Fran Drescher: Turning Passion Into Purpose

By Tiffany Paige of "Green with Tiffany", Contributing Editor

Photo Credit: Peter Marc Jacobson


You likely know of Fran Drescher from her iconic role in the hit TV series “The Nanny”. Like the “Sound Of Music”, but instead of Julie Andrews showing up at your door, it’s the flashy, fashion queen, Fran Fine, from Flushing, Queens.


Fran possesses that rare quality of emanating a radiant, larger-than-life presence, while being relatable to everyone in a way that immediately makes you feel like you know her from around your neighborhood. Indeed, there are many facets to Fran Dresher. She is an inspiration to women, an actress, writer, comedian, and activist.


Photo Credit: Joey Carman


Today you can watch the first two seasons of “The Nanny” on Roku, Cozi TV and Logo TV. “The Nanny, the Musical”, is in the works as well. A whole new generation gets to enjoy Fran!


“Yes, the musical is very exciting. We're maximizing our creative opportunity during this period of COVID; I think that ‘The Nanny’ fans are going to be really thrilled with what we do and how this story gets unfolded. The music is going to be written by Rachel Bloom, who is the creator, songwriter and producer of “Crazy Ex Girlfriends”. She's perfect for it, because she grew up watching ‘The Nanny’ and loved it. I’m blessed it continues to live on and on. It has endured the test of time. I continue to support and promote it. And it's really my pleasure, because I love it so much, it's my baby."


Photo Credit: Joey Carman


“People young and old keep telling me how much they love the show. How they grew up watching it, how much the fashion, (which was designed by Brent Cooper) has made a major impact in their lives. People also tell me there were chapters in their lives when people were sick, or blue, or feeling marginalized, and the show gave them hope and gave them an opportunity to laugh when there was otherwise not a lot to laugh about. And that makes me happy.”


February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and Fran being a cancer survivor – she is 20 years “cancer well” – shared her experience and what she’s learned through her NY Times best-selling book, “Cancer Schmancer”. Since then it has become more than a book; it has become a calling. The Cancer Schmancer Movement has grown into a non-profit organization as well as an annual Master Health Summit conference, turned into an online Edu-series. Fran has empowered herself with knowledge and experience and wants people to feel this same empowerment when it comes to their health and become a medical consumer rather than a patient. “What we do at Cancer Schmancer is very accessible for people to see options that may not be offered to them otherwise.”


Photo Credit: Joey Carman


“We're asking the questions. Why are people getting cancer? And how can they protect themselves from a compromised immune system, so that they don’t become vulnerable to inflammations and cancers? We live in a very toxic world and we have to start thinking about how we can be the change. How we can detox our home, and influence our children to start living more healthfully, because they are marketing targets by some of the most carcinogenic products.” Cancer Schmancer made a great program called “Be The Change”, starring Fran, Jaime Foxx, Jeff Bridges and lots of kids. Its focus is to teach kids to be the change, to get and stay healthy, while still being funny and light, targeting tweens and teens, but adults will enjoy it too. “Children today are being born pre-polluted with 200-300 chemicals found in the umbilical cord. So it's really important that we become mindful consumers, and actually dictate our purchasing power to more responsible manufacturing trends. I see that we are shifting the paradigm and people are becoming more aware that how they live, equals how they feel. And that's a very important correlation. Everything I’ve mentioned is on CancerSchmancer.org and it’s all free.”

Fran urges everybody to spend some time on the Cancer Schmancer site. “Even with this virus, the reason why some people are very sick, and other people are asymptomatic, or don't get it at all, has everything to do with their immune system, and how they live. It's up to you. You have to take control of the situation. That's what Cancer Schmancer is about. When we started out, our cornerstone was early detection – ‘catch it on arrival, 95% survival’ – because I was misdiagnosed and mistreated for a endometrial cancer (uterine cancer), that I had for two years, and eight doctors, all misdiagnosed. Then finally I got the diagnosis. I thought, oh my god, this is going to be very advanced, but I was lucky because uterine cancer, unlike ovarian cancer, is very slow growing. Why isn't everybody being diagnosed in stage one, when it's curable? And part of the reason is because we don't recognize the early warning whispers and think, ‘Hmm something's wrong’; we really need to check this out. Women in particular don't put themselves above their family. When you feel something that could be wrong, it's easy at that stage to completely dismiss or ignore it and get on with the business of being the caregiver of the family. That's a mistake. We try and reprogram women or whoever is the caregiver in the household to not think that way, because you're not doing anybody a service.”


Photo Credit: Rafael Ortega


Fran goes on to describe her journey of discovery and knowledge: “Very quickly, I started to ask myself, why are people getting cancer in the first place? It's not enough just to diagnose it early. I want to know why we're getting it and how. Whatever the causation is, which is rarely looked at in Western medicine, we should eliminate it, so that became an obsession to me. We live in a capitalist world where a lot of a business prays to the money god at the expense of all things of true value, including your loved ones. We're a nonprofit, we don't care about profit, we just need enough money to survive, so that we can keep bringing the messages to the public around the world, and hope people make donations.” Fran notes that everything needs to start at the home, since “the home is this toxic place we spend the most time in, and ironically, have the most control over. We expose that, and tell you what you must start thinking about. I see commercials that blow my mind. As an example, I would never use a Febreze room freshener, it's just so unbelievably toxic. Anything that has a long lasting smell, usually is a carcinogen, anything that after six months after opening it, still smells like pine, it's a carcinogen. You don't need industrial strength cleaners to clean your home. All you need is vinegar, alcohol, baking soda, baking powder, lemon juice, and maybe a little bit of unscented bleach and you're ready to go. If it’s not eco-friendly, it’s counter-intuitive.”


The concept of wellness rather than sickness is what’s needed. Prevention is always going to be easier than treatment.


“We’re accustomed to sick care, rather than healthcare. They wait until you get sick, then try and fix the end symptom. Nobody is looking at the chain of events that got you there in the first place. And that's what we do.”


Photo Credit: Rafael Ortega


On this 20-year road to wellness and staying healthy there have been advancements. “Well, first of all, the internet is amazingly more advanced. In terms of a network of information that simply wasn't there when I was diagnosed with cancer. That's really been a great thing. You have the ability to look up research studies and peer-reviewed papers. You start to familiarize yourself with the doctors who are the leaders in the field of the cancer that you were just diagnosed with. That's very important. Now, there's immunotherapy, which works with the immune system. The immune system is everything! We were always saying, take care of your immune system, and your immune system will take care of you. Now Western medicine has finally caught up."


“There are a lot of doctors out there who are considered functional medical oncologists. They're the originators that follow more of the ancient guidelines, which is to bolster the immune system with nutrient-rich foods that are highly digestible. Also, IV supplements, and special treatments, like, enemas. Today, people can help cure themselves, and reverse the cancer, and I implore people to stay open to it all, because you can set up your own integrative program that includes everything. You’ve got to do some Western anyway because that's how your insurance will cover all the tests that you need to get a proper diagnosis. Then once you get the diagnosis, I think it's important to do your own research, and come up with your own conclusions. It's a very personal journey. I always tell people, I can only tell you what I would do and then you have to make your own decisions. I want to present to you all the options, and you may want to do it all. You may want to do a strong nutritional program, at the same time that you're doing what your doctor recommends, which could be chemo or radiation. We have doctors that are very well versed, wonderful, exciting speakers that share this information with you. I'm very honored that they support Cancer Schmancer with their expertise. We have become a leader in presenting functional medical options to the public, so that they can learn how to rebuild their body into fighting shape.” You can watch the Edu-series for free on CancerSchmancer.org.


Photo Credit: Peter Marc Jacobson


Fran stresses that everyone’s approach needs to be holistic: “Even well people need to learn how to balance mind, body and spirit. If you focus on just one you're not doing enough because the mind can make you sick if you're not peaceful with it. If you don't establish a connection with your spirituality, then your body is out of balance and you're asking for trouble. You have to have balance. We're creatures of this earth, and the celestial. We have to accept that. We're energy fields, and we have to feel the energy of the earth because we're like antennas on the earth. We're no different from trees, flowers, plants, or any life form that exists. Everything has to become nurtured from the earth's energy. We're all designed that way. We come from the earth and the earth is inside of us. I don't know where along the line we were so numbed out and dumbed down, that we don't realize that, but I'm here to tell you that has to be a daily practice. If you feel yourself out of balance, maybe circumstances beyond your control, you have to stop and take control of your body. You have to say, ‘Oh, my boss yelled at me today and it wasn't even my fault.’ Okay, so now you're all stressed, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to take a walk around the block, are you going to look up to the sky and appreciate the sun in the clouds, or maybe load up on some vitamin C and other anti oxidants, because stress compromises your immune system right away. Maybe you’re going to meditate. You don't even have to be good at it. All you have to do is relax into it. Try to keep moving your brain away from thinking and into feeling your body internally, the heartbeat, the hands… When you start to do that it's amazing how connected you can be with your inner being. That's a great meditation and it always works.”


Working on the internal will always have an effect on the external, and Fran Dresher has the beautiful skin to prove it. Smooth, dewy and youthful. “I get complimented on my skin all the time and I always appreciate it, but I do think skin is liver. If you have a healthy liver, it is going to show on your skin. I have a healthy liver and I go to great lengths to make sure that my liver is happy and healthy, and my lifestyle is such that I can keep it that way. I do all organic and I don't do any industrial farmed foods at all, animal or vegetable. I enjoy the sunshine, but enough to get my vitamin D3 and different spectrums of the sun throughout the day, because every hour of the day is a different light and we need all the light, so it's always good to keep going outside as often as you can, but I don't bake in the sun. There are very good liver cleaning practices, like coffee enemas that are good for cancer patients too. The liver is the carburetor of the body, so if you have a clean liver, not overloaded with toxins, then you have clean blood. It’s a catch-22, the body is systems within systems, nothing works autonomously. You need to make sure that you live a toxic-free life. That includes all of your personal care items. The toothpaste you use every day; if it says call poison control, throw it away, it's not for you! Everything you use should be edible, non-toxic, and can’t kill you. We shouldn’t have to lock the cabinets from our children. Something is wrong with that; we shouldn't have those kinds of toxic chemicals in the house. We were sold a bill of goods in the 20th century, that made us think that we needed this. Why? Because a lot of these chemicals were invented for war. When the war was over, we were brainwashed into thinking that we needed them, so they were repurposed onto civilian life. And that's where it all went wrong."


Photo Credit: Peter Marc Jacobson


In addition to being a champion for the health of others, Fran’s other passion is her AGWC Rockin’ Rescue fur baby, Angel Grace. A German Shepherd-Husky mix, she too has an extraordinary story of survival. It was love at fist sight. What a gift that they found each other at the perfect time, right before the pandemic lockdown.


The Cancer Schmancer Movement has become Fran’s “life’s mission”. If there’s a silver lining to cancer it’s that we have Fran Drescher fighting to educate us about our health. “If we don’t empower ourselves with knowledge then we’re going to be led down a garden path.”