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Natalie Desselle Died of Colon Cancer — Learn about Other Stars Who Battled This Disease

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 10, 2020
10:15 A.M.
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Friends and family of actress Natalie Desselle-Reid are grief-stricken at her passing after a long battle with colon cancer.


On December 7, 2020, fans were shocked to learn that "Madea's Big Happy Family" star Natalie Desselle-Reid had passed away at the age of 53, having privately battled colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer is a silent disease that has claimed the lives of many, including "Black Panther" actor Chadwick Boseman and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away in the last six months.

Natalie Desselle at the premiere of "Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family" in 2011 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images



Natalie's family broke the news of her passing to the world through her Instagram account and revealed that she had succumbed to colon cancer.

Natalie is survived by her husband Leonard Reid and her three children Sereno, Summer, and Sasha. Her death was a shock to many since the actress had kept her diagnosis a secret.



Like Natalie Desselle-Reid, actor Chadwick Boseman had kept his colon cancer diagnosis a secret, a clear demonstration of the stigma attached to the disease.

Boseman was first diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2014 and secretly battled the disease for the next six years, even as he made several movies. He finally succumbed in August 2020.

Over 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the large intestine or the rectum every year.

Tribute to Chadwick Boseman at Howard University on August 31, 2020 in Washington, DC | Source: Getty Images



On June 25, 2009, the death of "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett was announced. What fans didn't know was that the 62-year-old actress had been diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006.

For three years, Fawcett had battled her cancer in secret, due to what doctors reveal is a common feeling of shame because of the body functions associated with the location of the cancer.

Farrah Fawcett at a Toys For Tots benefit in 2001 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images



Sam Simon's story was markedly different. The co-creator of "The Simpsons" passed away on March 8, 2015, aged 59, from colon cancer after being misdiagnosed.

Simon battled his illness openly, helping to break the stigma associated with a colon cancer diagnosis. Simon's courage opened the way for others to speak out and raise awareness about the disease.



Sharon Osbourne, the wife of notorious rocker Ozzy Osbourne had no qualms about sharing her colorectal cancer diagnosis with the world. She was first diagnosed in 2002, and against all odds, she survived.

Sharon insisted that her illness be documented in the family's MTV reality show and spoke openly about the preventive double mastectomy she underwent in 2012, and her courage has helped countless sufferers.

Sharon Osbourne in a promotional photo taken for CBS' "The Talk" in July 2020 | Source: Getty Images



Fans will best remember Elizabeth Montgomery as the lovely and witchy Samantha Stephens from the 60s ABC sitcom “Bewitched.” Montgomery passed away in 1995 at the age of 62.

The actress had battled colon cancer several years before and believed herself cured. Unexpectedly, the cancer returned, and 8 weeks after she was diagnosed again, she succumbed to the disease.

Studio portrait of Elizabeth Montgomery taken circa 1960 | Source: Getty Images



On September 18, 2020, we mourned the loss of one of our most brilliant legal minds: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ginsberg fought her colon cancer publicly after her 1999 diagnosis.

For the next 20 years, Ginsberg battled not only colon cancer but pancreatic and lung cancer, and in 2020 she was treated for liver cancer. Ginsberg passed away at the age of 87, still fighting and still working.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006 in Washington DC | Source: Getty Images



Over 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the large intestine or the rectum every year. According to the American Cancer Society, early detection is the key to reducing the mortality rate.

Doctors advise adults over the age of 50 to undergo screening, especially if there is a history of cancer in the family, or of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Celebrities like Sharon Osbourne, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sam Simon have helped break the stigma and let millions of fellow sufferers know that they are not alone.


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