Sharon Stone prepared some remarks to offer in exchange for accepting the Courage Award during Thursday night’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s Unforgettable Night fundraiser. But he didn’t seem to need help delivering the speech, which at times brought him to tears and ended with a standing ovation.
“I brought a couple of bills tonight,” said Stone from the podium in the Four Seasons’ Beverly Wilshire ballroom. “I usually just talk about the cuff because, as you well know, I don’t care.”
The line got plenty of laughs from a crowd that included Rebel Wilson, Nia Vardalos, Rachel Zoe, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, Julianne Hough, Chord Overstreet, Maria Bello and Dominique Crenn, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Lori Loughlin, Olivia Jade Giannulli, Paul Wesley and NJ Falk. Rockers Maroon 5 closed the show by performing a number of their greatest hits in a performance they donated to the night’s cause.
Gala chair Jamie Tisch presented Stone with the trophy, saying, “To me, what makes you a shining star is not only your talent, beauty and grace, but also your resilience no matter what life throws at you. Thank you for rising up time and time again and inspiring us all by your great example.”
The Oscar-nominated actor took his time on stage to pay tribute to the evening’s other honorees, Hero Award recipients Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Richard J Stephenson, to encourage attendees to open their pocketbooks even more to benefit WCRF and light up lives. Examples of courage by asking breast cancer survivors to stand up and be recognized. He also spent time figuring out his own previous health challenges.
“These mammograms are no fun,” she explained. “And for someone like me, who was told I had breast cancer because I had a tumor bigger than my breast, and they were sure I couldn’t have a tumor without it being cancer. It wasn’t. But I went to the hospital saying, ‘If you open me up and it’s cancer, take both of my breasts,’ because I’m not a person defined by my breasts. You know, it might seem funny to me because you’ve all seen them.”
Not only that, she added, “you’ve all seen them post-surgery and you don’t even know it. So don’t ever feel pressured to not get a mammogram, not have blood work or surgery, because it doesn’t matter. I’m standing here telling you that I had one and a half removed and more tissue from my breasts and none of you knew it.”
Memoir of Per Stone, The beauty of living twicethe actress underwent breast reconstruction surgery in 2001 after doctors removed benign tumors that she said were “giant, bigger than my breasts alone.” People. More recently, Stone revealed last November that she had been misdiagnosed and underwent a “faulty procedure” that caused her worsening pain. As a result, she gave another statement and found out she had a “large fibroid tumor” that also required surgery.
From the stage, Stone also explained that her hairdresser came to do her hair for tonight’s event after receiving her first chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. “She was told she was going to lose her hair within a week, so tonight before we did my hair, we picked out her hats, beanies, her rags, her lipstick and made sure they looked good, and she would have been the way to deal with it. And it was really fun. really fun.”
Then he got serious. Stone broke down in tears as she tried to rally the crowd to give more money in an impassioned display that recalled her decades of activism raising money for HIV/AIDS and other causes for organizations like amfAR.
“I know the thing you have to go through and figure out how to send the money is difficult. I’m a tech idiot, but I can write a check. And right now it’s also courage because I know what’s going on. I just lost half my money on this bank thing, and that doesn’t mean I’m not here,” Stone said.
While he didn’t elaborate on the specific “banking issue” that caused his losses, his remarks stemmed from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the resulting instability in financial markets. Bank stocks have suffered and broader markets have been rattled by fears of the situation even after regulators moved to contain the fallout from the bank’s collapse and avoid a domino effect. US President Joe Biden told investors earlier this week that their money was safe, saying: “Taxpayers will not have to pay for the losses.” He also sought to reassure Americans that “the banking system is safe,” adding, “Your deposits are there when you need them. Small businesses across the country that deposit accounts at these banks can breathe easier knowing they can pay their workers and pay their bills , and their hardworking employees can breathe easier too.”
Stone then referred to the death of his brother Patrick Stone last month at the age of 57 from heart disease.
“My brother just died and that doesn’t mean I’m not here. This is not an easy time for any of us. It’s a tough time in the world, but I tell you what, I’m not going to let some politician tell me what I can and can’t do. How I can and cannot live and what is the value of my life and what is not. So stand up. Stand up and say what you’re worth. If you dare. That’s what courage is.”