Since her first album, Taylor Swift has always been open with her fans. This morning, however, the 1989 singer went beyond giving breakup advice. At her mother’s request, she addressed a heartfelt letter to her fans on Tumblr, letting them know that her mother has been diagnosed with cancer. She wrote:
I’m writing to you with an update I wish I wasn’t giving you, but it’s important and I’m used to sharing important events in my life with you. Usually when things happen to me, I process them and then write music about how I feel, and you hear it much later. This is something my family and I thought you should know about now.
For Christmas this year, I asked my mom that one of her gifts to me be her going to the doctor to get screened for any health issues, just to ease some worries of mine. She agreed, and went in to get checked. There were no red flags and she felt perfectly fine, but she did it just to get me and my brother off her case about it.
The results came in, and I’m saddened to tell you that my mom has been diagnosed with cancer. I’d like to keep the details of her condition and treatment plans private, but she wanted you to know.
She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle… Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about. She wanted you to know why she may not be at as many shows this tour. She’s got an important battle to fight.
Thank you for caring about my family so much that she would want me to share this information with you.
I hope and pray that you never get news like this.
Recently, many celebrities have been sharing their own experience with cancer and other health scares. In 2007, Christina Applegate publicly fought breast cancer. After testing positive for the BRCA gene (also known as the “breast cancer gene”), she decided to get a bilateral mastectomy. Her experience helped bring awareness to the disease and possible preventative measures. Similarly, Angelina Jolie, who also tested positive for the BRCA1 gene, wrote about undergoing a preventative double mastectomy and recently penned a New York Times op-ed about why she also removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent ovarian cancer.
Hopefully Swift’s openness helps inspire her 60+ million followers and others to get tested and receive proper checkups. This is social oversharing of the best, and most effective, kind.