In her new memoir "Rearview Mirror," Alana Stewart recounts her journey from small town roots to her glittering – but often heartbreaking – life as an actress and model in Hollywood. The book shares lessons Stewart learned while overcoming her own struggles: from a chaotic childhood to the failure of her fairytale marriages to George Hamilton and Rod Stewart, but it is really a story, she says, about inner strength and unconditional love.
One of the most touching lessons in the memoir concerns Stewart's close friendship with Farrah Fawcett, who died in 2009 at age 62 after a long battle with anal cancer. Farrah was Alana's best friend for more than 30 years. As president of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, Stewart now tours the country to raise money in the search for a cancer cure, but also to build awareness about prevention.
Stewart tells Newsmax Health: "I think that research is incredibly important and hopefully one day there will be a cure for cancer. They are making great strides." SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors is Quietly Curing Cancer — Find Out How
The courage and dignity that Farrah brought to her cancer fight changed Stewart's life. Farrah, she says, "taught me a lot about unconditional love and how important it is for us to live in the moment, to enjoy every day that we are alive, and to really treasure the people that we love."
Stewart has had her own health issues, having struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome. She says she deals with it by trying to avoid thinking of it as a disease.
"I watch what I eat. I'm careful with exercise. I do enough to try to stay healthy but I don't overdo, and I pace myself ... Most important of all though, I try to think healthy thoughts."
In fact, she says, that if she could have people take anything away from her new memoir, it would be to that "No matter what kind of challenges, or difficulties, or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find – the inner strength to get through them." SPECIAL: Prayer Changes Your Brain in 4 Astonishing Ways — Find Out How