Céline Dion debuted her emotional new song "Recovering" on Stand Up to Cancer 2016, a fundraiser that aired commercial-free on over 60 networks Friday night, and that attracted the participation of a host of Hollywood A-listers like Viola Davis, Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Matt Bomer, Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Chris Evans, Mel B, Will Arnett, Anna Kendrick, Eric Stonestreet, Matthew McConaughey, and many more.
The song expressed Dion's loss after the death of her husband René Angélil in January, but also spoke more broadly of the hope that exists for those battling cancer as more advances are made. Listen to the song here.
"Besides the fact that I went through it on a first-hand basis with my father," a bearded Bradley Cooper said, "a lot of my friends have had cancer... It is daunting, when you think about it, and everyone's affected by it." Cooper was teamed up with cancer survivor Mitch Carbon, who beat acute lymphoblastic leukemia, even after being told doctors could do nothing more for him.
Several of the household names at the event had been through cancer themselves.
Kathy Bates, who has had ovarian and breast cancer, said, "You do have a life after cancer... I feel like my life is better. It makes me appreciate every moment, it makes me appreciate all the friends that I have. I cut out all the negative stuff and I just find my joy."
"Beverly Hills, 90210" star Shannen Doherty, whose struggle against breast cancer has been high-profile and included a lawsuit against her former business managers for allegedly allowing her health insurance to lapse, made a triumphant appearance on the telethon. Wearing a colorful scarf over her bald head (her chemotherapy is almost complete), Shannen said, "Oh, it's emotional, and it means a lot to me that I was even asked to participate." She said she draws strength from her Instagram followers, who have been cheering her on. "At the end of the day, you have to have a lot of strength and you have to really be a warrior."
Shannen also spoke candidly about how hard it's been to undergo chemotherapy. "It makes my face all bloated. You know, you just... you don't recognize yourself for the entire time that you're doing chemo. You have no idea who you are anymore, and you feel so detached from who you used to be."
Shannen and others expressed their hope that chemotherapy may one day be a thing of the past — along with the disease it was invented to battle.
Donate to the cause at Stand Up to Cancer.