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World-renowned poet, author Maya Angelou cancels El Paso visit due to illness

By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas Distinguished poet and author Maya Angelou will no longer speak at a local charity event due to a recent hospitalization.

Angelou was the featured speaker for the 2014 Milagro Gala benefit for the El Paso Childrens hospital, but University Medical Center officials said she would not longer be able to attend.

We have received news that Dr. Maya Angelou has been hospitalized and will not be able to travel to deliver her speech at the Gala to benefit El Paso Childrens Hospital, said Dennece Knight, executive director of El Paso Childrens Hospital Foundation. We understand her first words when the doctor came in was Do what you got to do and get me out of here. I have to be in El Paso on Friday. She continues to express disappointment to her medical team regarding their instruction of no travel at this time.

In her stead, Jane Seymour has agreed to speak at the event. Seymour is best remembered for her role in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and her Open Hearts Foundation, which features her line of jewelry.

Obviously we are all hugely disappointed but it is one of those things out of our control. We are sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery (for) Dr. Angelou, and we are very grateful to Ms. Seymours assistance at the last minute, Knight said.

Tickets for Fridays event cost $150 and about 1,200 are expected to attend. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery program at the childrens hospital.