Actress Rita Wilson was being watched for breast cancer, but her tests kept coming up negative. However, when a friend made her get second opinions, they came back positive. That led to a breast cancer diagnosis and a double mastectomy and reconstruction in 2015.
“Trust your gut. That’s why I’m still here,” Wilson said at the 15th annual Go Pink luncheon Friday before 1,500 people.
“I was in the middle of a play, and work was a wonderful distraction,” she said at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. “Make sure you’re still able to laugh and find joy in life.” The whole episode didn’t hit her until four months later, she said. So, she changed her diet and exercise regimes and started meditating.
“When it comes to your health you can be a bit of a bully. Don’t put your head in the sand,” Wilson said in a conversation with meditation author and activist Barbara Schmidt and Dr. Louise Morrell.
In her annual update, Morrell briefed the crowd on advances in mammography, genetics, surgery, and radiation.
“Our goals are to take it out, make sure it doesn’t come back and it doesn’t spread,” said Morrell, medical director of the Lynn Cancer Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
An on-the-spot cell phone fundraiser totaled $91,000 for the institute’s Be-U-tiful program, said Mark Larkin, president of the hospital’s foundation. The program offers lessons on cosmetics use, skin and nail care and scarf styling for patients in treatment.
The foundation organizes the luncheon with a celebrity speaker every year. “We’ve surpassed our goal of raising $1 million,” announced Patti Carpenter, chairwoman of the luncheon since its inception.