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Kelly Ripa: Using Her Platform for Good

Celebrities have been given a powerful tool: a platform through which to influence people. Therefore, some people believe that celebrities have a duty to do good.

One celebrity who has used her platform to promote and show her support for many important causes is talk show host Kelly Ripa. Whether she has a duty to or not, the star of Live! With Kelly has devoted much of her life to notable causes like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.

Ripa is the spokesperson for the appliance company Electrolux. The company teamed up with Ripa to try and raise money for The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund by donating portions of its retail sales. Ripa also hosted a virtual sleepover party to raise awareness, in which Electrolux donated $1 for every person who attended.

The cause is one that touches Ripa on a personal level. “I didn’t know a lot about ovarian cancer [before],” she said in an interview with Access Hollywood. “I educated myself and my education came earlier than I would have liked when a friend of mine was diagnosed.”

Ripa’s friend, who was her next-door neighbor growing up, was only in her thirties when she was diagnosed. Ripa described this incident as a huge wake-up call. Sadly, her friend lost her battle with the disease, but Ripa continues to work in hopes of finding a cure.

In an interview with Glamour, Ripa stated that “knowing your body is the key” when keeping yourself healthy and protected against ovarian cancer. She explained how symptoms of the disease often mask themselves as signs of PMS or indigestion, so many times doctors are dismissive towards women who complain. Ripa suggests that women insist on a sonogram if they feel that something’s truly off.

Every year, Ripa hosts a day-long fundraising event called Super Saturday. Last year, the charity event raised over $3 million for ovarian cancer research. She has also partnered with the foundation Fashion Targets Breast Cancer to help raise funds and awareness toward the fight against breast cancer.

Another organization that is near and dear to Ripa’s heart is Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  “I am hoping to prevent a situation that alters the life of a family the way my family’s life was altered,” Ripa stated in an interview with USA today.

As this quote suggests, it was another personal experience that brought Ripa’s attention to this cause. Ripa’s sister, Linda, almost lost her life when she was hit by a drunk driver. Linda, who was pregnant at the time, suffered multiple injuries, as did her unborn baby. While both Linda and her baby survived, Ripa said that her sister has permanent nerve damage and will walk with a limp for the rest of her life.

Ripa is well known for her humor and quick wit. She made a successful career as a soap opera star, comedic actress, and talk show host, but she didn’t allow her success to stop there. She uses her star power, along with her sense of humanity, to champion causes that have meaning to her and benefit people all over the world.   

Featured Image by Keith Wills on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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