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Local cancer survivors featured in historic TV event

‘Stand up to Cancer’ tonight

Posted: September 4, 2008 6:21 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Heather Warrick, a 14-year metastatic breast cancer survivor and Magno, 13, a brain cancer survivor and student Sierra Vista Junior High School, hug at the Santa Clarita Valley Relay for Life. Warrick and Magno will be among the 100 "Faces of Cancer" on tonight's "Stand Up 2 Cancer" program beginning at 8 p.m. on the three major television netwo...

 
Tonight at 8 p.m., an unprecedented national event will occur when television giants CBS, NBC and ABC partner as one for a very special reason.

This evening, "Stand Up to Cancer" will feature more than 50 of the most renowned personalities in TV, film, sports and music, all joining together for charity. In this first-of-its-kind TV experience, the networks will simultaneously devote one hour of commercial-free prime time to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.

The program's star-studded line-up includes: Jennifer Aniston, James Taylor, Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Streep, David Cook, Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Charles Barkley, America Ferrera, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Forrest Whitaker, Jimmy Fallon, and Keanu Reeves. That group, along by many others in their industries, will not only educate and entertain viewers, they will also take phone calls in the celebrity phone bank.

During the philanthropic show, two local cancer survivors, Heather Warrick, 39, who has battled recurrent metastatic breast cancer for 14 years, and Brittany Magno, 13, a brain cancer survivor currently in eighth grade at Sierra Vista Junior High, will be featured during a "Faces of Cancer" video.

That video will include vignettes telling the powerful stories behind approximately 100 cancer survivors, caregivers, and celebrities who have been affected by cancer, said Warrick, who works as the health programs manager for the American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley Unit.

American Academy Award-winning documentary film director Errol Morris created the video and has donated his time for this project.

"I am super excited to be a part of this national campaign," said Warrick, also a 12-year melanoma survivor. "Any time I have a chance to make a difference and help find a cure for cancer, I take it."

Tonight on the show, the premiere TV performance of "Just Stand Up," the charitable single in support of Stand Up To Cancer, will be performed by recording artists Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood.

Money raised during Stand Up To Cancer are desperately needed, event organizers report, for each since year since 2003 the government has been cutting cancer research funds, said Warrick.

Warrick, whose cancer has spread to many areas of her body - including her brain, eye, chest, spine and hips - asks that community members watch the show and support the cause.

"I think people need to watch this telethon so they can see the faces of cancer and the significant impact research can have on even one life. The power of awareness will hopefully engage people in contributing to find a cure for cancer," she said.

Despite their age differences, Warrick and Magno have become close friends with a true commonality.
"We often go to lunch, the movies or get pedicures together. We even attend each others' family birthday parties," said Warrick, who for the last five years has been living with advanced stage four disease.

That cancer warrior, in treatment for the rest of her life, adds that their bond is unique and precious.

"There are not too many friendships out there that support each other like we do every six months when we're each due for a brain scan," Warrick said.

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