Joan Lunden delivered a vivacious and heartfelt keynote speech for Prevention Magazine’s third annual R3 Summit held at ACL Live at The Moody Theater within the Warehouse District of Austin, Texas on January 16, 2016. As she stood on the main stage under bright lights and gold curtains: Lunden’s words filled the room like fresh oxygen, purifying the air. Her message and its delivery focused on the vitality of self-care and self-love. Why all women need to discover their life purpose and how to follow our dreams. Lunden also emphasized the utmost importance of sustaining a positive attitude whenever life is feeling dark, dreary or defeating. Her message encouraged all women to take care of their health as if it were a second job in order to avoid a collapse or a burn out.
Ultimately, Lunden speaks out to pass on her life story in order to educate and empower all womankind. Joan Lunden speaks out in hopes of seeing the light within every woman shine bigger and brighter than ever before. To see the stars in every woman take flight. And to help other cancer survivors make it through the hardest of times. Many moments throughout the keynote speech, she addressed all the women in the audience as ‘us’ and ‘we’, unifying women of all age, nationality and ethnicity.
A survivor of breast cancer, Joan Lunden is also an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, health & wellness advocate, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur and mom of seven children. Listening to Lunden’s life stories of survival, television, journalism, family, men, health, sex, life and death—listening to how she succeeded despite any or all challenges or tragedies—was a deeply inspiring message to hear. Prior to Lunden’s keynote, The Master of Ceremonies for R3 Summit, Dr. Jennifer Ashton (a Board-certified Ob-Gyn, author and co-host of the award-winning talk show The Doctors) introduced her colleague to the audience as “The Queen of Good Morning America” and it’s a most befitting, honorary title.
Nicolette Mallow: Motherhood was a big focus throughout your presentation. And while I do value, honor and respect family traditions. Do you have any advice for women (of any age) that are unable to bear children? Or do you have any words of encouragement for women that choose to not have children in a society where motherhood almost seems to be expected of us?
Joan Lunden: When I first became a mother, I bore three beautiful children the natural way. Later on in time when I wanted to have more children in my 50’s, it was not as easy to get pregnant. I began using fertility methods like in vitro. Eventually it became too complicated. One day my husband lovingly reminded me that it’s not a competition. And I quit in vitro. At that point we sought out a surrogate mother. Our surrogate mother has become like family to us. I now have two sets of twins in addition to my other three kids. And it’s wonderful. I love all seven of my children equally. So, no woman should think just because their body cannot facilitate childbirth that there is anything inadequate with them… On the other hand, I have many female friends that do not have children and are successful and happy individuals. Motherhood does not define a woman even if it can be an all-encompassing trait of what it means to be a woman.
NM: Your career is so impressive and I know you have even more to offer the world in the years to come. However, when was the time in your career that you knew you’d made it?… Your life is so magical on so many levels that it reminds me of Elizabeth Taylor’s line in the Hollywood film based on Tennessee William’s play Suddenly Last Summer. The line when she speaks of ‘the sunshine days’. The days everything was in perfect sync and harmony… When was it that you knew in your heart that it was only going upward in your career from then on?
JL: (she smiled) During my 30’s when I began co-hosting Good Morning America with Charlie Gibson. That was when I knew. He and I used to describe the feeling as “the best seat from which to view the world”. It was an amazing time of my life with such happiness that I will always cherish… Suddenly I was going to The White House, interviewing politicians, rock stars, celebrities and all sorts of prominent figures. I was traveling worldwide covering global news… The happiness we felt on the show is something I will always treasure. Charlie Gibson and I made a strong team and we co-existed together. Which really caught everyone’s attention: seeing a man and woman work together so wonderfully on national television. Having said this, I am sort of a Master of Reinvention, and so I look forward to new journeys and new thrills as I began new media campaigns.
For more information pertaining to Joan Lunden’s life story of survival and success. Or to find health, beauty and lifestyle tips, please visit her website Joan Lunden: Creating a healthy lifestyle for a better tomorrow at www.joanlunden.com.
Note: This article was originally published on in January 2016.