With one year winding down and another beginning, it’s customary to start numbering some resolutions for improving our lives. For many, that comes with counting on ways we can increase well-being.
To encourage everyone to take charge of their own health, we’re spotlighting a few celebrities who have met challenges and are using their fame by inspiring others to stay healthy.
With a killer turn in the hit Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, actress and singer Selena Gomez’s star is on the rise — and she’s using her platform to spread some health awareness. Since 2014, when she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus, Gomez has been very public about her fight, including word of a round of chemotherapy and then, in 2017, a kidney transplant. She advocates on behalf of mental health, speaking up about her 2018 bipolar disorder diagnosis. Also, on the HBO Max cooking show Selena + Chef, she is paired with culinary experts from around the world and spotlights a different charity in each episode.
It was 2007 when Sherri Shepherd, a former co-host of The View, learned she had type 2 diabetes. She had ignored her doctor’s warnings about prediabetes for a long time, she has noted, but the official diagnosis was the wake-up call she needed to begin exercising regularly and eating more healthfully. In fact, Shepherd has publicly said the diagnosis saved her life! She even wrote a book to help others, Plan D, with an easy-to-follow program for feeling your best. The comedian now actively uses her standing to advocate for others with diabetes to take control of their health. Recently, she revealed that she feels better now, at 54, than she did in her 20s!
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Earlier this year, the Modern Family star shared on Instagram that his dermatologist had removed “a bit of skin cancer.” Noting his fair skin — the Skin Cancer Foundation warns that people with fair skin, light eyes and light or red hair develop melanoma more frequently than others — Ferguson encouraged his followers to see their dermatologist regularly and to wear sunscreen. Daily sunscreen use can reduce the risk of skin cancer since most cases are caused by exposure to the sun. The American Cancer Society estimates that melanoma deaths increased almost 5 percent in 2021, but with early detection, as in Ferguson’s case, the five-year survival rate is estimated at 99 percent.
In 1998, Katie Couric’s first husband, Jay Monahan, tragically died from colon cancer at the age of 42. The journalist and former Today host turned her grief into action, informing millions of people the world over about the dangers of colorectal cancer and the importance of getting screened. Her 2000 on-air colonoscopy led to what was called “The Katie Couric Effect,” which saw a huge increase in screenings across the country. In addition to co-founding the charity Stand Up to Cancer, Couric recently released a memoir, Going There, which includes the story of her unwavering commitment to promoting cancer research and awareness.