Harry Connick Jr and his wife Jill Goodacre have been keeping a very personal secret. The actress and former Victoria’s Secret model has been battling breast cancer since 2012.
The pair, married since 1994, sat down for an interview this past week on his show, Harry, as this husband and wife pair looked back on the odyssey Jill dubbed her life’s greatest shock.
She told her husband, “Exactly five years ago this month I was diagnosed with breast cancer… it was just so ironic [since] it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”
This discovery happened during her yearly mammogram, which was considered clear, followed by a sonogram, given since she has dense breasts. What seemed routine was anything but after her doctors called to tell this 53-year-old she had stage one cancer.
On the air, Harry said to his wife, “I remember what you said to me. I was working down [in New Orleans].. waiting for the call… you were crying and you said, ‘I have it’–and I lost it. It was the worst feeling of helplessness I’ve ever had.”
During this intimate interview, the talk show host commended his spouse: “You were probably stronger than I was…I think you set the tone for how we were going to deal with it.”
And deal with it they did. Early detection meant no chemo but Jill did undergo a lumpectomy and radiation.
Now, five years after the diagnosis, the celebrity couple is speaking out about her diagnosis, hoping to help others learn about the need for regular ultrasounds in addition to routine mammograms.