Sandra Lee's Cancer Battle Detailed in HBO Doc Premiering at Sundance

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Sandra Lee

The lifestyle guru and her longtime partner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, gave director Cathy Chermol Schrijver unfettered access for the short 'RX Early Detection.'

Politicians typically keep their private lives out of public view. But a new HBO documentary will chronicle the breast cancer odyssey faced by Sandra Lee, the de facto first lady of New York.

The Daytime Emmy-winning lifestyle guru and her longtime partner, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, gave director Cathy Chermol Schrijver unfettered access to their homes, doctors' appointments and hospital rooms for the short RX Early Detection: A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee, which will make its world premiere Jan. 21 at the Sundance Film Festival.

"The film was a wonderful collaboration of like-minded people focused on making a difference," says Lee, 51, of RX, which goes from the routine mammogram that detected cancer in March 2015 to Lee's double mastectomy that May.

Lee and Cuomo, 60, whose daughter Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo is featured in the film, hope sharing Lee's story will encourage mammograms. In New York, that became easier when Cuomo signed legislation in June 2016 expanding access to screenings. 

This story first appeared in the Jan. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.