Mind

“Let's fight this together...” Olivia Newton-John calls for our support

Australia’s sweetheart Olivia Newton-John, 68, is heading home to heal – and calling on all of us to help win the battle against cancer.

By Markeeta Waddington

Delivering a heartfelt plea to fans everywhere, Olivia Newton-John looked and sounded upbeat in a recent video message posted on her Facebook page of positivity.

It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago she discovered the breast cancer she fought so bravely 25 years ago has returned. The singer has been forced to postpone her North American tour after discovering lower back pain was, in fact, breast cancer that had spread to her sacrum.

“I decided on my direction of therapies after consultation with my doctors and natural therapists and the medical team at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre) in Melbourne,” she says.

Confident of a successful outcome, and in true Olivia style, she’s using her journey to help others – launching a campaign to raise much-needed funds for ongoing medical research at the ONJ Centre.

“I feel great!” she reveals in her video message. “I’d like to express my gratitude to all of you who sent such kind and loving messages of support over the past few months. Your prayers and well wishes have truly helped me, and continued to lift my spirits.”

She says she’s looking forward to returning to Melbourne for two fundraisers – the ONJ Gala on September 8 and the Wellness Walk and Research Run on September 17.

“They are very close to my heart,” the Grease star says. “We have some incredible talent and friends of mine lined up to perform at the gala – it will be a spectacular evening.”

It’s confirmed she’ll be joined on stage by her old friend John Farnham.

“Olivia asked me if I would be there with her,” John says. “I can’t not be involved – it’s such a great cause. I’ve never known anyone as positive as she is. I do love and admire her so very much.”

Olivia had a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and breast reconstruction when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1992, aged 43.

It was then that she had a dream to create a wellness centre with the aim of improving the lives of people going through the same process. Not surprisingly, her drive and determination helped this vision become a reality.

The ONJ Centre opened in 2014 and has helped many people on their journey of recovery. When she received the news her own cancer had returned, Olivia focused her thinking on what more she could do for the cause.

After much deliberation, she decided to launch a massive national campaign to be called We Go Together. The passionate survivor is rallying everyone to record a short video with a message of support for a loved one, then upload it to Instagram or Facebook while nominating someone else to participate.

“We’re asking people to donate and nominate others to do the same, to win over cancer,” she says.

Olivia is directing her energy into raising $1 million this year.
“With more than 200 clinical trials in progress, the ONJ Centre provides access for patients to new, breakthrough therapies, so it’s crucial that we raise as much money as we can through both events and our We Go Together campaign,” Olivia says.

Via personal experience Olivia knows what the power of support can achieve, so it makes sense that community spirit is the basis of the campaign. She says, “Share a message of strength and courage to help someone you know or someone you don’t know – I believe if we go together we can win over cancer together.”