Lady Gaga writes beautiful tribute to friend she lost to cancer
Breast cancer is likely to touch every woman’s life. An estimated 12 percent of women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point during their lives. Even more will be diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer. The women who don’t suffer from the disease themselves will probably know someone who does.
Sonja Durham, Lady Gaga’s friend and former assistant and manager, died Friday after a long battle with the disease. The two had been friends for nearly 10 years, and Gaga made a number of touching social media posts in tribute to her friend.
“Watching one of my best friends in the world show unfathomable courage, strength, and positivity while battling cancer has really changed my life,” Gaga wrote on Instagram. “Thank you Sonja for inspiring me and all of us everyday with your joy.”
Durham was the inspiration behind Gaga’s new song, “Grigio Girls.” She and Gaga were close friends, and Gaga made donations to help fund her treatment while she was fighting her breast cancer, which was diagnosed at stage IV and metastasized into her lungs and brain. At Coachella last month, Gaga dedicated an acoustic performance of her hit “Edge of Glory” to Durham.
“I don’t know how to put a price on a friendship,” she wrote in another post. “I’m not even sure how you can assess the size of its meaning, only really your heart truly knows and it’s too special for words. I feel two competing feelings. Firstly, that I will live everyday with more passion, more determination, more compassion and more giving than ever before.”
She continued, “Because that’s who she was, and it’s what drew us to each other, and I know it’s what she always wanted for me. She had this incredible way of releasing me from the anchor of my own sadness that held me back, she loved me fearlessly while I learned how to cope with fame and stay inspired no matter how scared I was. She knew all I cared about was the music. She made that ok.”
Durham’s death was eye-opening for Gaga. She wrote in one of her tributes to Durham that she plans to use this experience and her fame and influence to work toward a cure.
“I vow to be a warrior for her and be a voice for cancer patients so the world can continue to improve the dialogue and the fight,” she wrote.