Jeff Bridges feels lucky to be alive after almost dying from COVID-19 while fighting cancer. The Old Man star, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2020, is reminding those who are immunocompromised that the pandemic isn't over in a new Up the Antibodies campaign.
"I love being alive, man. And I got very close to losing it all," Bridges says in the new PSA.
The 72-year-old Oscar-winning actor knew something was wrong two years ago when he was exercising and felt like he had an extra "bone" in his stomach. It turned out to be a 9 by 12 inch tumor in his abdomen.
"There was no pain and it turns out I had lymphoma," he explains.
While Bridges underwent chemotherapy, he contracted COVID-19 at the treatment center.
Related video: Jeff Bridges was 'close to dying' after getting COVID during cancer battle
"It turns out that COVID made my cancer look like a piece of cake. So it knocked me out. It was a bizarre experience," the actor recalls. "In times like that where you're close to death man, I mean they didn't know if I was going to make it a lot of times."
Near death, Bridges "realized how dear and how important the intimacy" is with his family. The actor's goal was to walk his daughter, Hayley, down the aisle. He accomplished that last year. Bridges not only survived COVID, but was told in 2021 his cancer was in remission.
"Not everybody understands what immunocompromised people are going through right now," he shares.
Part of the actor's treatment was undergoing long-acting monoclonal antibody therapy at his doctor's suggestion. The extra layer of protection seemed to work when his wife came down with the coronavirus.
"I'm in the house with her, but I didn't get it," he notes.
By sharing his story, Bridges hopes to help immunocompromised start to get back out into the world.
"I'm hoping that I influence people to call their doctors, talk to them and see if this is for them," he shared. "We're all in this thing together and we make a difference."