Sterling K. Brown, best known for his Emmy award-winning performances in NBC’s This is Us and FX’s The People v. O.J Simpson, is lending his voice to a new project that hits close to home. He talks to Cure, an online magazine and cancer support centre, about his collaboration with pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb. Together the two team up to create a video series called, Survivorship Today to provide insight into life after cancer.
The series narrated by Brown, shares the experiences of cancer survivors who have had to navigate a new way of life after fighting the disease. Having lost both his father and uncle to cancer, Brown says that he never had a real opportunity to say goodbye to his loved ones, and that loss left a lasting impression on him.
Brown chose to participate in this project to show how cancer reshapes the lives of survivors and the people affected in their journey. Like the loss Brown experienced, family and friends who witness a loved one battling cancer essentially take on that battle with them. A cancer diagnosis shifts perspective, as well as priorities and Survivorship Today aims to address this impact.
In his interview, Brown also explores how cancer takes a toll on a survivor’s mental health. Though perseverance and resilience are the motivating traits associated with cancer survivors, Brown talks to individuals struggling to find a balance between how they are perceived and how they truly feel. The honesty derived from this message emphasizes the need to recognize space in recovery. Someone who has survived cancer is often filled with conflicting emotions, and to maintain a smile for public perception can be exhausting. The fear over cancer returning, and the grief felt after knowing that life will never be the same, are some of the experiences often unaddressed. Brown believes that supporting a loved one free of cancer requires recognition of the space they need to heal.
In addition, Brown shares the experiences of men and women who have made changes to their lives for the benefit of others. He meets with a men’s health advocate who stresses the importance of prostate cancer screening despite the embarrassment associated with the test. During this time of COVID-19, Brown also speaks to an immunocompromised personal assistant who must now mitigate her interactions in order to keep her and her clients safe.
Survivorship Today opens viewers to the challenges faced throughout cancer recovery and expresses how to be mindful of the community-felt impact. The display of honesty Brown describes, helps answer some of the questions he had with respect to loss and showing support. For Brown, this is a meaningful project he felt necessary to pursue.