Patti Labelle is partnering with the American Lung Association to create a short film to aid in the fight against lung cancer.
“I lost two sisters to lung cancer and a lot of friends. So when they asked me, it was a natural yes,” LaBelle told The Huffington Post about her involvement.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women, and although it is often attributed to smoking and tobacco, two thirds of women who are diagnosed have either quit smoking or never smoked before.
“I never smoked in my life. I never smoked a cigarette, I never smoked the reefer. I never did drugs,” LaBelle said. “And as far as cancer, I thought when my sisters had all died in their early 40s that I would’ve died maybe at 45, 46. And then I made it to 50, 60, 70. And I’m not exempt – nobody’s exempt from anything – so I thank God every day when I wake up feeling like I want to smile.”
Labelle also spoke to the need for celebrities to become activists.
“I think they should speak up as much as they can. I’m the spokesperson for the American Lung Association because people will listen to a black or white entertainer-celebrity. And it’s a sin that we have to be the ones to give everyone the message of life. And the activist that are doing what they do, I think they should do much more. Why not?”
Read more of Labelle’s interview at The Huffington Post.