Published Oct 14, 2021
Birthdays and holidays after cancer-related losses can be difficult, but honoring loved ones lost may make them less so, and John Travolta is doing just that.
In a recent post on social media, the Grease icon paid loving tribute to his late wife Kelly Preston, whose birthday was October 13. She would have been 59 years old this week. The actress passed from breast cancer in July 2020. Travolta writes a simple, heartfelt message, saying, “Happy Birthday Kelly. We miss and love you very much.”
Support from fans around the world poured in with loving messages for Travolta and his family. Shadin.algari writes, “She’s celebrating w the angels.” Virushvevo says, “She was so amazing!” And Amycmyers74 says, “Happy Heavenly Birthday beautiful Kelly.”
Daughter Ella Travolta also shared a lovely photo of her mom on social media, writing, “Happy Birthday Mama, I love and miss you so much.”
Travolta’s beloved wife Kelly fought breast cancer privately for two years before passing from the disease in July 2020 at the too-young age of 57. While we don’t know the specifics of Preston’s treatment, we do know that breast cancer is typically treated with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
After she passed, Travolta thanked doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side,” he said.
The current guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS) say that women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms if they wish to do so, and that women ages 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year. Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening, says the ACS.
Dr. Connie Lehman, the chief of the Breast Imaging Division at Massachusetts General Hospital, says in an earlier interview, “If you haven’t gone through menopause yet, I think it’s very important that you have a mammogram every year. We know that cancers grow more rapidly in our younger patients, and having that annual mammogram can be lifesaving.”
“After menopause, it may be perfectly acceptable to reduce that frequency to every two years,” says Dr. Lehman. “But what I’m most concerned about is the women who haven’t been in for a mammogram for two, three, or four years, those women that have never had a mammogram. We all agree regular screening mammography saves lives.”