May we all be as brave as Valerie Harper! Ever since the 79-year-old actress found out she was diagnosed with a rare complication from cancer called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in 2013, she has been fighting for her life.
“What I did was build it into an opportunity to live in the now because time is wasting,” Valerie explained to Closer Weekly in a March 2014 interview. When Valerie’s doctors told her that she would only have three months to live due to her disease, which affects the membranes around her brain, she started to take her health very seriously.
By living a much more healthier lifestyle, Valerie beat death and this summer she will celebrate her 80th birthday on August 22. “I refuse to have the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head,” she said. “There are far more things worse than cancer.”
Valerie’s husband, Tony Cacciotti, has also been keeping a positive attitude. “Our marriage has deepened,” he exclusively told Closer in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now. “We have an extraordinarily strong friendship [and] that’s the foundation of our union.”
Even though The Mary Tyler Moore Show star is still going strong, she still has to take “a multitude of medications and chemotherapy drugs as well as going through extreme physical and painful challenges” to stay healthy, according to her GoFundMe page.
Deanna, Valerie’s close family friend even told Closer the actress is “frail” but has been in “good spirits” as of late. But if there’s anything that will get the best of Valerie, it definitely won’t be health issues.
“I’m the poster child for not listening to the doctor or believing everything I’m told,” she has said. “I’ve had a great life.”
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