On Friday, Sept. 2, legendary actor and activist Jane Fonda revealed on Instagram that she has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The 84-year-old said she feels “very lucky” because it’s “a very treatable cancer.” She went on to use much of the rest of her post to discuss the inequality in America’s health care system, and the ongoing climate crisis — showing once again how she has dedicated her life to fighting for positive change in the world. Fonda’s news led to an outpouring of love and support from her many celebrity friends and admirers including Naomi Campbell, Mark Ruffalo, and Reese Witherspoon.
“I’m also lucky because I have health insurance and access to the best doctors and treatments,” Fonda wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “I realize, and it’s painful, that I am privileged in this. Almost every family in America has had to deal with cancer at one time or another and far too many don’t have access to the quality health care I am receiving and this is not right.”
She continued, “We also need to be talking much more not just about cures but about causes so we can eliminate them. For example, people need to know that fossil fuels cause cancer. So do pesticides, many of which are fossil fuel-based, like mine. I’m doing chemo for 6 months and am handling the treatments quite well and, believe me, I will not let any of this interfere with my climate activism.”
Fonda went on to emphasize the importance of activism as the midterm elections approach. “Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me. One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community,” she said. “Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone. And the cancer, along with my age — almost 85 — definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities.”
The “Grace and Frankie” star concluded her post with a vow to keep supporting the climate movement even as she continues to undergo chemotherapy. “The midterms are looming, and they are beyond consequential so you can count on me to be right there together with you as we grow our army of climate champions,” she wrote.
Read on to see how Fonda’s celebrity friends are reacting to her news.