Nearly a year to the day since she revealed her breast cancer diagnosis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus can call herself a survivor.
It was late last September that the Emmy winner confirmed she had joined the group of women to be diagnosed with breast cancer. “One in eight women get breast cancer,” the star told her followers at the time. “Today, I’m the one.”
12 months later, the star has come a long way, but don’t expect her to sit dwelling on the last year. “I’m not someone who likes looking back. I look forward. That’s how I operate,” she told InStyle. “We’ll finish an episode, and I am just ready for the next thing…I’m always just moving on, you know?”
One “next thing” is a new role: Key to the Cure ambassador. “Saks Fifth Avenue asked if I wanted to be their Key to the Cure ambassador, and it seemed like a good fit and the timing worked out well,” she told InStyle.
As is customary for Saks Fifth Avenue, the luxury department store works annually to raise money for breast cancer charities through selling designer T-shirts. This year, Louis-Dreyfus became a first-time ambassador collaborator when she worked with Wes Gordon, creative director for Carolina Herrera, on a poppy-themed T-shirt, available for sale throughout October. The shirt features the slogan, “We are fighters & we are fighting for a cure.”
“Particularly this year, when the power of women is so crucial, and it’s so vital to keep in place. So I thought the T-shirt should reflect that,” the actress explained to InStyle. “I wanted bold colors to make a bold statement, not necessarily something sweet.”
The money will go toward the Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery Foundation, an organization that supports breast cancer patients by providing financial assistance for reconstructive surgery.
“There are plenty of women who decide not to get reconstruction, which is fine,” the Veep star told the magazine. “But if you want it and can’t afford it, that’s heartbreaking to me. The gap between the haves and the have-nots in our country—it’s a very wide divide right now. I’m lucky enough to be in a union where I get fabulous benefits. Not everyone is so lucky.”
In the meantime, the star is coming to terms with how surviving cancer has impacted her.
“I do feel different, but I can’t quite articulate how. I’ve come out the other side of this, and I’m still not exactly sure how to define the difference other than to say I’m grateful, of course, but it’s more than that,” she told InStyle. “It’s bigger.”