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Mindy Kaling shares the biggest piece of advice her mom ever gave her

Mindy Kaling appeared in a new PSA where she discussed advice she received from her mother.

Mindy Kaling presents the award in Los Angeles.
Mindy Kaling presents the award for best animated feature film at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello, Invision via Associated Press

Mindy Kaling has opened up about the death of her mother and recently shared a big piece of advice she got from her mother before she passed away.

What’s going on?

Kaling appeared in a PSA for World Pancreatic Cancer Day. Her mother, Dr. Swati Chokalingam, died eight months after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

In the PSA — which is a part of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) annual Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month campaign — Kaling revealed the biggest piece of advice she ever received from her mom.

  • “When I was growing up, my mom was always there for me,” Kaling said. “We shared everything together, so when I found out that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it was one of the toughest moments of my life. We did everything we could for her, but we just hadn’t caught it in time.
  • “Before she died, I asked her to give me as much advice as she could. The most important thing she told me was to always be my own best friend, and that’s why I’m standing here today with my mom in spirit, to continue her fight by advocating and supporting research that advances early detection and treatments for pancreatic cancer patients and their families.”

Kaling’s family

Kaling has welcomed two children into her life since her mother died — Katherine, 2, and Spencer, who was born in 2020.

Julie Fleshman, PanCAN’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that Kaling has been a helpful spokesperson for the campaign, according to Good Morning America.

  • “We are so grateful to Mindy for her ongoing generosity and support and her vulnerability in sharing her story with us this November (Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month),” Fleshman said. “She’ll undoubtedly bring more urgency and attention to this deadly disease that is in critical need of additional research and funding.”