A slightly nasal, partially Flushing, Queens-sounding, Jewish voice will represent America on the world stage as 5769 approaches. Yes, Fran Drescher, better known for her roles in “Saturday Night Fever” and “The Nanny” has been appointed by the U.S. Department of State to be the newest U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy.

The New Voice of America

Fran: The New Voice of America

Ms. Drescher will join Cal Ripken, Jr. and Michelle Kwan as Public Diplomacy Envoys. “The Nanny” star is a Golden Globe and Emmy nominee, cancer survivor and founder of non-profit organization the Cancer Schmancer Movement. She will support U.S. public diplomacy efforts, including working with health organizations and women’s groups to raise awareness of women’s health issues, cancer awareness and detection, and patient empowerment and advocacy. Ms. Drescher’s first trip in her new role will be in late September and include stops in Romania, Hungary, Kosovo and Poland. Drescher said, “..family’s roots are from Romania and Poland, so I’m especially excited to visit those countries. And I will be mostly speaking to women about taking control of their body, that early detection equals survival.”

Drescher, a survivor of uterine cancer, successfully lobbied for the passage of Johanna’s Law, which promotes gynecological cancer education and awareness. Fran received many honors for her work advocating for cancer awareness, including the Gilda Award, the City of Hope Women of the Year Award, the Hebrew University Humanitarian Award, and the Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Spirit of Achievement Award.

In accepting her appointment from Secretary of State Rice and Assistant Secretary Ameri, Drescher quipped, “Not bad for a chubby girl from Queens…I feel like I got famous. I got cancer and I lived to talk about it, so I’m talking. As a cancer survivor, I’ve made advocacy for Stage 1 diagnosis of cancer my life’s mission. It took me two years and eight doctors to get a proper diagnosis of uterine cancer. I got in the stirrups more times than Roy Rogers. How many people go for a second opinion when the doctor’s telling you, you’re essentially well? Well, I went for seven second opinions. And it’s a good thing I did or I’d surely be dead today. If only I knew then what I know now. But unfortunately, what we don’t know is killing us… I hope that I can exemplify to women everywhere that a diagnosis of cancer is not necessarily the end of the world, but sometimes the beginning of a new one.”

Bravo to Fran, that NILF, who teaches us to turn lemons into lemonade or at least chickens into schmaltz.

About the author