Emma Stone Spreads Breast Cancer Awareness

When actress Emma Stone's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, they became closer then ever. Here, how they supported each other—and others fighting the cause.

Ellen Byron
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Emma's first day at work coincided with Krista's mastectomy, but she came home whenever she could. "She made it a priority," says Krista. "She was there for multiple treatments. She couldn't be there for my final treatment, so we did it via Skype." During visits home, Emma tried to amuse Krista to lift her spirits. "I followed the philosophy I've had my whole life, which is make 'em laugh," Emma explains.

"Emma was a great distraction," recalls Krista. "She knew exactly what I needed. She would [tell me] great stories and sing and dance. We had wonderful heart-to-heart talks, too. We've always been extremely close." Indeed, Emma says, "I still haven't gone a day without speaking to her on the phone…she's my best friend, and I want her to know everything that's going on in my life. And I want to know everything that's going on in hers."

Raising awareness
Luckily, Krista's aggressive treatment put her in remission. In October 2010, mother and daughter celebrated Krista's "first year clear" with matching tattoos of blackbird feet inspired by Krista's favorite song, "Blackbird." Singer-songwriter Sir Paul McCartney provided the tattoo art himself. "Emma had gotten to know Sir Paul and his wife, Nancy, who is also a triple negative breast cancer survivor," says Krista.

Krista finds the lyrics, Take these broken wings and learn to fly, especially meaningful in the context of her experience. "Any time you're facing your mortality, you're broken," she says somberly. "You have no control; you don't know what's going to happen; you're scared. So, through all of that trauma, you have to learn to fly again."

Today, Krista has been in remission for almost five years. "It's very exciting," says Emma, who is dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer. She recently became a global brand ambassador for the cosmetics giant Revlon, which launched a public service campaign called "Your Lips Can Save Lives." The campaign emphasizes the need to talk to your loved ones about cancer, since early detection saves lives.

Says Krista, "I think when a daughter reaches an age where she needs to be concerned about her breast health, a mother should probably say, 'Let's be breast buddies or breast friends.' Mothers and daughters can encourage each other to do self-exams at the same time every month and check on each other."

In May, three generations of Stone women will participate in the Entertainment Industry Foundation/Revlon Run/Walk For Women in New York City. "We're celebrating my mother's 80th birthday, and she's the leader of the pack!" Krista laughs.

Emma is passionate about events like these. "When you're walking through Times Square [in New York City] and everyone is wearing pink and is completely dedicated to…raising funds in support of breast cancer research…." Emma pauses as she searches for the right words. "It's unbelievable."

Close as mother and daughter were before Krista's ordeal, they've emerged from the experience with an even greater sense of love and appreciation for each other. "It's obviously a terrible thing to go through," Emma says. "But if our story can help find a cure, then that's ultimately the positive side of a really scary thing."

March 2013