One of Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s most enduring legacies is her activism on behalf of HIV/AIDS patients. Her AIDS foundation carries on her work today. Liz’s longtime friend, model and entrepreneur Kathy Ireland, sits down with Rosie Mercado to talk about how Liz’s good deeds go on – and how The Doctors viewers can help!
Kathy’s in the middle of a glamorous photo shoot, but takes time out for Rosie. The images she’s posing for will be part of a new documentary for World AIDS Day. Kathy says the greatest lesson she learned from Liz was that “We must not sit idly by when there is something to be done.”
Rosie wants to know how Kathy balances her business empire, her modeling career, her family life, and her work as Ambassador on behalf of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “Oh, you’re so sweet Rosie!” Kathy answers, “Who says I do, though?” More seriously, she adds that her faith and her family keep her centered.
“Elizabeth Taylor would say that if you don’t have wrinkles and laugh lines, it probably means you’ve led a pretty dull life,” Kathy muses on aging. “I believe beautiful people come in every shape, size, color, and age! Something I rejected in the modeling industry was, so much of it was unattainable looks.” Rosie, as a plus-size model, agrees.
Kathy credits Elizabeth Taylor for inspiring much of her own success in life. “The world saw the glamor, and I got to experience the genuine person. The fierce spirit that fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.”
She reminds viewers that there are treatments, but still no cure, for HIV/AIDS. Then she announces that, “Our company, on her birthday this year, we established a matching grant of up to $100,000, and that will continue through World AIDS Day.” ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork encourages viewers to look to The Doctors website for details on how their donations can be matched dollar for dollar!
Kathy notes that, “There’s a tendency for some people to have a fear of powerful women.” She’s gotten a lot of pushback as she’s moved her corporation into technology, insurance, finance, and production. “I really think it takes tough ovaries!” she laughs.
“We overuse the word icon sometimes,” concludes ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork, “But I think she truly was iconic.” Plastic Surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon observes that Kathy is an icon too!