Olympic Gold Medalist Jumps Into New Challenge - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Olympic Gold Medalist Jumps Into New Challenge

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Oprah Winfrey began her 23rd season with a welcome home party for the U.S. Olympic team, among the athletes gold medalist Shawn Johnson. In this special Buddies for Life report, News 8's Barbara Lee Edwards had the opportunity to speak with Shawn about her latest quest - educating women about breast cancer. Joining her is oncologist Dr. Laurie Franks.\r\n\r\nBarbara Lee Edwards: How did your interest about educating women about breast cancer come about?\r\n\r\nShawn Johnson: When I was five my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer and lung cancer, so I went through that whole thing. She was always on our couch, she stayed at our house until she was well. My parents took care of her. The only thing I could really do was talk to her, I don't remember much - I was only five -, but I've learned a lot more about it now.\r\n\r\nBLE: You were very young, as you mentioned, when you grandma was diagnosed. She was able, when she was well, to come and see you compete. What was that like?\r\n\r\nSJ: I remember seeing her there everyday and struggling a little, and she finally did get well and was able to come to my gymnastics meets, and spend time with me now, got to go with me to the Frosted Twist show last year.. it's just great to know that she's healthier than ever and able to still be in our lives.\r\n\r\nBLE: Tell us a little about it... what is Frosted Pink with a Twist?\r\n\r\nSJ: Frosted Pink with a Twist is a show that a bunch of athletes are going to be doing, a bunch of Olympians, myself, [gymnast Nastia] Liukin, of course some previous Olympians like Shannon Miller, famous singers Jesse McCarthy, Carole KingÖ it's just a huge thing we're putting on to try and bring people in, help spread the awareness of cancer.\r\n\r\nBLE: 'What you do matters', that's kind of your slogan through all of this. What made you think of that?\r\n\r\nSJ: I'm the spokesperson, I'm just trying to help people understand that no matter what it is you do, it does matter, because cancer is a huge thing. The more information you know the better it is.\r\n\r\nBLE: Do you find that other young people your age don't know that much about it? Does it surprise you? Does it want to make you want to get the word out more?\r\n\r\nSJ: Definitely. I didn't know much until I started this... the more you know the better.\r\n\r\nBLE: So how important is an educational event like this?\r\n\r\nDoctor Laurie Franks, Scripps Memorial Hospital Oncologist: Women really don't talk to their doctors about their cancer risks. A lot of women, only half of women don't feel very educated about it, they want more education. We know that in 2008 over 250,000 women are going to be diagnosed with what are called the women's cancers: breast, uterine, ovarian, cervical.\r\n\r\nBLE: Medical experts like yourself tell us repeatedly early detection is key in order to take advantage of these treatments and technologies.\r\n\r\nDr. Franks: You're completely right. If cancer, most of these women cancers, breast, cervical, ovarian, are detected early they're much more curable and that means if you're pro-active and you're inspired to go and get testing done, it's not a death sentence.\r\n\r\nBLE: Well, I thank you both for being here, because I know you're very busy. In fact, Shawn, you're about to start a us gymnastic tour. Tell me a little about that.\r\n\r\nSJ: We actually had our first show yesterday in Reno. It's a 40-city tour and our next one is Frosted Pink with a Twist.\r\n
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