Olivia Newton-John Creates Breast Cancer Self-Exam Medical Aid

By Andrew Robertson 11/4/10 | www.samaritanmag.com

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After beating breast cancer herself, singer Olivia Newton-John is continuing to encourage women to take charge of their health by promoting The Liv to help women better examine their breast tissue.

“I have co-created the Liv Aid, a breast self-exam device designed to empower and encourage women to perform monthly self-exams,” Newton-John told Samaritanmag via an email interview. “If you love yourself enough, you will do monthly exams and know your own breast health.”

Women can purchase the heart-shaped Liv Aid by going to Liv.com.

“As a breast cancer thriver, I am so passionate about bringing awareness, especially for self-exams and early detection,” she says.

Newton-John was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and is cancer free.

The experience had a profound effect on how she views life.

“Breast cancer totally changed my life,” she explains. “I used to worry about the small stuff, but when you go through cancer, or any life-threatening disease, it gives you clarity as to what is really important.  I have always lived a healthy life — eating healthy, not smoking, exercising — but now I live every day feeling gratitude for being alive. I wake every morning and say, ‘Yes, I'm still here.’”

Newton-John has long campaigned for better physical, mental and spiritual health. After her daughter’s friend Chloe died from a rare childhood cancer at the age of four, she served for a decade as the national spokesperson for Heathy Child – Healthy World, formerly the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition. 

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She is currently building The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center at Australia’s Austin Hospital. In May of this year the Victorian government invested $69 million in the Melbourne-based facility. On the web site www.oliviaappeal.com, it says the Centre “will combine leading medical treatment and research of international significance, integrated with the best of wellness care and support for patients and their families.

“Building on more than 125 years of cancer expertise at the Austin Hospital, in collaboration with the global Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Centre seeks to bridge the gap between research, treatment and cancer care.”

 “I focus most of my energy on my hospital,” says Newton-John. “I am happy to say, after many years of fundraising, we finally broke ground and they have begun construction.  It is so exciting.”

Newton-John is also involved with another important cause with her husband, John Easterling. They both serve on the board of the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (www.ACEER.org). “It is a wonderful organization that helps the indigenous people of the Amazon understand the importance of preserving a living rainforest,” she says.

The 62-year-old beauty is a firm believer in the power of being pro-active and of taking responsibility not only for your own body and mind, but your environment and the earth that we all share.

“If you don't get involved, change will not happen,” she says. “Find something that you are passionate about and do whatever you can to make a difference.  One voice may not make a difference on its own but if we all speak up and get involved we have the power to change anything.”

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* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.