Reporting Lisa Sigell
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — For almost 30 years Julie Delgado has been singing with some of the greatest musicians of our time, but when illness struck, she fought back and found a new reason to raise her voice.
Now when Julie sings, it is with a passion that she embraces like never before.
She is in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with The 5th Dimension and has sung with many of the greats, including Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart and Elton John.
“Luther Vandross, Gloria Estefan, K.D. Lang, Janet Jackson and the list goes on and on,” Julie added.
But Julie knows it could have all been taken away.
“I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. It was the hardest thing in the world to me,” she said.
Two years ago Julie was on a ten-day break from touring with John Mayer, rehearsing with her longtime friend and musical director Tony Coleman, when she told him she had felt a lump in her breast weeks before.
“We’re specially connected and I just didn’t feel right about it. Something just didn’t rest in my soul,” Tony said.
He sent her right to the doctor and a few days later she received her diagnosis — stage 2 breast cancer.
“I thought I was going to be dead in a year. That’s what I thought. I didn’t think that I was going to make it,” Julie said.
“I lost it… And each time we would do a session or each time we would go and do a gig after that, I made it my point to be strong for her and not show any sign of weakness. It was my mission to make each day of her life memorable, because I didn’t know if she was going to be here,” said Tony, who was overcome with emotion.
It was not an easy road — the surgery, the chemotherapy — but Julie made it through with the support of her doctors, family, and, of course, friends. Now she is now a survivor.
That is when she and Tony wrote a song called “Bosom Buddie” — a love song to those who supported her written from the heart.
The song pays tribute to everyone who helped her to fight.
“I am so happy and grateful that she is here. Each day is a celebration,” Tony said.
Julie is now celebrating each day of her life. “Bosom Buddie” is the first of many songs she is working on to raise money for others fighting breast cancer.
It is a new purpose, but one for which she is ready.
“There’s life after cancer. There’s life. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give up,” she said.