Inside Barbara Berlanti Heroes Gala Where actress Julie Plec revealed her cancer fear led to her kidney removal – The Hollywood Reporter

All speakers at the Barbara Berlanti Heroes Gala Saturday night in Santa Monica Barker Hanger shared personal stories from the podium about how cancer has affected or claimed the lives of loved ones. how love.

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, honored with the Humanitarian Award, said her “sweet and wonderful” father passed away seven years ago after a long battle with lung cancer; he passed away many years after her husband Bert Salke lost his mother to breast cancer. “My father, to whom I dedicate this honor tonight, is an incredible husband, father, friend and colleague,” she said. “He’s been fighting this disease with hope and courage for years, leaving no stone behind.” Vanguard Prize winner Rachel Zoe said her grandmother, mother, sister and “many close friends” are breast cancer survivors.

Greg Berlanti launched the event in partnership with Fuck Cancer in honor of his mother, who passed away from lung cancer in 2017. He shared the stage with the foundation’s co-founder Yael Cohen and the two spoke emotionally about their respective mothers as Cohen’s did surviving the war.

Then came showrunner Julie Plec.

Honored with the Barbara Berlanti Hero Award, she was welcomed onto the stage by veteran writer and producer Kevin Williamson, who praised Plec for an enduring friendship over three decades in which she always appeared at his door, even in the most anxious moments. .

In keeping with the night’s theme of sharing a personal story, Plec focused her attention on an unnamed “friend”, someone she called “a little fancy”.

“One day, she noticed small pimples on her face and small scabs that didn’t heal completely,” recounts the veteran writer, producer and host of such shows. Vampire Diary, Original and latest Vampire Academy. “A few months later, she sat down with her favorite Botox user and [she] asked the Botox woman for her opinion on the little scabs on her face. The Botox woman says, ‘In my experience, those tend to be early signs of skin cancer.’ So, of course, the minute anyone says the c-word, everyone is rearranging what really matters and how busy they are. My friend had an appointment at her dermatologist. “

The appointment led to several minor procedures to remove suspicious spots on her body. Inspired by the efforts, Plec said her friend wanted to continue being diligent about preventive measures, and that led to jumping on the offer of a full-body scan from a “super supportive medical service.” fancy” that she’s a member of the “$4,000 super fancy.”

“She dropped her four bucks, scanned her body and waited for the results,” Plec continued. “And then a few days later, she got a call saying she appeared to have a 7cm tumor on her right kidney.”

The concierge team took the woman to a nephrologist, who ordered a CT scan, followed by an appointment with a urologist, who would order a biopsy. The biopsy results confirmed the tumor was cancerous and that the only way to remove the tumor was to remove the woman’s kidney.

“In about six weeks, both of my friends were diagnosed with cancer and then actually saved from cancer because the kidney was cancerous and the tumor was also cancerous, and now she’s fine.” Plec details before revealing the true identity of her so-called friend. “While I think we can all be happy for my friend about the outcome of her story, I think we can also recognize how bittersweet the ending was because it was perfect. It’s all her prerogative. Maybe that makes you want to get mad at her a bit, a fancy woman with a fancy approach, and I want to be mad at her too but I can’t because she’s me. I’m really happy for that she, me, me I could stand in front of you tonight except for one kidney, but completely cancer-free. “

The story and revelation elicited cheers and applause from the crowd inside the Barker Hanger, a gathering that featured the President of Warner Bros. Television Corporation. Channing Dungey, Joshua Jackson, Hailey Bieber, Jesse L. Martin, Peter Facinelli, Tyler Hoechlin, Sara Foster, Aisha Tyler and others. In addition to the awards show, the night featured performances by Tori Kelly, En Vogue and Scarlet Opera as well as a live auction staged by comedian Maz Jobrani.

As for Plec, she closed her creatively told personal story by opening her wallet for a $1.4 million fundraiser for the mission to improve the organization’s health outcomes. nonprofit by providing early detection, prevention, and support programs to individuals and communities affected by cancer.

“The point is that early detection is important. In the spirit of recognizing my privilege but also honoring it and what it allows me to do, what I’m about to do is join Barbara Berlanti in saying ‘damn cancer.’ I want to commit $100,000 so we can keep fighting well to get this kind of life-saving lightning bolt to everyone.”

Greg Berlanti and producer husband Robbie Rogers stand alongside Jennifer Salke and En Vogue performers Rhona Bennett, Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron. To pay tribute to Salke, Berlanti said he met the senior executive in 2000 while she was working at Sony Pictures Television as a development director and he was leading a project. public is called Everwood. “And in the more than two decades since I met Jen, she’s had one of the most successful, if not the most successful careers in the industry, possibly unprecedented. She did it all while retaining her signature character, integrity, kindness, intelligence, understanding, charm, and compassion.” He then surprised Salke with an introductory video that featured the likes of Michael B. Jordan, Emmy winner Lizzo, Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz and This is us creator Dan Fogelman.

Charley Gallay / Getty Images for F * ck Cancer

Honored Rachel Zoe and her host, longtime friend Sara Foster.

Charley Gallay / Getty Images for F * ck Cancer

Greg Berlanti, Channing Dungey and Michael Green. On the red carpet ahead of the event, Dungey had this to say about Berlanti: “The idea that he turned the grieving loss of his mother into something meaningful, very impactful, and has worked. doing so many good things is testament to exactly who Greg is. To be. He leads with this heart and that’s what you always see in the work he does and everything he writes. He can channel all of that into this event tonight. It is truly amazing.”


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