Image: Ray Romano
Jason Kempin  /  Getty Images
Comedian Ray Romano attends the benefit for "A Ray of Hope" at SVA Theatre in New York on May 14.
NBC News
updated 1/20/2011 5:42:17 PM ET 2011-01-20T22:42:17

Cause Celeb highlights a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific cause. This week we speak with television personality and stand-up comedian Ray Romanoabout his involvement with A Ray of Hope, a benefit for the SASS Foundation and its work toward the treatment and cure of ovarian cancer. A Ray of Hope's inaugural event was held May 14 at SVA Theatre in New York.

Romano is best known for his roles in the TV show "Everybody Loves Raymond," the "Ice Age" movies and the TNT series "Men of a Certain Age." Romano became involved with the SASS foundation after learning that his cousin, Linda John, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Q: Can you tell me a little about why you decided to get involved with A Ray of Hope?

Romano: My cousin Linda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer around two years ago and now she’s cured. She detected it early and was one of the lucky ones so she’s dedicating herself to fighting. She asked if I would help and I said of course. The SASS Foundation is holding this fundraiser for ovarian research and I get to come back to New York. It’s a win-win. I get to have fun and see some old friends and raise money for a good cause.

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Q: What can people do to help?

Romano: They can go to www.sassfoundation.orgfor information, or if they’re going to donate, and just spread awareness about it.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this cause?

Romano: I don’t know as much about it as my cousin Linda, but it is the first time that cancer has hit within the family and when it does, it becomes more of a reality. Before, I would just perform at charities and try to help out and it never really hit home and personal as it has in this case. It just brings an awareness of what people go through.

It’s nice to be able to spread the word now and just see that you do get to people, and people do act differently when they hear it from (you). It’s sad that I have to do something like this. You wish that people can all be aware of it without it hitting them personally, but I am just happy that my cousin has shown this courage and this bravery. It just opened my eyes a little bit to the whole thing.

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Interview by Giacinta Pace and introduction by Bernadette Moussa.

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