Explaining that she always tries to live in the moment, Olivia says she chooses to find joy in getting older, as she understands just how precious it is.
“I am very grateful for my wonderful life and my career has been a dream – I think I did OK. From this point on it’s just icing on my [birthday] cake!”
This year’s festivities are extra special, as they coincide with Olivia’s annual Walk For Wellness. The virtual event, which raises funds for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, takes place on September 26, Olivia’s birthdate. Anyone can take part, regardless of where they are in the world.
“I thought how special it would be if we had the walk on my birthday, because three years ago I actually spent time as a patient at the centre on my 70th and got to experience the wellness programs firsthand.
“I know how vital they are to healing the whole person during a cancer journey. Walking with my family and friends to raise funds is just joy for me!”
After publicly battling breast cancer following a diagnosis almost 30 years ago – and undergoing nine months of debilitating chemo and surgeries, including a partial mastectomy and breast reconstruction – Olivia later made the decision to keep a second diagnosis (a tumour in her shoulder) to herself. However, she shocked the word in 2017 with the heartbreaking news that her cancer had reappeared for a third time – though this time it had spread to her bones.
Yet despite the blow, Olivia is remaining upbeat in the face of adversity and is determined to beat the odds with an upbeat attitude.
“I truly believe it helps win over cancer or any challenge you are going through. Laughter also helps – I love laughing. Often at myself.”
Helping her maintain this ‘glass half full’ approach is her husband of 13 years, John Easterling, and her cherished daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.
While she’s very much living in the present and feeling grateful for her peaceful life in California, Olivia admits that she is pining to return to her “heart home” of Australia.
“I miss my family and friends,” she says, sadly. “I haven’t been back since early 2020 when I was there to support Chloe during her run on Dancing with the Stars.
“This is the longest period of time that I have ever been away from Australia since I was a teenager. I’m disappointed I can’t be there now to see them, but I know one day soon we will be together and share a wonderful meal!”
Read more in this week's New Idea, on sale now.