By Tim Saunders on
Australian superstar Olivia Newton-John raised over $2 million for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre when she walked the length of the Great Wall of China in April. But her work hasn’t stopped there, and she has been busy with a number of charity initiatives recently – all in the name of raising cancer awareness.
Last week the four-time Grammy winner announced a partnership with Curves – the world’s largest fitness franchise for women – to launch an international campaign to distribute 1 million units of Liv Aid, a breast self-exam aid. The initiative’s goal is to empower and encourage women to take control of their bodies and breast health as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Being a breast cancer ‘thriver,’ I know that early detection is key to good breast health,” said the 59-year-old, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. “My wish is that all women age 20 and above perform monthly breast self-examinations. With the wonderful support of Curves, an organization whose mission statement is ‘strengthening women,’ I hope that this campaign will be the beginning to have the Liv Aid available to every woman in the U.S. and it will become a staple in every medicine cabinet in the next five years.”
The packs will be available for free exclusively from Curves in the US, and a website – www.liv.com – will also be set up as a one-stop source for information, news and education about breast health and early detection.
The singer is also set to relive her Grease days when she performs the iconic hit Summer Nights with Guy Sebastian at a fundraising concert later this month.
A host of Australian celebrities – including Christine Anu, Kate Ceberano, Tim Freedman, Melinda Schneider, James Reyne, Axle Whitehead and Daryl Braithwaite – will join Newton-John at the Olivia Newton-John and Friends Gala Fundraiser at the Sydney State Theatre on September 30 to raise money for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre Appeal.
“It’s going to be really fun night, with a lot of really talented people, and I get to sing with a few of them, so that will be great fun,” said Newton-John. “I also hope to do Courageous with Melinda [Schneider] because we recorded it together and it’s such a beautiful song.”
The appeal is aiming to build a world class cancer centre at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital, with construction set to begin next year.
“I believe we’re going to be breaking ground next year, so I can’t wait to hit the pick axe first,” she said. “I don’t know the timeline yet, but we’re getting some major grants coming through, so that’s really exciting.”
The concert follows the release of the singer’s charity CD, Olivia Newton-John and Friends – A Celebration in Song. Released last month and available through Amazon, the CD features duets with a range of stars, including Keith Urban, Barry Gibb, Delta Goodrem, Jimmy Barnes, Jann Arden, RyanDan, Richard Marx and Cliff Richard.
A portion of the proceeds from the album will also go to the The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre to provide world-class research into all types of cancer.
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars