What if Shannen Doherty Never Had Cancer in the First Place?

Over the weekend one of the biggest pieces of news has been about Shannen Doherty’s return to the red carpet at the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundations’ Gratitude Gala with founder Marc Ching, just days after revealing that she had finished her chemotherapy treatment.  Doherty says that she’s feeling great and fans couldn’t be more pleased.

“I feel great,” she tells PEOPLE at the event. “I feel great, I feel like lucky. Lucky that I’m here, lucky that I’m standing next to Marc, lucky that I get to be a part of this foundation, lucky that we get to be a voice tonight for the voiceless and just lucky.”

Back in 2015 Doherty revealed that she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.   Since then the former 90210 and Charmed star has courageously made her battle with cancer a very public one so that she can raise awareness and help fight the disease.   Since that time Doherty’s been nothing but grateful for the support she’s received and the treatment from her medical staff.  Only there’s one thing that I have concerns with.

What if Doherty never had cancer?  While I think she is courageous and I couldn’t be more proud of her actions, this is something that’s been brewing in my head and a huge elephant in the room.  Imagine if Shannen Doherty never had cancer in the first place.  Would people be as forgiving as they are now?  Would the cast of 90210 been publicly supportive of their co-star?  Would we still be cracking jokes about how Luke Perry used to eat garlic before kissing scenes with Doherty?

See that’s the thing that no one talks about.  If I’m a betting man then I would say that if Doherty didn’t have cancer she’d still be getting made fun of and there would be no public support.  This is very similar to any other time in life we see tragedy.   Remember how the nation unified after 9/11?  Remember how we were “one” for a period of about a week until people went back to “normal?”  If you lived in the Northeast remember how much we all worked together after Hurricane Sandy?  While tragic, the event brought people closer.

The same thing is happening here.  This isn’t me saying that Doherty’s support is false in any way.  In fact I couldn’t be happier for the support she’s gotten and the positivity surrounding her rigth now.  My point is that I’m disappointed that it always seem to take a serious tragedy to bring out our best.   Why can’t it be this way all the time?

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

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