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What Joan Rivers told me...

Aug 31, 2014

I was fortunate enough to meet Joan Rivers.  It was 2010, and I was the medical correspondent at CBS News.  Joan was a guest on The Early Show and I was going on set, as she was coming off. Even though I am too young to remember watching her on late-night tv, I knew I was in the presence of an entertainment living legend, and a woman who was a true trailblazer for women in entertainment and in media alike. I got up the guts to approach her, and introduce myself. Even though she is a little wiff of a lady (she looked 5 feet tall and 100 pounds!), in person, she is larger than life. I extended my hand and told her how much I was excited to meet her. 'You're a living legend!", I said. "Honey, I will tell you what I am; I am a fire hazard! They had birthday candles on set for my birthday, and I'm so old I almost burned the whole studio down!" That's the kind of self-depricating, comic genious Joan Rivers is. On top of that, she is a survivor. She raised a daughter after losing a husband to suicide; she is the epitome of vitality and longevity- still working her ass off at age 81; and she possesses the great ability to make us laugh, while she laughs at herself. I wish her a speedy recovery, and send prayers to her daughter and grandson during this difficult time. Dr Jennifer Ashton

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Jennifer Ashton MD