By Lynda Hirsch

September 14, 2019 3 min read

Three normally private soap stars have shared their different medical issues in hopes of helping people. Maurice Benard (Sonny on "General Hospital" for over 25 years), Cameron Mathison (Ryan on "All My Children" for 17) and Eddie Alderson (Matt on "One Life to Live") all took to social media this week.

On Suicide Prevention Day, Benard, who has talked about his struggle with bipolar, said he wants people to know there is help. He knows because he's received it. He was first diagnosed when he was 21. He was hospitalized and placed on medication. When he joined "General Hospital," he had a full-blown attack on set. The show stood behind him. Remember, it was the '90s, and few were enlightened about mental illness. He has been a voice for those who suffer from it or are dealing with people who have the issue. His "General Hospital" character has the same issue. Benard insists that the show deal with it in the proper manner. Every so often, Sonny stops his medications. Benard knows that all too well. In his life, he has stopped his medication. The results were always the same. He would stop, and his mental health issues would return. Having talked to him about this — then, as now — he says, "Medication is the key.''

For the past four years, Eddie Alderson (Matthew on "One Life to Live" for over a decade) has battled lymphoma. He underwent chemo, radiation and a stem cell implant. On his never-surrender post, he revealed that at his last checkup he is cancer-free. He knows that could change. In his never-surrender mode, he says if it happens, he and the doctors will deal with it. His big sister, Kristen Alderson, who played Starr on "One life to Live" for over 20 years, has been his social media cheerleader. She thanks everyone for their prayers and good wishes. She is over the moon.

Cameron Mathison, who played Ryan on "All My Children" for 14 years and now co-hosts "Home and Family" on the Hallmark Channel, was diagnosed with kidney cancer last week. He underwent surgery on Sept. 12. In his very positive post, he explained: "I went for a regular checkup. They found a lump on one of my kidneys."

Mathison never felt ill and is a fitness buff. He was told the cancer must have started 10 years ago. That medical checkup just may have saved his life. He wants his viewers and fans to know it's important to get that checkup.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: stevepb at Pixabay

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