Talent Show Celebrities That Battled Cancer And Inspired The World
February 4 was World Cancer Day, a global initiative to raise awareness for the disease that kills millions of people each year. The day was all about spreading educational resources that can potentially save lives. There have been quite a few talent show judges and contestants over the years that shared their stories about battling cancer with the world.
Fan-favorite America’s Got Talent judge Sofia Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000. She underwent painful surgery to have her thyroid gland removed. After the surgery, she underwent iodine radiation because the cancer was not completely removed. The actress still has to take a Synthroid pill every morning to control her metabolism. She also regularly gets her blood checked to make sure she is in good health.
The Voice Australia coach Delta Goodrem was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the height of her music career. She was 18 years old when she was hospitalized with the disease. Delta underwent chemotherapy which caused her to lose her hair. After going through treatment for a year, Delta has been in remission ever since. She launched a charity to raise money for cancer research in 2020.
In 2002, Sharon Osbourne was diagnosed with colon cancer. She previously served as a judge on America’s Got Talent and The X Factor. Sharon had surgery to remove part of her large intestine and her lymph nodes. She underwent chemotherapy and has been cancer-free ever since. She created The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program to provide people with services and educate them about the disease.
Longtime Dancing With The Stars judge Len Goodman had skin cancer removed from his forehead in the summer of 2020. He urged people to take proper safety precautions when out in the sun such as wearing sunscreen or protective clothing.
Violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa was just 11 years old when he auditioned for America’s Got Talent. Tyler shared his story about surviving cancer and how his classmates would laugh at him and make fun of him for being different. During his audition, he announced he has been in remission for almost four years at the time after undergoing chemotherapy.
Singer Natasha Stuart auditioned for The Voice Australia in 2019. The 43-year-old was going through a very intense battle with breast cancer. She was first diagnosed when she was 41. At the time of her audition, Natasha had just undergone 20 weeks of chemotherapy. Natasha underwent a double mastectomy surgery. Natasha’s family announced that her cancer had returned and that she sadly passed away on January 29, 2020.
Calysta Bevier auditioned for Season 11 of America’s Got Talent. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 15 years old. She lost her hair during treatment. Calysta stayed positive throughout her health battles and is now in remission. She recently posted a touching tribute about World Cancer Day on her Instagram page.
Janice Freeman competed on The Voice in 2017. Prior to competing on the show, Janice battled cervical cancer. The cancer survivor also had health battles with lupus and meningitis. After complaining that she couldn’t breathe in March of 2019, Janice suffered a pulmonary embolism and died while she was being transported to the hospital.
While competing on The Four, rapper Sharaya J battled stage 2 breast cancer. During this time she was undergoing chemotherapy. She lost her hair during her cancer battle but still was persistent in beating the disease. Sharaya is now in remission.
Beverly McClellan competed on the very firsts season of The Voice. She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2018, years after her career took off. Beverly passed away in November that same year after her cancer spread to other parts of her body.
Timothy James Bowen
Timothy James Bowen shared his battle with blood cancer on The Voice Australia in 2020. He was first diagnosed in 2015 and has gone through six rounds of chemotherapy, which is about 96 hours for every round. His inspirational story touched the judge’s hearts. His doctors told him that he is out of the woods right now and the outlook is positive for his health.
Rayshun LaMarr auditioned for season 14 of The Voice. Prior to his audition, he went through an intense battle with Lymphoma. His cancer and multicentric Castleman’s disease led to him losing part of his hearing, vision and voice. However, Rayshun was determined to live out his dreams. After two years of chemotherapy, medication and treatment, Rayshun was ready for his time in the spotlight. He regained his senses back.
Joanne Borgella competed on American Idol in 2008. She had a 13-month battle with endometrial cancer and sadly passed away in 2014. Joanne still remained positive after her chemotherapy and radiation did not stop her cancer from spreading.
Johnny Ruffo competed on the third season of The X Factor Australia. He also won Dancing with the Stars Australia. He underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2017 and later received a brain cancer diagnosis. In 2019, he announced that he was cancer-free. A year later, he updated his fans that the cancer had returned.
Jon Courtenay won Season 14 of Britain’s Got Talent but was secretly battling skin cancer the entire time he was on the show. The pianist had a cancerous mole removed and was cleared by doctors before Christmas in 2020. He waited until after the show to share this scary diagnosis with the world and now urges people to get checked by doctors. He posted several resources on World Cancer Day for people to check out.
If you want to learn more information about World Cancer Day, you can find more resources here.