Breast Cancer Patient Takes Her Recovery on Vacation

Breast cancer, BRCA1, and BRCA2 are very much in the news these days.

While the BRCA mutation is rare, 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer, according to the U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics. But earlier in the month, a wonderful thing happened to one of those women, according to The Inquirer.

I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of morning news shows. They are just too over-caffeinated for me. And, yes, I understand that’s the purpose of that show format, but I am just not a morning person. The anchors are too peppy and too animated. I find I’m even more exhausted after I’ve tuned in.

But on one particular morning, a segment did catch my attention and brought me, and a nation of other viewers, to tears.

It started as a typical viewer call segment for the Live with Kelly and Ryan morning show. The hosts picked a random viewer (who had registered in advance) and then spun a wheel to decide what the possible prize will be. The catch is that the viewer must be able to answer a question about the morning show that would have been discussed on a previous segment or day.

The woman they called was Joan Leary of Garnet Valley, PA. She is one of those dedicated viewers. However, she had been unable to watch the show recently, as she had been in the hospital undergoing a mastectomy. She was concerned that unless the question was very easy, she’d probably be unable to answer it. So, she jokingly asked Ryan Seacrest to make the question easy.

He obliged.

The question Leary had to answer was, “Who are you speaking with on the phone?”

Without hesitation, Leary gave her answer and won a trip to a Riviera Mayan resort in Mexico. Before hanging up, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest wished her well on her recovery and reassured Leary that there were a lot of audience members and now, viewers, who were pulling for her.

The video clip has been viewed more than 1.5 million times, and Leary has received encouragement and support from viewers across the world. And this morning show has won over a harsh critic, who found herself in tears while drinking her morning coffee.

Best of luck, Janet Leary, as you continue to recover. And well done Kelly and Ryan. I’m a convert.


If an uplifting bit of news about a rare disease has helped shape your day, let us know your experience today.

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