I’m not sure what surprised me more last week — that Jennifer Grey (aka Baby from Dirty Dancing) is 50, or that she is a thyroid cancer survivor.
(Is there a more classic line in cinema than “I carried a watermelon”? I think not.)
She went public with her cancer survivorship as part of her publicity blitz for Dancing With the Stars. I’ve never called in to vote for people on the show before, but Baby can count on my vote now, even if she has three left feet.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 44,000 cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed this year–up from 38,000 in 2009. We need everyone who can speak up about their experiences with thyca doing just that, and the longer Jennifer Grey stays on the dance floor, the more times thyroid cancer will get mentioned. If even a fraction of the people who hear her story check their own necks or go to see their doctors about a strange lump, she will be a big winner in my book–mirrorball trophy or not.
(And from the didya know files, other thyca survivors include Catherine Bell from JAG and Army Wives, Jeanne Zelasko from Fox Sports, Sofia Vergara from Modern Family, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder….)