The Wellness Walk benefitting the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre

This Sunday, September 15th, in Melbourne, Australia, Olivia Newton-John will lead the 1st Annual Wellness Walk in a fundraising effort to benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.

As regular readers of The Randy Report know, my husband has been Olivia’s long-time publicist. Olivia is everything you hope she would be in person, and I am not shy in extolling her extraordinary virtues aside from her amazing talent but as a cancer “thriver” advocate.

She has dedicated years raising funds for the ONJCWC, with her focus on the Wellness Centre. The Wellness Centre component of this world-class facility helps bring comfort and non-traditional therapies into play with Western medicine approaches. The Wellness Centre provides massage therapy, art therapy, music therapy, meditation and a whole host of complementary programs to help those traveling their cancer journey.

As a cancer “thriver” myself, I know first hand how much these programs and therapies can help.

I don’t ask Randy Report readers often, but on this special occasion – the 1st anniversary of the opening of the ONJCWC – I’d like to ask, if you feel so inclined, to make a donation (however small) to the ONJCWC via the Wellness Walk this coming Sunday. Ten dollars, twenty dollars, whatever amount you may feel comfortable giving.  My husband Michael is traveling there to take part in the event with Olivia and has set up a donation page under his name to make the process easy.

Michael sends this message:

Having worked with Olivia as her publicist for so many years I have watched everything she has done for the world and, being so closely involved with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre since its inception – my goal is to help continue to raise funds and awareness for this place that is so near and dear to our hearts!

Please help and donate – every little bit helps and cancer impacts EVERYONE!

Here’s the link to donate.

And thanks for being a part of The Randy Report.

Valerie Harper to appear on new season of “Dancing With The Stars”

TMZ has the scoop:

Valerie Harper — whom doctors gave three months to live back in March due to her terminal brain cancer — hasn’t just defied medicine by staying alive … she’s signed on to “Dancing with the Stars.”

As previously reported, 74-year-old Harper — famous for playing the role of Rhoda on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” — announced she had been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare form of cancer in which cancer cells spread into the membrane surrounding the brain.

Doctors gave her roughly until June to live … but it’s already August, and we’ve learned she’s doing so well she is set to appear on the upcoming season of “Dancing,” an extremely physically-demanding reality show.

We’re told Valerie and her partner Tristan have already been practicing for two days, and she’s surprisingly good. Our sources say she’s completely self-sufficient and doesn’t need any special assistance.

Bette Midler sings WIND BENEATH MY WINGS to dying fan

Anna Greenberg, who was a huge fan of Broadway star Bette Midler, died last month after battling a rare form of cancer — rhabdomyosarcoma — at the age of 28.

Only days before Anna passed away, Bette, whom Greenberg met last December, called Anna in the hospital and sang to her ‘Wind Beneath My Wings.’

Watch the video above. Bette begins singing at the 4:45 mark.

Very touching. And wonderful that Bette Midler would take the time to make Anna’s dream come true.  That’s a great star.

Bette is currently starring in the hit play I’ll Eat You Last on Broadway.

(source)

28 years ago today: No north star, no road map, but we’re alright

28 years ago today, I graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Music Theatre.

I was ready to go out in the world and do… something? Broadway? Something?

Something.

My dear friend, Leslie Nipkow, who graduated with me that day has written something of a “love letter to life” for those of us who have never lost the ability to dream. She puts it much better than I ever could.  (She’s a Daytime Emmy Award winning writer, for pete’s sake…)

From Leslie Nipkow’s Facebook page:

28 years ago yesterday, I (and many of you) graduated from Syracuse University Visual and Performing Arts. 28 years ago today, I flew into JFK on Peoples Express with nothing but a baby blue hard shell Sears suitcase stuffed with sheet music, leotards and the ubiquitous floral audition dress, and a $1,500 cash award I had won two days earlier for my potential to make a life in the arts.

I stepped out of the Port Authority on to 42d Street (the fantastic way it used to be, and secretly remains, under the shiny happy veneer they’ve slapped on top of it) — the certainty that I would move to New York as soon as possible had pulled me through countless lonely, broken, humiliating, fish-out-of-water moments from my first visit at 11 years old. I was finally here.

I wanted to work for Ellen Stewart at La MaMa. By the end of that day, I was La MaMa’s new box office manager and was living in the theater after the lights came down at night. One foot to the left of my mattress on the floor was the trap through which actors, puppets and other large objects could be lowered to the stage mid-performance. I sat there on my evenings off and watched the shows from above. Full of dreams.

One of the miracles of New York is that I still feel that same electric surge of eagerness when my feet hit the city streets – like anything can happen today. Like I can make it happen, if I am only bold and brave enough. And I am no less full of big dreams today than I was at 21. The trick for me now, after more than a few disappointments, heartbreaks, failures, wrong turns, missed exits, and head-on collisions, is to hang on to that certainty that had me achieve my big dream on my first day in Manhattan – because it’s up to that (still) starry-eyed kid looking to love to make my next big dream(s) a reality.

I love New York.

Leslie’s beautiful spirit is perfectly captured in the above.

What Leslie doesn’t mention (because it wasn’t the message of her piece) is that she writes about her inner “starry-eyed kid” who still loves New York even as she’s kicking the shit out of breast cancer.

While in NYC recently, I got the chance to sit and visit with Leslie. And as life would have it, these two cancer warriors chatted over an “afternoon of chemo.” Ah, life.

As I can attest, Leslie is still the uber-talented, passionate, articulate and bold artist she was 28 years ago. Only more so.

Thanks Leslie for letting me post your essay, and reminding me of that day 28 years ago; how far we’ve come, and how far we still get to go.

Forward.

Bad iPhone pic of Leslie and I during an “afternoon of chemo”

Life today

Ok, so…

God-son diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Work deadlines approaching fast.

Days seem half as long as they used to be.

God-son diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Folks wanting my full time attention but only willing to pay half what my time is worth.

God-son diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Not enough wine in the house.

God-son diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.

Forward.

Valerie Harper diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

Very sad news. So many friends of mine speak very, very highly of her.

People Magazine reports:

The television icon – beloved for her role as brash New Yorker Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Rhoda – received the news on Jan. 15, she reveals to PEOPLE in this week’s exclusive cover interview.

A battery of tests revealed she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain. Her doctors say she has as little as three months left to live.

Resolved to face her last days with courage and humor, “I don’t think of dying,” says the actress, 73, who previously battled lung cancer in 2009. “I think of being here now.”

Survivor: Ethan Zohn & Jenna Morasca announce break up

People Magazine is reporting Survivor winners Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca have decided to end their long-time relationship:

“It is with much consideration and a heavy heart that we are announcing that after 10 years of a loving relationship, the decision was made to move on without each other,” the couple said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE Monday morning.

“We will carry with us the memories of a relationship grounded in love, laughter, support and friendship,” the statement continued. “We have experienced some of life’s greatest joys and toughest challenges together and our decision to be apart can never diminish that. We want to thank everyone for their support and we ask that our privacy be respected as we move forward.”

Morasca, 32, and Zohn, 38, have gone through an emotional journey over the years since meeting as winners of Survivor. She won Survivor: Amazon while he won Survivor: Africa. They also competed together on The Amazing Race, and starred on their own show, Everyday Health.

Most memorably, Zohn chronicled his very moving battle with Hodgkins lymphoma here on PEOPLE.com – from diagnosis to remission to its return in 2011. He underwent a stem-cell transplant in February 2012, and through it all, Morasca was by his side as both were outspoken supporters of cancer survival and detection. Zohn even ran the New York City marathon in 2011 in support of a cure.

Jaymes and James: Forget Cancer Now

Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis of The Chippendales

From Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis of The Chippendales are raising funds for Vaughan’s father who is in a tough battle with cancer:

My Dad always told me I could do anything I wanted. He encouraged me and made me feel like the world was mine to conquer.

Now he is battling one of the rarest forms of cancer in the world, and he needs help to conquer it.

Anything you can do to help me help him would be more than appreciated. No donation is too small.

Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support. Bless Y’all…
– Jaymes Vaughan