"When I was at my lowest, there was Chris Evert, either a text or call" - Martina Navratilova on battling double cancer diagnosis
Martina Navratilova has expressed her appreciation for Chris Evert's unwavering support during her battle with two cancer diagnoses.
Navratilova was diagnosed with breast and throat cancer in January, 13 years after she was declared cancer-free from her previous breast cancer diagnosis. After undergoing extensive treatment, the former World No. 1 received the all-clear from doctors in June.
In an exclusive interview with the TODAY show, Navratilova opened up about her double cancer diagnosis, describing it as the most physically challenging experience of her life.
"Physically, it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I almost get PTSD when I come to New York (because) several weeks of treatment were here," she said.
Navratilova shared that Chris Evert, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2021 and received the all-clear in January this year, provided valuable support and empathy during the challenging time.
The former World No.1 also credited her and Evert's "champions mentality" for helping them navigate the ordeal.
"(Chris and I) went through the same thing essentially emotionally, and we spoke to each other and realized how much that mentality that champions mentality … helped us get through this.
"You have to stay positive in the moment. You have to stay in the solution," Martina Navratilova said.
Navratilova acknowledged the strong bond she shared with Evert, highlighting their mutual support for each other. She also expressed gratitude for the American, noting that she was always only a call or text away during the difficult period.
"We have just been so intertwined. ... I was there for her when Chris went through it, and then she was there for me. It was amazing. There was like a (thing) where when I was really feeling at my lowest — there was Chris either a text or call," she added.
Martina Navratilova: "I want women to pay attention to their bodies"
Martina Navratilova has said that she was initially diagnosed with throat cancer, but on further examination, doctors discovered a lump in her breast as well.
"The first one diagnosed was throat cancer, and then when they were looking to see exactly where it was, that’s when they found a lump on my breast. I knew it was cancer," Martina Navratilova said.
The 18-time Grand Slam champion emphasized the importance of regular screenings.
She shared that her early-stage cancer diagnosis was only possible because she regularly scheduled her scans after previously neglecting mammograms for four years before her first breast cancer diagnosis.
Navratilova urged other women to follow her example in prioritizing their health and not delay important screenings like mammograms.
"I paid attention, so that’s why I want to talk about it — because I want women to pay attention to their bodies. We take care of everybody else.
"When you get the card that the dog needs to get the rabies vaccination, we take them tomorrow. We get the card about a mammogram, and we’re like, ‘Oh, I’ll do it later,'" she said.