Believe it or not, there are actually women whom absolutely everybody loves. For instance, there’s one who is beautiful, has a great sense of humor, is totally grounded and has an American sweetheart for a husband. She’s the type that you’d love to hate if you didn’t like her so much.
That she is Rita Wilson. No, she’s not one of the Beach Boys’ relatives. Rita is an actress, the producer of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” a singer, a mom and has been married to Tom Hanks for 28 years as of Saturday, April 30. Ah, that Rita Wilson.
Exactly one year ago, Rita’s incredibly perfect life became imperfect. No, it was a scandalous affair or being photographed wearing an itty-bitty thong bikini. It was breast cancer.
For years she had been dutiful in having mammograms due to her “underlying condition of LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ).” But then it was discovered that she had PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ). Initially, the pathology showed no cancer. But Rita’s gut told her to get a second opinion. That one came back confirming cancer.
Like so many women, she tackled it with amazing courage. As she told The Austin American Statesman on Sunday, “When I look back that was a small part of the year — a very impactful part of the year, but it wasn’t something that took up every single bit of my being. You get through it and then you’re on the other side of it.”
Following a double mastectomy and reconstruction, she was cancer free in December and said about her new breasts, “Aren’t they perky! I’m very healthy. I feel great… I often say that breast cancer and the surgery and the reconstruction… was just a part of last year… it’s not just something you spend your entire year or your life doing. However long it takes, it’s part of your life. It doesn’t become your whole life.”
Another helpful piece of healthcare was provided by her husband, “We actually manage to laugh a lot.”
So, where is this leading? Good question. The answer is Rita is coming to Dallas on Thursday, October 20, to be the 2016 Celebrating Women featured speaker at the Hilton Anatole. The announcement was made this morning by Event Chair Aileen Pratt in the Glass House of Neiman Marcus Downtown. Serving as underwriter chair will be Gloria Eulich Martindale.
Another surprise that had folks smiling was the names of the honorary co-chairs — Diane and Joel Allison, who will be stepping down as Baylor Scott & White CEO in February 2017.
And still another happy item was the return of Tom Thumb as the presenting sponsor.
Thanks to this Baylor Health Care System Foundation luncheon, more than $26M have been raised for breast cancer research, treatments and equipment in the past 16 years. Tickets and sponsorships are available now.
* Photo provided by Baylor Health Care System Foundation