From Speed to The Matrix, Constantine and the recently released John Wick 3 – Keanu Reeves is no stranger to taking out bad guys.
But did you know this hunky action hero is a lot more than just a pretty face on celluloid? He is also an avid supporter of the global anti-cancer cause, having experienced the disease first-hand.
In the 90s, Reeves’ sister Kim was diagnosed with leukaemia and battled with the rare blood cancer for a gruelling 10 years and Reeves was her primary caregiver.
It was during this time that he also focused his attention on the global impact of cancer and began generously donating his hard-earned movie paycheques towards various cancer charities.
The actor, whose long-awaited movie John Wick 3 hit international screens this past weekend, ultimately established his own cancer foundation in honour of his sister, whose leukaemia eventually went into remission.
So humble is Reeves, that nobody even knew the foundation was his.
In a 2009 interview with the Ladies’ Home Journal, Reeves admitted that he had a foundation which had already been active for six years.
“… it helps aid a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research. I don’t like to attach my name to it and just let it do what it’s supposed to do,” said Reeves.
According to the Union for International Cancer Control, over 7 million people die from cancer, and more than 11 million new cases are diagnosed worldwide each year.
“By 2030, it could be expected that there would be 27 million cases of cancer, 17 million cancer deaths annually and 75 million persons living with cancer within five years of diagnosis,” said Peter Boyle, the director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, on the agency’s website.
Boyle urges that greater focus be placed on the four pillars of cancer control, which are:
- Prevent those cancers which can be prevented
- Treat those cancers that can be treated
- Cure those cancers that can be cured
- Provide palliation (to relieve or lessen pain in absence of cure) whenever palliation is required