“I used homeopathy, acupuncture, yoga and meditation in conjunction with my chemotherapy to help me get stronger again after the cancer. I also chanted with Buddhist friends and prayed with Christian friends. I covered all my bases.”
– Olivia Newton-John.
Olivia’s father Bryn was born in Wales, won a scholarship to Oxford, became a multilingual academic and during World War II worked as MI5 officer on the Enigma project at Bletchley Park. Her mother Irene was born in Germany and had come to the UK with her family in 1933, to escape the Nazi Regime.
Oliver was born in Cambridge in 1948. Her family migrated to Australia and she grew up in Melbourne. At aged 14 she formed an all-girl group called Sol Four, with three classmates. She also appeared on Australian TV talent shows.
In her teens she moved to London and in 1966 Olivia recorded her first single, “Till You Say You’ll Be Mine”. She toured nightclubs in Europe, performed backup for other bands.
She released her first solo album, “If Not for You” in 1971, then “Banks of the Ohio” which was a top 10 hit in the UK and Australia. She then moved to the USA, had a string of hits and starred in the highly successful movie “Grease”.
Olivia’s experience with cancer
Olivia was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She focused on natural treatments, and became partial owner of the Gaia Retreat and Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales.
In 2008, she started to raise funds to help build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.
“To create this wellness center where people who are going through cancer could go and do the things I had done when I had breast cancer was a big passion for me… I did massage and meditation and yoga … all the things that would help heal me and keep my spirit positive.” Olivia Newton John.
In 2017 it was discovered that the breast cancer had returned and metastasised to her lower back. She was an advocate for the use of medical cannabis to help with bone pain.
On 8 August 2022, Olivia died at her home in the Santa Ynez Valley of California. She was 73. 🌿
The Olivia Newton John cancer and wellness centre is now part of Austin Health. It opened in June 2012, beginning as an outpatient ambulatory centre then expanding to provide inpatient ward care.
“She led the focus on wellness and the importance of physical, emotional and spiritual support not only for the person going through a cancer diagnosis but their carers, families and friends. Todd Harper, Chief executive at Austin Health.
60 Minutes interview with plant medicine expert Amazon John Easterling: