Shannen Doherty Says ‘Cancer Has Changed My Life for the Better’ as She’s Presented With Award by Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Shannen Doherty
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Shannen Doherty arrive at American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala on November 5, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Vivien Killilea/WireImage

Words of wisdom. Shannen Doherty declared that cancer has actually had a positive effect on her life while being honored at the American Cancer Society’s Giants of Science Gala in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 5.

“I’m feeling ridiculously lucky and very blessed,” she told the Press Association. “Cancer has changed my life for the better. It’s made me a better human being. It stripped away all of the walls and the barriers.”

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Additionally, the 45-year-old actress added, her diagnosis and subsequent treatment has helped her to see who her true friends are. “It exposes any lie in your life whatsoever. It exposes who’s not really there for you and who really is there for you,” she said. “It’s this brilliant thing where you just look around and think, ‘Oh, my God, this person is amazing, they’re showing up for me in a way I never expected.’”

Among those the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum counts as her pillars of support is longtime friend Sarah Michelle Gellar, who presented Doherty with the Courage Award on Saturday.

“She has always been a courageous person but over the last year she has become a one-woman army,” Gellar, 39, said as she introduced the Charmed star. “Fearless yet full of heart, crushing cancer like a slayer — takes one to know one.”

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“In an age when celebrities are afraid to walk out of the house without makeup, Shannen is proudly displaying her shaved head, telling the world, 'If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,'” the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star added.

Doherty expressed her gratitude for Gellar’s kind words in a sweet post to Instagram on Sunday, thanking the actress for her friendship and support.

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“@sarahmgellar thank you. Your eloquence, class, integrity, intelligence and heart was on full display last night with your speech,” the former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress captioned a photo of the pair. “You made us laugh, cry and everything in between. We've been friends for a long time and your friendship has always meant the world to me. I love you #courage.”

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