WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each Sunday throughout February, Sharing Miracles, a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients, will feature television actress Meredith Baxter, who starred as mother Elyse Keaton on the hit sitcom Family Ties. Sharing Miracles now airs on nearly 250 television stations across the United States.
Though perhaps best known for her role as Michael J. Fox's mother between 1982 and 1989, Baxter has enjoyed a celebrated acting career, starring in three popular television series - prior to Family Ties, she was in Family and Bridget Loves Bernie - and timeless films such as All the President's Men. She has also appeared in more than 50 made-for-TV movies and has earned four Emmy Award nominations.
However, her most important role may have been in the 1994 CBS movie My Breast, in which she played breast cancer-stricken journalist Joyce Wadler. Speaking in this month's episode about the role, she says, "When Joyce was diagnosed, she was ferocious and strong in her fight."
Her research into that role became, as she says, "a guide for later," when in 1999 she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. "When I was first diagnosed, I was in a kind of fog myself, so the only way I knew to act was how Joyce had behaved."
Like Joyce Wadler, she chose to fight her cancer. "It wasn't a sobby, 'Feel sorry for me' attitude. It was, 'Hey, what's going on? How do I deal with this? Don't patronize me! Talk to me! Give me some answers!'"
Baxter acknowledges that she was fortunate to have been diagnosed with extremely early-stage cancer, and guided by her strong attitude, she was successfully treated and is today cancer-free. However, though her cancer is gone, the lessons that she learned still resound, and she works tirelessly today as a patient advocate, raising awareness about breast cancer while raising money for the Meredith Baxter Foundation for Breast Cancer Research, which she partially funds with her own line of skin care products.
"I talk about my story: What it was like for me, what happened, what I thought, what I felt," she says. "More than anything, I want women to know not to be ashamed. I had a great deal of shame that I lost a part of my breast, because I worried about what people would think. And finally I realized, 'I don't care!' There was a lot of freedom in that for me."
"Now, I encourage women to get mammograms regularly, do their check-ups, do their self-exams, and talk to the women in your life."
With roughly 175,000 new cases expected in this year in the U.S. alone, one in eight women will likely face breast cancer before age 90. However, there may be hope on the horizon. The number of deaths caused by breast cancer is on the decline, and America's pharmaceutical research companies currently have 90 new medicines in development to treat breast cancer.
Some progress has already been made. Speaking on this month's episode, Boehringer Ingelheim scientist Dr. Charles Schloss says, "By targeting growth factors - which speed the growth of breast cancer tumors - with new chemical compounds, researchers have been able to develop drugs that make a difference in the lives of cancer patients."
Surgical oncologist Dr. Shawna Willey stresses the importance of early detection, which helped Meredith Baxter's battle: "If you can detect breast cancer when it's only a few cells that haven't invaded into the surrounding tissue, you have a much better chance of curing the patient."
Upcoming episodes of Sharing Miracles will feature Pro Football Hall of Famer and Super Bowl-wining coach Mike Ditka, who battles heart disease; Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, who has diabetes; World Series champion and Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, who overcame lymphoma to pitch a no-hitter in the major leagues; and two-time NCAA champion
Previous episodes of Sharing Miracles have featured Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, a breast cancer advocate; Grammy Award-winning country music superstar Naomi Judd, who overcame Hepatitis C; Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano, who suffers from clinical depression; Super Bowl Champion and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, who has asthma; Olympic gold medal winners Mark Spitz (high cholesterol), Bruce Jenner (attention deficit disorder), and Greg Louganis (HIV); syndicated television talk show host Montel Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis; actor and Leave It To Beaver star Jerry Mathers, who is affected by diabetes; pop icon and Broadway star Deborah Gibson, who has suffered from devastating anxiety attacks; and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Len Dawson, who survived prostate cancer.
The new episode debuts February 1. Sharing Miracles airs on Sunday mornings on the following network-affiliated stations:
WDCA-TV (MyTV), Washington, DC, 9 am-9:30 am
WPHL-TV (MyTV), Philadelphia, PA, 11 am-11:30 am
WUTB-TV (MyTV), Baltimore, MD, 9 am-9:30
WXIN-TV (FOX), Indianapolis, IN, 11:30 am-12 noon
KABB-TV (FOX), San Antonio, TX, 8 am-8:30 am
WNAB-TV (CW), Nashville, TN, 10-10:30 am
WCTX-TV (MyTV), Hartford/New Haven, CT, 9-9:30 am
WRAZ-TV (FOX), Raleigh, NC, 7:30 am-8 am
WSYX-TV (ABC), Columbus, OH, 7:30 am-8 am
KTXL-TV (FOX), Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, CA, 6:30 am-7 am
WWL-TV (CBS), New Orleans, LA, 7:30 am-8 am
WTWC-TV (NBC), Tallahassee, FL, 10 am-10:30 am
WCIA-TV (CBS), Springfield/Champaign/Urbana/Decatur, IL, 10:30 am-11 am
WBRZ-TV (ABC), Baton Rouge, LA, 11 am-11:30 am
KTKA-TV (ABC), Topeka, KS, 8:30 am-9 am
WRLH-TV (FOX), Richmond, VA, 10 am-10:30 am
WNAC-TV (FOX), Providence, RI, 10:30 am-11 am
WHTM-TV (ABC), Harrisburg, PA, 11 am-11:30 am
WNCF-TV (ABC), Montgomery, AL, 9:30 am-10 am
WLAJ-TV (ABC), Lansing, MI, 11 am-11:30 am
WACH-TV (FOX), Columbia, SC, 11 am-11:30 am
WAPT-TV (ABC), Jackson, MS, 9 am-9:30 am
WOWK-TV (CBS), Charleston/Huntington, WV, 11:30 am-12 noon
WMTW-TV (ABC), Portland/Augusta, ME, 11:30 am-12 noon
KHBB-TV (ABC), Helena, MT, 10 am-10:30 am
WMBD-TV (CBS), Peoria, IL, 10 am-10:30 am
WOI-TV (ABC), Des Moines, IA, 6:30 am-7 am
WHBF-TV (CBS), Rock Island, IL/Davenport, IA, 10 am-10:30 am
KLRT-TV (FOX), Little Rock, AR, 9:30 am-10 am
KDLT-TV (NBC), Sioux Falls, SD, 9 am-9:30 am
KBMY-TV (ABC), Minot/Bismarck, ND, 9 am-9:30 am
KLKN-TV (ABC), Lincoln, NE, 10:30 am-11 am
KFBB-TV (ABC), Great Falls, MT, 10 am-10:30 am
KDEV-TV (ABC), Cheyenne, WY, 7:30 am-8:00 am
WTOV-TV (ABC), Rockford, IL, 10:30 am-11 am
KGEM-TV (NBC), Quincy, IL, 11 am-11:30 am
KTBY-TV (FOX), Anchorage, AK, 6 am-6:30 am
WSIL-TV (ABC), Carbondale, IL/Paducah, KY/Cape Girardeau, MO, 10:30 am-11 am
The show also airs on 209 community broadcast stations across the country and is available worldwide for viewing in its entirety at www.sharingmiracles.com. For free DVDs of Sharing Miracles, please contact the PhRMA press line at 202-835-3460 or go to www.sharingmiracles.com.
Community stations airing Sharing Miracles are located in the following cities: Anchorage, AK; Decatur, AL; Harrison, AR; Mountain Home, AR; Casa Grande, AZ; Chino Valley, AZ; Claremont, CA; Compton, CA; Del Mar, CA; Gilroy, CA; Hayward, CA; Pasadena, CA; Petaluma, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Andreas, CA; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Aurora, CO; Golden, CO; Longmont, CO; Thornton, CO; Bridgeport, CT; Hamden, CT; Hartford, CT; Madison, CT; North Haven, CT; Plainville, CT; Simsbury, CT; Brooksville, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Tampa, FL; Palm Coast, FL; Atlanta, GA; Douglasville, GA; Fort Oglethorpe, GA; Hilo, HI; Des Moines, IA; Mount Vernon, IA; Olin, IA; Muscatine, IA; Mountain Home, ID; Pocatello, ID; Addison, IL; Aurora, IL; Batavia, IL; Glen Ellyn, IL; Lake Forest, IL; Naperville, IL; Romeoville, IL; Urbana, IL; Wheaton, IL; Bloomington, IN; Connersville, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Lawrence, KS; Covington, KY; Highland Heights, KY; Louisville, KY; Bossier City, LA; Houma, LA; Lafayette, LA; New Orleans, LA; Amherst, MA; Arlington, MA; Boston, MA; Brookline, MA; Carver, MA; Chelmsford, MA; Dracut, MA; East Longmeadow, MA; Easthampton, MA; Foxboro, MA; Holden, MA; Hopkinton, MA; Leominster, MA; Lexington, MA; Longmeadow, MA; Lynn, MA; Marion, MA; Marshfield, MA; Sandwich, MA; Worcester, MA; Easton, MD; Greenbelt, MD; Largo, MD; Rockville, MD; Bridgton, ME; Brunswick, ME; Madison, ME; Mexico, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Cadillac, MI; Farmington Hills, MI; Holland, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Lake Orion, MI; Manistee, MI; Portage, MI; Romeo, MI; Waterford, MI; Wyandotte, MI; Blaine, MN; Bloomington, MN; Champlin, MN; Coon Rapids, MN; Duluth, MN; Fergus Falls, MN; Hibbing, MN; Hutchinson, MN; Minneapolis, MN; Rosemont, MN; Spring Park, MN; Stillwater, MN; White Bear Lake, MN; Columbia, MO; Hillsboro, MS; Vicksburg, MS; Helena, MT; Albemarle, NC; Knightdale, NC; Fargo, ND; Grand Island, NE; Hastings, NE; Omaha, NE; Claremont, NH; Derry, NH; Durham, NH; Londonderry, NH; Manchester, NH; North Conway, NH; Wolfeboro, NH; Metuchen, NJ; Princeton, NJ; Statewide, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Taos, NM; Minden, NV; Chappaqua, NY; Fairport, NY; Staten Island, NY; Tivoli, NY; Webster, NY; Athens, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Defiance, OH; Fairborn, OH; Hudson; OH; Macedonia, OH; Norwood, OH; Troy, OH; Perry, OK; Oregon City, OR; Silverton, OR; Ardmore, PA; Berwyn, PA; Gettysburg, PA; McMurray, PA; Moon Township, PA; Pottstown, PA; Reading, PA; Wayne, PA; York, PA; Franklin, TN; Germantown, TN; Murfreesboro, TN; College Station, TX; Denton, TX; Houston, TX; Cedar City, UT; Logan, UT; Blacksburg, VA; Herndon, VA; Barre, VT; Bellow Falls, VT; Bristol, VT; Burlington, VT; Hyde Park, VT; Manchester Center, VT; Middlebury, VT; Newport, VT; Springfield, VT; Waitsfield, VT; White River Junction, VT; Bainbridge Island, WA; Bremerton, WA; Ellensburg, WA; Kent, WA; Longview, WA; Port Townsend, WA; Seattle, WA; Toppenish, WA; Dodgeville, WI; Hartford, WI; Janesville, WI; Lake Mills, WI; Madison, WI; Muskego, WI; New London, WI; Reedsburg, WI; River Falls, WI; Superior, WI; Waterloo, WI; Whitehall, WI; and Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
The show's corresponding Web site, www.sharingmiracles.com, is an interactive forum for people to relate their own personal stories of hope and survival. Every patient's battle is unique, but the collective power of shared experiences can offer great help and courage to others who are fighting for their lives.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps uninsured and financially-struggling patients access information on programs that provide prescription medicines for free or nearly free. To find out if they may qualify for help, patients should call toll-free 1-888-4PPA-NOW to speak with a trained specialist or visit www.pparx.org.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $44.5 billion in 2007 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $58.8 billion in 2007.
PhRMA Internet Address: http://www.phrma.org
For information on stories of hope and survival, visit: http://sharingmiracles.com/
For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit:http://www.buysafedrugs.info
|SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America|
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