Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fitness icon Richard Simmons reveals cancer diagnosis

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Richard Simmons is ‘very healthy’ (Picture: Bobby Bank/WireImage)

Richard Simmons revealed that he has been diagnosed with cancer, days after sharing cryptic social media posts about ‘dying’.

The 75-year-old has been in the public eye since the 80s, thanks to his hugely successful workouts and health tips.

He took a step back from the spotlight in 2014 but has continued to share updates with loyal fans on social media.

Earlier this week, the fitness guru left many concerned when he posted a lengthy message on Facebook, telling fans, ‘I am …dying’, before clarifying that he was simply urging everyone to ’embrace every day’.

In a new string of posts, Richard revealed that he was diagnosed with a type of skin cancer, after spotting a ‘strange looking bump’ on his face.

‘Mirror mirror on the wall what’s that blemish which is so small? There was this strange looking bump under my right eye,’ he began. ‘I had a tube of neosporin which I would put on I the morning and the evening….it was still there. It was time to call my dermatologist.

‘I sat in his chair and he looked at it through a magnifying mirror. He told me he would have to scrape it and put it under the microscope. Now I am getting a little bit nervous.

‘He comes back about 20 minutes later and says the C word. You have cancer. I asked him what kind of cancer and he said. Basal Cell Carcinoma. I told him to stop calling me dirty names. He laughed.’

Richard said that he was told to visit a specialist ‘right away’ and reached out to Dr Ralph Massey when he got home, who stepped in to help with treatment.

‘He explained that he has to burn my skin to remove the cancer cells,’ the star continued. ‘There was no numbing it just had to be done with a small instrument. As he started burning my skin a tear dropped down my cheek. You can’t cry during this and he wiped my tear. The burning really hurt my skin. It lasted about 30 minutes. “Come back in an hour and a half and see if I got it all out.”

‘I went back to some sad news. I didn’t get it all out. He burned my face again. This time was worse than before…It was deeper. I did not cry this time but I did grit my teeth. “Come back in another hour and a half.”’

Richard shared a message with fans (Picture: Rodrigo Vaz/Getty Images)

In a subsequent message posted earlier today, Richard shared that the third attempt to remove the cells was successful.

‘Well the third time was a charm,’ he updated. ‘With a smile on his face, he said, “We got all the cancer cells out.” I gave him a hug. We are not done yet I have to stitch your face up. It took about 45 minutes and I was done. “I don’t want to see you back here again.”

‘My cancer was nothing compared to some people that I knew.

‘I know some of you reading this have had cancer or have known someone in your life who has had cancer. Promise me you will see your doctor and get a complete check up.’

Fans were quick to share their support in the comments section below, with many thanking Richard for being so open with his cancer journey.

Allen Kendall replied: ‘This is so important, thank you for sharing your story. Everyone needs to be proactive in getting screenings and examinations.’

Holly Staggs agreed: ‘Cancer is so incredibly scary. You are an incredible being. Thank you for sharing these stories with us. You help me to remember to not take life for granted and to live it to the fullest.’

As Renee Pawelski added: ‘I know cancer is just awful and scary.

‘I am so happy that you had a happy ending! I look forward every day to your beautiful stories that always puts a smile on my face! Hugs to you!’

Richard developed an interest in fitness in the 70s, and went on to lose more than 8 stone after pursuing his passion.

He went on to open his own exercise studio and gyms, and helped others lose weight through his hugely popular books, CDs, videos and DVDs – including his iconic Sweatin’ To The Oldies series.

Despite becoming a household name, he retreated from public life ten years ago, and has only rarely been seen since.

Many were left devastated when he shared a message on Facebook this week, urging everyone not to be sad over the news that he is ‘dying’.

‘I have some news to tell you. Please don’t be sad. I am ….dying,’ he wrote. ‘Oh I can see your faces now. The truth is we all are dying. Every day we live we are getting closer to our death.

‘Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to enjoy your life to the fullest every single day. Get up in the morning and look at the sky… count your blessings and enjoy. Start with a healthy breakfast.

Richard apologised for confusion (Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

‘Every day that you are alive you have got to move. Whether it is standing or sitting you have got move your body every day. Start with stretching then cardio and strength.  I have a lot of workout videos on YouTube that you can use. Or maybe you have some videos at home.’

‘There is something else very important that you must do. Tell the ones that you love that you love them. Hug those people and children who you really care for. A big hug really goes a long way,’ he continued.

‘If you have time I want you to listen to a terrific song. It is by Tim McGraw it is called Live Like You Were Dying. Live today and don’t forget to pray.  Love, Richard.’

As fans voiced their devastation, he was forced to clarify the wording of his message, apologizing for any confusion.

‘Sorry many of you have gotten upset about my message today. Even the press has gotten in touch with me. I am not dying,’ he penned. ‘It was a message about saying how we should embrace every day that we have.

‘Sorry for this confusion. Love, Richard.’

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