YouTube star Grace Helbig reveals that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer in new video

‘We’re going for cure, not remission here,’ she says

Amber Raiken
New York
Monday 03 July 2023 23:11 BST
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YouTube star Grace Helbig has revealed that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer in a new video.

The actor, 37, posted an emotional video on YouTube on Monday to share the news, as she described her diagnosis as “very shocking” and “surreal”. After noting that she found out about her cancer about a month ago, she acknowledged that she “finally felt ready” to open up about it.

While she went on to share that she has triple-positive breast cancer, she also expressed that her condition is treatable.

“From every doctor or medical professional or person who has any knowledge about cancer, they have said it’s super treatable, highly beatable. We’re going for cure, not remission here. Which is exciting, encouraging, helpful, good,” she said before adding that her doctors think she has Stage IIA breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, triple-positive breast cancer means that the tumours in one’s body are HER2-positive, ER-positive, and PR-positive. StageII A breast cancer could mean that “a tumour may not be found in the breast, but cancer cells have spread to at least one to three lymph nodes,” according to the American College of Surgeons. This stage may also show a “two to five centimeter tumour in the breast, with or without spread to the axillary lymph nodes”.

Helbig, who has more than 2.6m subscribers on YouTube, continued her video by describing her treatment plan. She said that she would be “six rounds of chemotherapy, followed by surgery, followed by hormonal therapy”.

After thanking her friends and family for their support, she recalled how she was diagnosed with breast cancer at her annual gynaecologist appointment. However, she said that even before this appointment, she’d already noticed a “weird lump” in her left breast.

“I really had to like talk myself into bringing it up to her in the appointment because I thought that I was just a stupid little girl that didn’t know how girl bodies worked, and it’s probably just muscle tissue,” she explained. “Thank God I listened to that little voice inside of me that finally got the courage to bring it up to her, because she also thought it was abnormal.”

She also encouraged her viewers to get those “lump checked”, before recalling how she got a mammogram and ultrasound after her gynaecologist appointment. She then said that she had a biopsy, which, according to Helbig, her doctor had ordered for her to get done “stat”.

The YouTuber star also revealed that she’s been talking to VidCon founder Hank Green, who announced in May that he’d been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that impacts the immune system.

“I have been texting with him and his videos have been so incredibly helpful,” she said. “And I am now eagerly awaiting his cancer stand-up to read through, which he has promised to send me because I’m going to need comedy through this process.”

She went on to note that fighting her cancer is her “job now,” while she’s still been working on “getting [her] confidence back” throughout the last few years. She noted that she previously felt like she “lost a sense of [herself]” due to burn out, so she took a break from YouTube.

She then confessed that before her cancer diagnosis, she was looking forward to making videos once again.

“I was really excited about the idea of starting to make content again from this healthier and more grounded place,” she said. “And then I got breast cancer. So I still have this desire to potentially make content, but I also need to listen to myself and play it by ear.”

Helbig confirmed that she’s still going to be making episodes of her podcast, Let’s Get Weird, with Mamrie Hart for “as long as [she] can”.

She concluded her video by sharing a message she learned after being diagnosed with cancer, saying: “You cannot plan for the future, you have to take it one step at a time. And this was the next step for me.”

Helbig went on to thank her husband, Elliot Morgan, for standing by her side, before adding: “I am doing well, and I’m ready to take this on. And I know I can take this on.”

In the comments of the video, many fans and fellow YouTubers wrote messages of support to Helbig.

“Green here just to say that we love you and [Elliot] and are thinking of you and your whole awesome family of supporters and caregivers. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but ... there’s no but to that sentence. I’m just sorry,” Kirkland Brand and Hank Green wrote, before adding a playful message from John Green: “This is where I would insert a heart emoji but I’m 45 years old.”

“Oh Grace, I, and we ALL...love you! We are all cheering you on and thank you for being vulnerable and for always being strong enough, to make jokes and show people how humour can help you through so many hard things!” makeup artist Kandee Johnson added. “I’m sending you all the air hugs, support and rallying behind you in every bit of love and  support!

“This really hit me, I’ve been watching you for over a decade since early high school you were a huge part of my adolescence,” a third fan wrote. “You’ve got this Grace, kick this thing’s a**.”

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