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Drescher delivers strong cancer message

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Actress Fran Drescher (The Nanny, Happily Divorced) spoke at the 22nd annual Guardian Angel Benefit Sunday at the RBC Convention Centre. More than 1,400 people attended the event.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Actress Fran Drescher (The Nanny, Happily Divorced) spoke at the 22nd annual Guardian Angel Benefit Sunday at the RBC Convention Centre. More than 1,400 people attended the event. Photo Store

Fran Drescher may have been the nanny, but she also wants to look after others by fighting cancer with early detection.

Drescher, the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated star of the 1990s TV sitcom The Nanny, told a crowd of more than 1,400 people at the 22nd annual Guardian Angel Benefit on Sunday -- billed as "Manitoba's Largest Tea Party" -- that early detection can be a lifesaver.

"Catch it on arrival, 95 per cent survival," Drescher said is one of her mantras since being diagnosed with uterine cancer 13 years ago.

"As women, the early-warning whispers are when it's easy to deny, but that's when it is most curable.

"We're useless to our families if we're six feet under."

Drescher, who wrote a book about her own cancer experience and created the Cancer Schmancer Foundation, also said that since the Second World War, the ever-increasing chemicals people eat, put on their skin or live and work around are leading to rising numbers of cancer diagnoses. She said one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes.

"I want to make 'detox your home' the 'don't drink and drive' of the 21st century," she said in an earlier interview with the Free Press.

"Over 90 per cent of cancer is environmental-related. We are exposed to chemicals on a daily basis... we're asking as you replace products to be much more simple.

"You shouldn't have to go to MIT to understand the ingredients of everything."

Annitta Stenning, executive director of the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, said it was great to see such a successful tea party. Last year, it raised more than $300,000 and organizers expect Sunday's event to raise even more.

"Every penny of these dollars will go towards supporting key priorities at CancerCare -- and everyone here knows it will go to support all women's cancer."

Stenning said people can reduce incidents of cancer by eating well, exercising, covering up in the sun, quitting smoking and seeing their doctor.

Ida Albo, the fundraising chairwoman, told the crowd they hoped a column written by Free Press columnist Lindor Reynolds would help them get 1,500 china teacups for attendees to drink from at the event. Instead they got more than 4,000.

"The tea cups were less significant than the accompanying messages from people," Albo said.

"Each tea cup in front of you represents someone who was loved."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 28, 2013 A8

History

Updated on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 8:37 AM CDT: adds video

8:52 AM: checks embed code

9:00 AM: fixes pull quote, removes inactive video code

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