Olivia Newton-John has died at age 73 after a long battle with cancer, TMZ reported.
John Easterling, her husband, told the outlet that she died peacefully at her Southern California ranch Monday morning, August 8, 2022. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer more than 30 years ago. Her official cause of death was not immediately released, but one source told TMZ that she died from cancer.
“After a 30-year cancer journey, she lost her battle to metastatic breast cancer,” the source said, according to TMZ.
Here’s what you need to know:
Newton-John’s Cancer Went Into Remission & Returned Multiple Times in Her 30-Year Battle
Newton-John’s battle with breast cancer began in 1992, according to TMZ. Doctors eventually told her the cancer went into remission after extensive treatment, but it returned in 2013, the outlet reported. It went into remission again, then resurfaced a second time in 2017, TMZ reported.
Newton-John was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer three times in 28 years, The Guardian reported. The outlet reported in 2020 the star “radiates optimism” during the interview, a few months after announcing her tumors were shrinking in January of the same year.
“Her blond hair is cropped above her chin, colourful glasses perched on her nose,” The Guardian reported. “Now 72, she looks much younger – just as she did in 1978 when, at the age of 29, she played the high school student Sandy Olsson in the hit musical Grease.”
Her cancer battle was at a low point two years earlier, when, in 2018, her disease was spreading and she fractured the base of her spine. She had to learn to walk again, The Guardian reported.
“I was so weak. I had a walker, a cane and crutches, but now I’m walking around,” she told the Guardian.
A Cancer Research Center in Australia Was Named for Newton-John in 2015
In 2015, The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at Austin Hospital in Victoria, Australia became the Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute, according to the center’s website.
Newton-John shared her story on the institute’s website, and explained how important a positive mindset was to her wellness.
“In 1992, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she began her story. “The diagnosis came the same weekend my father died of cancer, so you can imagine the shock. I learned very quickly how important it was for me to think positively. When the second friend I called with the news burst into tears, I thought – this is too stressful. I had to find someone else to handle the day to day discussions of my health so I could concentrate on healing.”
She went on to say that she underwent a partial mastectomy, breast reconstruction and chemotherapy. In addition to the medical treatment, she also used herbal therapies and began meditation.
“My dream is that one day the ONJ Centre will be only about Wellness, and we will no longer need cancer centres because cancer will be a thing of the past,” she wrote.
Newton-John Said in 2020 That for Her, Cancer Was ‘a Gift’
Newton-John told The Guardian in a 2020 interview that cancer gave her a purpose and taught her life lessons she would not otherwise have learned. While she did not downplay the difficulty of cancer, and said she would not wish the disease on anyone, she found a purpose through her lengthy cancer battle.
“I don’t know what I would be without it now,” she told The Guardian. “I see it as my life’s journey. It gave me purpose and intention and taught me a lot about compassion.”
She said at the time that she outlived many expectations set by doctors, and that she wants others to know that cancer is not “a death sentence,” the Guardian reported.
“It has been a gift. I don’t wish it on anyone else. But for me, it’s been important in my life,” she told the Guardian.
Newton-John told the Guardian that for her, every day was a blessing.
“Listen, I think every day is a blessing,” she told the outlet. “You never know when your time is over; we all have a finite amount of time on this planet, and we just need to be grateful for that.”
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