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GH’s Maurice Benard & Kristen Alderson Talk Family Bonds During Crisis

The two friends and former GH co-workers caught up on her career, love life, and family on SOM.

Maurice Benard Kristen Alderson General HospitalMaurice Benard and Kristen Alderson on State Of Mind

General Hospital’s Maurice Benard welcomed fan favorite Kristen Alderson on his video podcast, State Of Mind. The upbeat actress tackled many subjects, including her Broadway beginnings, how Eric Braeden and The Young and the Restless inspired her to be on a soap opera, working in the real world, and coping with a life-and-death family crisis with a positive attitude.

Maurice Benard & Kristen Alderson: A Family In Crisis

The Daytime Emmy award-winning actress began stealing hearts as Starr Manning on One Life to Live in January of 1996, sparking a love affair with the fans that continued through the show’s cancellation and carried over in her crossover appearance on ABC’s sister show, General Hospital. She would later take on another role, that of Kiki Jerome, Ava’s daughter, on the daytime serial.

All the success in the world didn’t spare her family from the dreaded C word. When her beloved brother, Eddie (ex-Matthew Buchanan on OLTL), was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2016, Alderson dropped everything to be by his side. 

The actress described their relationship growing up. “It has always just been him and I. He’s my only sibling, and he’s three years younger than me. We just never fought growing up. The second they brought him home from the hospital, and I held him in my arms, I said, ‘He’s my baby.’ I didn’t want anyone else to hold him. I didn’t want anyone else to change his diapers. I was just obsessed with him. It has always been like that. I have been very protective of him.”

The Alderson siblings’ close relationship is precisely why his diagnosis threw her world upside down. “That was just the weirdest out-of-body experience I have ever had,” she explained. “They showed us this huge mass on his chest and said, ‘That is cancer.’ And we were like, ‘That can’t be good.’ They don’t know right away. They don’t know what kind of cancer. They were like, ‘We are admitting right now. He has to be on crazy steroids. He is going to go in for a biopsy right this second to test it.’”

A Positive Attitude Can Change Everything

“A week later, they said, ‘It is Hodgkins Lymphoma, stage four.’ He had six months of chemo. Every two weeks, he had three hours of chemotherapy,” explained the actress. “He didn’t lose his hair. He was feeling great, but it didn’t work.” 

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Through it all, her brother remained optimistic. “My brother was just like, ‘This is just a bump in the road. This is just a part of my story.’” She revealed to Benard (Sonny Corinthos) how her family grew closer as they rallied around their youngest member. “Because what are we going to do, cry every day? That is not going to change the outcome. And, God forbid, what if these were our last moments together? Wouldn’t we rather spend them laughing? Having a good time? Making fun of each other? So we just snapped into this positive mindset. I really think that at the end of the day, that is what saved him.”

After several failed therapies, the doctors tried a long shot. “What saved him was Keytrudo, a drug for lung cancer. It is not even a chemotherapy. It was kind of a last-ditch effort to save him, and it did. Now he has been cancer free for five years. It was insane.” Watch the entire episode to hear the full compelling story.

Kristen Alderson: Sharing With An Old Friend

Alderson shared so much with her friend and former General Hospital co-star. Benard was amazed not only by her positive attitude but by her journey both on and off screen as she shared everything from her early start in the Broadway show, as Molly in Annie, her mother’s love for The Young and the Restless that introduced her to Eric Braeden’s Victor Newman, capturing the young girl’s imagination and admiration for daytime serials.

The talented thespian revealed details about her time on the ABC soaps. Find out more about her past relationship on and off-screen with Chad Duell (Michael Corinthos, GH), how she met current GH executive producer, Frank Valentini, when he was just an intern on One Life to Live, how she stays in touch with TV mom, Kassie DePaiva (ex-Blair Cramer, OLTL), working as a waitress, and her latest project. 

Fans can follow Kristen Alderson on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Follow Maurice Benard on TwitterInstagram, and TikTok. To follow State Of Mind and subscribe, go to YouTubeInstagram, and Twitter.

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