Kellie Pickler says the fight against lung cancer is very “near and dear” to her heart.
Pickler recently joined with Lung Force, an initiative sponsored by CVS, to raise awareness and money for lung cancer research.
“My grandmother, Faye Pickler, she’s the one that raised me and the woman I called Mom,” Pickler told ABC News. “She was diagnosed with lung cancer back in January 2002 and she died the very next day, she died the very next morning.”
Pickler, 27, said that loss woke her up and made her take lung cancer seriously.
“It was very sudden, there’s no way to prepare for that,” she added. “The generation of women she grew up with, they didn’t know the long-term effects smoking would cause. She was a smoker and she was only 66 when she passed away.”
The singer continued, “I was shocked to find out, you don’t even have to be a smoker to be diagnosed with lung cancer.”
Pickler added that lung cancer is the number-one cancer killer in women, and that 72,000 women in the United States will die this year from the disease.
The American Idol alum and Dancing with the Stars champion married Kyle Jacobs in 2011, and on a lighter note, added she’s very happy.
“I love my husband, but I actually really like him too,” she said. “Yeah, we actually really like each other. We are doing great, can’t complain in that department.”
As for having children, Pickler said that isn’t on the horizon anytime soon.
“I have a band, so that’s kind of like having kids,” she joked. “We are just happy with it being just us right now. We are not working into that at this moment. I feel like we are newlyweds, we have so much to do and enjoy just the two of us.”
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