In an interview with PEOPLE, Jeff Bridges has opened up about how his experience with health issues as an immunocompromised person has impacted his perspective on life.
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He says that battling cancer alongside two cases of COVID-19 “sort of heightened the experience of dancing with my mortality.”
He added that “the people closest to me, were so supportive about the cancer and COVID. It just brought to my attention how much they loved me, and how much I loved them.”
“It just heightened the experience of most of my philosophies in life, and it all gets down to that corny ‘L’ word — love,” he added. “That seems to be what’s running my ship, and going through these tough times, it kind of exacerbated all of that philosophy of love.”
“When you get close to losing something like that, your gratitude and your thankfulness for what you have, the people that you love, and the love that you feel for your loved ones, grows. It just magnifies it, and that was something positive that came out of it.”
In October 2020, Bridges announced that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. He then began treatment with chemotherapy, which included infusion and taking oral medication.
Calling For Action
In January 2021, the star got COVID-19 before he had the chance to receive a vaccine. The virus was especially tough on him due to his chemotherapy treatments, which had weakened his immune system.
“I had no defenses. That’s what chemo does — it strips you of all your immune system. I had nothing to fight it,” Bridges shared. “COVID made my cancer look like nothing.”
The actor plans to post a call to action to his Instagram, encouraging people to share their COVID experiences as an immunocompromised person. The aid initiatives and testimonies will be shared under #MyCOVIDReality.
“We’re all in this together,” Bridges shared. “That’s a phrase that pops into my mind often, and if there’s anything positive coming out of this COVID business, it’s that we are all in this together. We are one community on this planet. We’re all vulnerable to these kinds of viruses.”
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