10 Years of Celebrity Health in 'WebMD Magazine'

We highlight 10 celebrities committed to major health and medical causes.

Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on April 01, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

For 10 years, WebMD Magazine has put celebrity health stories front and center. Here, we take a look back and highlight 10 stars committed to major health and medical causes. We found that their words still ring true -- and in some ways are more important than ever.

2005: Brooke Shields, Postpartum Depression

"There is a really unfortunate and not-so-pretty part of going through this, and nobody wants to admit it. I figured, let me blow the lid off this, and hopefully [her book, Down Came the Rain] will be able to speak to somebody."

2007: Katie Couric, Colon Cancer and Grief

"I try to take care of myself, but I don't spend my time worrying about things. More than ever I appreciate getting up and feeling well. When you and your family are healthy, that's such a gift. I try to be mindful of that all the time."

2009: Padma Lakshmi, Endometriosis

"I was balled up in bed with a heating pad… to get through the worst. I thought this was my lot in life."

2010: Christina Applegate, Breast Cancer

"Having a mastectomy is an amputation. A lot of doctors will tell you that your breasts will be prettier or perkier, and maybe that's true. But they're not going to be the same as what you had. Your body and your emotions and your soul and your spirit are all going through an amputation. I wasn't as prepared as I thought for that aspect."

2011: Jeff Bridges, Childhood Hunger

"To end hunger, there needs to be political will. There are programs in place that we know work. The problem isn't having enough programs in place. The problem is they are not reaching enough kids."

2011: Alicia Keys, AIDS in Africa

"I was empathetic to the young people I met [in Africa]. To have to deal with the things a teenager has to deal with on top of being the 'parent' and breadwinner for younger brothers and sisters… It wasn't about how impossible it was, but, rather, if I can help one person, 10 people, 100, 200, 10,000 people…that's what's real."

2011: Barbra Streisand, Women's Heart Health

"I want women to know that their hearts are physiologically different from men's and that heart disease in women doesn't always present the same as heart disease in men. Women with heart problems need risk assessment, and diagnostic testing designed for women."

2012: Matthew McConaughey, At-Risk Young People

"We want the kids to have and to understand gratitude… to open doors to new things coming into your life. When kids finally get comfortable enough to be part of the gratitude circle [an integral part of the J.K. Livin' program], I was most surprised when they were thankful for the foundation, that they now had a safe

place to go."

2013: Sofia Vergara, Thyroid Cancer

"I was lucky that surgery was all I needed. That kind of cancer is very quiet, and usually you only realize you have it after it's already spread and it's much harder to treat. ... Of course every time I cough or feel something, I'm a little paranoid. But I want people to know that you can live a normal life with hypothyroidism."

2014: Michael J. Fox, Parkinson's Disease

"I needed every bit of those seven years [after diagnosis] to say, 'I want to be out there.' But at a certain point I woke up and said, 'What's the risk? That people will judge you? So I talk funny or shake -- why should I restrict myself?' When you arrive at a place where you are no longer judging, where there's no good or bad, and it just is what it is, you accept it."

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