September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian cancer accounts for only 4% of cancer in women, but due to its lethal nature, it is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women. Since screening for ovarian cancer is currently inadequate, it’s important for women to be aware of this killing disease, its signs and symptoms and to actively campaign for research for a cure. Gilda Radner valiantly fought her Ovarian Cancer and her husband Gene Wilder founded Gilda’s Club in her honor. What follows is my love letter to Gilda.
At a time in my life when women were not even allowed to wear pants to work, I turned on late night television and discovered SNL and Gilda Radner.
I was completely amazed to watch a woman my age on a comedy show holding her own. And, she was holding her own against men who would become the giants of the comedy industry. She was funny and smart and not afraid to take chances. Gilda did all of this and at the same time was the equal of the male comedians. She didn’t use her sexuality, she wasn’t afraid to not be portrayed as pretty, she portrayed old and young and always seemed to be winking at you when she did.
Later in her life when Gilda got ovarian cancer, she again was fearless. She took herself out in public and discussed her illness. Again, this was something that was not done at that time. You dealt with your illness behind closed doors back in the day.
To quote Amy Poehler, “What Gilda did is she accepted that life is ridiculous and just said well f… it! What else are we going to do? It’s beautiful, it’s crazy, it’s disappointing, it’s lonely, but why don’t we live while we’re alive.”
Gilda did all of that and was an inspiration.
GILDA YOU ROCK
I invite you to add a link to your post about an inspiring woman.