tackle important issues, like coming out.

Gabby Rivera

Gabby Rivera was tapped to write for the America Chavez comic book in a move by Marvel that was widely celebrated. Rivera was able to give American Chavez, a queer Latin superhero, an authentic voice. Rivera is also the author of “Juliet Takes A Breaths.’ The young adult novel follows a Puerto Rican girl who comes out to her family right before going to an internship on the other side of the country.

Martine Gutierrez

Martine Gutierrez is a famed photographer and artist that has displayed work around the world. The art critic Barbara Calderon wrote about Gutierrez’s identity that has been an elusive yet broad identity. Calderon spoke of terms used to identify oneself yet none seemed to accurately describe who Gutierrez is.

Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta is an Afro-indigenous Colombian Canadian musician who is transforming Latin music, especially the scene with her sexuality. The queer musician is unapologetic about her identity for the sake of visibility. Pimienta feels a need to stay ver visible to change the long-running history of no queer visibility in media.

READ: Here Are Some Queer Films And Shows To Watch To Start Pride Off Right

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Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ from ‘Saved By the Bell’ Dies at 44; Mario Lopez and Former Cast Members Grieve

Entertainment

Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ from ‘Saved By the Bell’ Dies at 44; Mario Lopez and Former Cast Members Grieve

Photo via elizberkley/Instagram

Today, former “Saved By the Bell” cast members are grieving the lost of someone who once was an integral member of their team.

On Monday, Dustin Diamond, well known for playing the loveable, zany character Screech on “Saved by the Bell” passed away from carcinoma at the age of 44.

Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, and Elizabeth Berkley all publicly eulogized Dustin Diamond on social media.

It was just a few weeks ago that Diamond’s diagnosis was revealed to the public. His rep released the following statement:

“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma. He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system;

His rep went on to say that Diamond’s death was quick and that he “did not suffer”.

As soon as the news of his death was announced, Diamond’s former “Saved By the Bell” co-star, Mario Lopez, took to Twitter to pay his condolences to Diamond’s family.

Lopez posted a picture of himself beside Diamond, along with the heartfelt note: “Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…”

Later, Lopez spoke with Variety about how he was still struggling to “process” Diamond’s death.

“I actually just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. He was reluctant to go in [to the hospital] for a while because he didn’t know if anything was going to get out,” Lopez revealed. “And I said, ‘Bro, that’s foolish, you’ve got to get in there and take care of yourself and forget what people are saying.’ Some people thought his illness was a joke, which is awful, but the internet always spills tales.

Lopez also revealed that he himself was sure that Diamond was going to pull through. “When all of this was happening, I was optimistic that he would make a recovery, but it was obviously too late,” he said.

Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez may have had a somewhat complicated relationship, but they remained in touch years after the show ended.

In Mario Lopez’s 2014 book “Just Between Us,” he confirmed the long-standing rumors that Diamond wasn’t exactly beloved by the rest of the cast. “Not everyone got along with Screech AKA Dustin Diamond. I did, but maybe I was the exception,” he wrote.

“From when I found out he was sick to his passing, it’s been incredibly quick. It’s so fresh, it’s incredibly hard to process,” he revealed. “And it’s shocking because he was so young; he was only 44. I honestly thought, ‘There’s no way [he won’t make it]. It sucks, but he’ll bounce back.’”

And indeed, controversy followed Diamond long after he graduated from Bay City High.

Diamond consistently made headlines due to everything from reality show fights, to sex tapes, to bar-room brawls.

In 2016, Diamond sat down for an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra, explaining that he wanted to start a new chapter in his life.

“I want to put the tom foolery and malarkey behind me, you know? It’s time for that clean slate. Time for the change.”

Diamond’s rep is asking that his family is given the time and privacy necessary to grieve their loss.

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