‘I’m Not Dying Until I Do’ and Other Inspiring Words From Stars Battling Cancer

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
March 12, 2013 Updated: March 13, 2013

“I’m Not Dying Until I Do,” Emmy-winning actress Valerie Harper told the Today show, determined to stay positive in spite of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. Stars have had great power to inspire as they battle cancer in the public eye.

Actress Valerie Harper attends Kinetic Content's 2nd Annual Anniversary and Celebration of Betty White's "Off Their Rockers" at the Viceroy Hotel on April 10, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. Harper, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, remains positive. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Kinetic Content)


Emmy-winning actress Valerie Harper, 73, told the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie that in spite of her terminal brain cancer diagnosis, “I have an intention to live each moment fully.”

“‘Incurable’ is a tough word,” Harper said. “I’m not dying until I do. I promise I won’t.”

Harper, known for her role as Rhoda Morganstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was given three to six months to live, according to US Weekly.

The private battle fought by so many is a very public one for celebrities battling cancer. Some have had great power to inspire others with cancer.

Words of Celebrities Who Have Battled Cancer

Actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

“Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet. I stand tonight because I want to be part of this effort to find an end to cancer…. Cancer’s in for one hell of a fight.” –Michael Douglas, throat cancer survivor

Olivia Newton John performs before the round 10 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 27, 2011, in Melbourne, Australia. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“I look at my cancer journey as a gift: It made me slow down and realize the important things in life and taught me to not sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the day, accept help when you need it, and be grateful for every day you have.” -Olivia Newton John, breast cancer survivor 

I'm not dying until I do Armstrong
Lance Armstrong attends the 2011 Pan-Massachusetts Challenge on Aug. 6, 2011, in Bourne, Massachusetts. (Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.” –Lance Armstrong, testicular cancer survivor

Actor Anthony Quinn and actress Ingrid Bergman star in the film "The Lady''s Vengeance" Sept. 11, 1963 in Rome, Italy. (Getty Images)

“Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.” -Ingrid Bergman, died of breast cancer 

Christina Applegate
Actress Christina Applegate visits 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on Oct., 11, 2012 in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

“I laughed more in the hospital than I ever have in my life, making fun of all the weird things that were happening to me.” -Christina Applegate, breast cancer survivor

Actress Kathy Bates
Actress Kathy Bates arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California on March 07, 2010. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

“It helped me see that I’m lucky, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to continue working, to have relationships with friends, to travel, to have a good relationship with my family. All the things that we begin to take for granted in our daily lives.” -Kathy Bates, breast and ovarian cancer survivor