Giuliana Rancic was living out her dreams when she started working for E! News in 2002, but after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, her world turned upside down.
Now that she's cancer-free, she is thrilled to be empowering others who may be dealing with health issues of their own. "I never thought this would be part of my journey. I had no family history of breast cancer. I remember being swept away in the sadness of it all and being upset and angry — and trust me, I was. When you're going through that, it's a really tough time, but to be able to come out of it and see the good in that time, too, and realize, 'Hey, let's make a positive out of this negative' is something that's helped me come to terms with all of it. It's become part of my life's purpose," the 49-year-old exclusively tells Morning Honey while talking about her partnership with Avocados From Mexico for the 2023 Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl, a college bowl game benefiting breast cancer research.
"It was a really tough time, and I wouldn't want to go through that again, but we can't control our destiny. Now that I've gone through it, I am happy to help others and talk about it — and bring awareness to it," the former TV host, who had a double mastectomy over a decade ago, adds. "My words could save a life. I can't tell you the amount of stories I've heard through the years where people were watching my story and they then took action and are now here because of it. It's been a really tough journey, but at the same time, I learned so much and life got even sweeter after it! The fact that I can now be someone who gets in front of it and educates others is a great gift."
Since the entrepreneur, who is married to Bill Rancic, is in the public eye, she knew sharing her diagnosis with others was the right thing to do.
"I could have kept it private, and trust me, there was a point in time where I was going to, but then I thought, 'So many young women are watching me around the world.' I was on E! for many years and we had so many young female viewers from all around the world, and I thought, 'If I can get the message out there and say this can happen to me too, it can happen to anyone.' That was really important for me to share," she explains.
"I want young women to know it's never too early to start doing self-exams and getting to know your body. The amount of people who say they found their own cancer from doing a self-exam — not necessarily from a mammogram — is huge," she adds. "When it's detected early, it has an incredible high survival rate. That's why we talk about early detection because it's so important."
"Avocados From Mexico is sponsoring the Cure Bowl that is happening this weekend [on Saturday, December 16] in Orlando, Fla. People can tune in, and I will be there. I am super excited to raise money for cancer research," she notes. "It's going to be fun, and it's also for a really great cause. Before the event, we're doing a Super Good Rally, so I will be there at the stadium with survivors and thrivers, and we're going to be creating signs with people's names on them who are going through breast cancer. That's a big deal to let those know, 'Hey, we're here encouraging you, we're supporting you, we're rallying for you and behind you.' When I went through breast cancer, that really helped me — hearing that from other survivors and hearing their words of encouragement. It gave me a lot of peace and helped me through my journey. I love that we're having this rally ahead of the game."
Even though Rancic is not on TV everyday now, she feels fulfilled in this new chapter of her life. "My dream was to do exactly what I did for 20 years — to be on the red carpet and host E! News. It was incredible. While I was at E!, I was creating a fashion line on Home Shopping Network and also creating restaurants and some other business ventures," she says. "I left at the perfect time because then I was able to take the time to bring my fashion line to where it needed to be — and the restaurants to where they need to be. Everything happens for a reason."
"I love E!, it was amazing, but I have to say I'm so happy now," she concludes.