Fun fact: I have a, “DON’T BE IGNORANT” bracelet.
I love it and it’s a great conversation starter.
Another huge inspiration to me, Fren Drescher was born in Kew Gardens Hills, New York, the daughter of Sylvia, a bridal consultant, and Mort Drescher, a naval systems analyst. Her Ashkenazi Jewish family is of Eastern European origin (her great-grandmother was born in Focşani, Romania). She has an elder sister, Nadine. Fran taught me to not be afraid to make fun of myself, and to laugh, even when you hurt.
In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into Drescher’s and Jacobson’s Los Angeles apartment. While one ransacked their home, the other raped Fran and a girl friend at gunpoint. Jacobson was also physically attacked, tied up, and forced to witness the entire ordeal. It took Fran many years to recover, and it took her even longer to admit this to the press. She was paraphrased as saying in an interview with Larry King that although it was a traumatic experience, she found ways to turn it into something positive.
After two years of symptoms and misdiagnosis by eight doctors, Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles’s Cedars Sinai Hospital on June 21, 2000, after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. She had to undergo an immediate radical hysterectomy to treat the disease. On June 21, 2007, the seventh anniversary of her operation, Drescher announced the national launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women’s cancers be diagnosed while in Stage 1, the most curable stage. She celebrated her ninth year of wellness on June 21, 2009.
Rosie Perez, was born in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick to Puerto Rican parents. Her mother Lydia Pérez, a singer, was married to Ventura Pérez at the time of Rosie’s birth. However, Rosie’s biological father is Ismail Serrano, a Merchant Marine with whom her mother had had an affair. Much of her young life was spent in foster care.She attended the Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, New York and a community college in Los Angeles. Rosie Perez is one of my biggest idols, she taught me how to conduct myself as a woman and how to fight and work hard for what I want in my life. Pérez is an activist for Puerto Rican rights. Her film Yo Soy Boricua! Pa’ Que Tú Lo Sepas! (I’m Puerto Rican, Just So You Know!) documents her activism. She starred in and directed the Spanish AIDS PSA campaign “Join the Fight” for Cable Positive and Kismet Films. The campaign featured actor Wilmer Valderrama, BET’s Julissa Bermudez, Telenovela actor Erick Elias, singer/actress Lorena Rojas, 2006-2007 Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, and actress Judy Marte.