While Olivia Newton John may have sold over 100 million records and won four Grammies it is perhaps her efforts over the last decade in establishing the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness and Research Centre at the Austin Hospital that mark her as a great humanitarian.
In a very short time, The Centre has emerged as a world leader in cancer treatment and research, especially with an emphasis on treatment programs that are complemented with wellness programs. At the moment, the Centre boasts it is running over 200 clinical trials, searching for cutting edge new therapies.
But Olivia says she’s also very aware that some ‘old fashioned’ remedies can help patients feel a bit better. ‘Treatments’ like going to a show and having a laugh. The cast of the new production of Calendar Girls organized for a whole row of seats for the show’s opening night were to be donated to the ONJ Cancer Centre to be offered to patients.
Unbeknown to the cast, Olivia heard about the gesture and decided to pop in to rehearsals and thank the cast personally.
The show stars Jenny Seedsman, Abi Richardson, Lulu McClatchy, Kate Gorman, Francesca Waters as well as very familiar face for the Superstar, Olivia’s niece Tottie Goldsmith.
The play itself is based on a true story of 11 women from a Yorkshire village who created an international sensation in the 90’s when they put out a nude calendar, in an effort to raise money for leukemia research. The story was then made into a movie starring Dame Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, which took almost $100 million at the box-office and won many awards.
Already a portion of every ticket sold to the play, will go to cancer research, but with the news that Olivia was fighting a second bout of breast cancer, the cast thought it would be a special way to help support the performer, who is a hero to all of the latest Calendar Girls.
Calendar Girls Runs between and at the Athenaeum Theatre.
To make a donation or find information about the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness and Research Centre go to www.onjcancercentre.org