Guest Author - Kriss Johnson
Itís great when entertainment is used as a vehicle to reach and educate people on the many issues that society today faces. Here are some that caught my attention:
Reva's breast cancer battle
Reva skipped getting a mammogram one year. The next year, she found out that she had breast cancer. When she first found out, Reva did her best to keep it a secret. She came to a point where she was getting sick due to different treatments, and the toll it was taking on her was quite apparent. Eventually, Reva confided in Billy. Thatís when she realized that she was not alone in the battle for surviving breast cancer. Since Josh was in the dark, he couldnít understand why Reva was so close with Billy, especially since Josh and Reva were planning to reunite. He assumed Reva and Billy were intimate and moved on to a relationship with Revaís sister, Cassie. Reva went through periods of happiness, sadness, losing her hair, losing her confidence, and not feeling like herself. Guiding Light received letters from many fans, thanking them for portraying Revaís struggle so poignantly.
Lilyís addiction to diet pills
After giving birth, Lily realized that she had a slight weight gain. At first, she tried traditional methods of weight loss. However, she quickly realized that these methods werenít working. Her niece, Jade, told Lily about pills she takes when she wants to lose a few pounds. Lily decided to try them out. At first, she was taking a few pills occasionally here and there. But it soon became more constant. Her self-confidence became so low that she could no longer function without the pills. During this time, Lilyís daughter, Faith, saw how unhappy her Mother was with her appearance. Faith began to feel that her appearance wasnít good enough. Faith began to purge her food. After everything surfaced, Faith and Lily sought help for their disorders.
There are so many storylines that coincide with reality: Victor Newmanís epilepsy, Neil Winterís alcoholism, the death of loved ones (Cassie Newman and John Abbott) to name a few. Even though these are actors and fictional stories, their effects are real. It takes effort for fans to write to the production companies thanking them for bringing awareness to something their own family may be dealing with. When it touches and moves you to respond, thatís when it becomes more than just a story.