Pierce Brosnan remained uncharacteristically quiet during the early days of quarantine. But lately, the “James Bond” star has emerged as source of comfort, wisdom, and joy for fans, while inspiring to members of the cancer community. His latest offering, from Irish poet Seamus Heaney, speaks to healing and hope amid division. Making hope and history rhyme is theme.
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The passage comes from Heaney’s 1991 play, ‘The Cure at Troy’ and is often quoted during times of historic strife. Brosnan has also turned to the wisdom of Hopi indigenous elder, White Eagle.
“We may be confined to our houses at the moment,” he wrote on Instagram as he read the poem, accompanied by a lyrical video, “but our imaginations are still free to dream, create and collaborate.”
Brosnan’s Happiness And Heartache
In recent weeks, Brosnan, 67, has celebrated joyous milestones — a birthday, anniversary, and graduation — and announced his return to the screen in the upcoming Netflix comedy,”Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”.
After the 1991 death of first wife, Cassandra, from ovarian cancer, Brosnan credits Kelly Brosnan, his wife of 26 years, with guiding him out of his grief.
But the doting family man has also endured more than his share of heartbreak — losing loved ones to ovarian cancer — and his life now inspires others in the cancer community.
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In the face of such uncertainty, it has never been more important for us to think, create and imagine a better future. We may be confined to our houses at the moment, but our imaginations are still free to dream, create and collaborate. I read this poem, this prayer a few weeks ago by White Eagle, a Hopi indigenous elder —which inspired my friend and documentary film maker Thom Zimny to create this short film scored by Ron Aiello. #refugeeweek2020 #imagine Director: Thom Zimny @tzimnyc Composer: Ron Aniello @ronaniello Director of Photography: Greg Accetta @gregaccetta
A Family History of Ovarian Cancer
After four years of treatment, Brosnan’s first wife, Cassandra, died of the disease in 1991. Her mother also died of ovarian cancer. In 2013, their daughter, Charlotte, lost her battle with ovarian cancer as well.
The family’s tragedy underscores why doctors urge women with a family history of ovarian cancer to pursue genetic testing.”I was in a helpless state of confusion and anger,” he told PEOPLE, of his long period of grief.
He credits his wife of 26 years, Keely, with restoring his happiness.
Joanna Gutermuth, an ovarian cancer survivor, shares how genetic testing saved her life.
He capped his May 14th birthday with loving words for his wife: “Thank you for the moon and sun and all the days of our lives together my darling heart Keely. I had a great 67th birthday. Thanks to one and all of you out there who wished me so. God bless, stay strong.” The two recently celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary.
Pierce Brosnan’s Heartbreak: Ovarian Cancer
The link between the ovarian cancer deaths of Brosnan’s first wife, Cassandra, her mother, and their daughter is likely in the women’s shared genes, and their story is important for every woman with a family history of ovarian cancer.
Dr. Beth Karlan, gynecologic oncologist at UCLA Medical Center did not treat Cassandra or Charlotte, but advises genetic testing can have life-saving benefits, especially because ovarian cancer is curable in over 90 percent of cases when diagnosed early.
“It’s important when you’re deciding whether or not genetic testing would benefit you to find out what cancers run in your family,” Dr. Karlan says. “Because it can really help to save lives.”
Dr. Ursula Matulonis of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute says patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she should undergo genetic testing for BRCA mutations.
A recent study found that too few women are being tested for mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. Both place those who carry the mutation at a heightened risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer usually develops in women who are post-menopause. But younger women may also get the disease. A woman who inherits the BRCA1 gene has a 44% lifetime risk (by age 80) for developing ovarian or fallopian tube cancer and 70-80% risk of developing breast cancer.
With the BRCA2 gene, the risk for ovarian and fallopian tube cancer is 17% higher, while the breast cancer risk is around 70%. Women should consult with their doctor, rather than relying on home genetic test kits to identify BRCA genes