Cynthia Nixon, the actress best known for her role as Miranda Hobbes on the TV series Sex and the City, came to Long Island to help kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which falls in October.
A cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2006, Nixon delivered a heart-felt speech that brought plenty of tears, hope and smiles to the audience of fellow survivors, fighters and supporters as she accepted a lifetime achievement award Monday during a third annual Breast Cancer Summit in Baldwin.
“It didn’t feel like a death sentence, just a diagnosis you would prefer the doctor had just been mistaken about,” Nixon told the audience in a soft, conversational tone as she discussed her personal battles and struggles.
Nixon said her hero was her mother, Anne Knoll, who passed away at age 82 in January 2012, 35 years after being diagnosed breast cancer.
“If you told a room of people that you had been married for 35 years or held a job for 35 years, they would applaud,” she said. “Why? Because it means, as we say in the theatre, that you had a good run, it means it was a success.”
A round of applause filled the room as guests looked up with admiration as Nixon said her mother’s experience helped her overcome her fear of her diagnosis in 2006.
“I think that my mother’s 35 year war with breast cancer was a success in the end even though her death certificate lists the cause of death as cancer,” she said.
After the speech, many of the women stood up to thank Nixon, including Dr. Virginia Maurer, a breast cancer doctor since the 1970s and founder of the Maurer Foundation for breast health education.
“We came a long way in our society, it’s important to support one another,” Maurer said. “Lets kick it and do it!”