Two decades ago, Sofía Vergara got a diagnosis that would forever change her life.
The Modern Family alum was 28 years old when she learned she was in the early stages of a life-threatening illness. During Stand Up To Cancer's 2021 telecast, streamed on Aug. 21, the actress reflected on her thyroid cancer diagnosis and the importance of unity in the fight against it.
"At 28 years old during a routine doctors visit, my doctor felt a lump in my neck," she recalled. "They did a lot of tests and finally told me that I had thyroid cancer. When you're young and you hear that word cancer, your mind goes to so many places, but I tried not to panic and I decided to get educated. I read every book and found out everything I could about it."
At the time of her diagnosis, the America's Got Talent judge was a single mom starting out as an actress. It would take nine more years before she would star as Gloria on the hit ABC series.
Vergara, now 49, ended up being one of the fortunate patients who caught the disease quickly and credited her doctors and family for supporting her through the process, an example of solidarity she applied to our current time.
"I learned a lot during that time, not just about thyroid cancer, but I also learned that in times of crisis, we're better together," she said. "We have all witnessed the power of coming together just this past year."
Sharing examples, she listed off, "Scientists around the globe collaborated in unprecedented ways to develop the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. Human rights activists took to the streets all over the world to support social justice and equality and people everywhere step up to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in their communities."
"We're better together," she concluded, "and if we're going to end cancer, it's going to require a team effort."