Emmy Award-winning actress Christina Applegate is a star on the screen and behind the scenes. Her foundation, Right Action for Women, promotes the early detection of breast cancer and offers help to women who can't afford screening tests. It's a cause that hits close to home. Applegate was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. She opened up about her double mastectomy on an Entertainment Tonight special in April 2014. Later that year she co-hosted and took part in the 21st annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women, which raised money for breast cancer research, treatment, and counseling. In 2015, Right Action for Women is teaming up with ASICS America and It's A 10 Haircare to raise money and awareness about breast cancer risk and the need for advanced screening.
When Glenn Close talks about mental illness, it's a family matter. Her sister Jessie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 51, and her nephew Calen lives with schizoaffective disorder. The family's history inspired the Emmy Award-winning actress and Oscar nominee to launch Bring Change 2 Mind in 2010. The national campaign works to dispel myths around mental illness and to provide support to those who live with it. The campaign is also educating a new generation to talk openly about bipolar disorder, depression, and other conditions. In 2014, Close and her foundation partnered with Indiana University to start the College Toolbox Project, which encourages students with mental health issues to get help and aims to reduce stigma on college campuses. The foundation also started a similar program for high schools, LETSBringChange2Mind.
Star Wars fans know Carrie Fisher for her role as Princess Leia. But in real life, the actress and writer has fought -- and won -- against forces more powerful than the Dark Side. She's turned her personal struggles with bipolar disorder and drug abuse into a chance to raise awareness and combat the stigma of mental illness. Fisher, who was diagnosed in her 20s, speaks openly about her condition and her treatment. She wrote about it in her 2008 memoir, Wishful Drinking, which was based on a stage performance and later became an HBO special. In 2001, she received the Purdy Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which honors a person who has made strides to end discrimination against those with mental health problems.
Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champ Jeff Gordon doesn't leave his winning ways on the racetrack. He's put them in play with the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, which funds medical research and programs that offer cancer treatments for kids. In 2012, the group helped launch the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence, a cancer care program in rural Rwanda. In 2011, Gordon became the spokesman -- and driver -- for the AARP's Drive to End Hunger campaign, raising money to feed seniors who don't have enough to eat.