Lupus affects millions of people worldwide! Not even celebrities are spared from the claws of this dilapidating autoimmune disease.
The annual World Lupus Day is celebrated annually on May 10, with tons of people stepping up to create awareness about the autoimmune disease, and possibly find a cure. Standing at the frontlines of this annual exercise are celebrities who identify with the condition in some way.
For some, they had to watch a loved one struggle with it for years as they slowly fell apart, while others were directly affected, enduring years of struggles.
Some of these front liners are Michael Jordan, whose mom suffered from the disease, Toni Braxton, who has been open about her battles over the years, and Selena Gomez, who is defying all the odds to break the lupus barriers.
These celebrities prove how possible it is to live a healthy life after the diagnosis.
1. Toni Braxton
“Un-break My Heart” crooner Toni Braxton was first diagnosed with lupus in 2008 following a heart-attack scare. Following her diagnosis, doctors advised the star to refrain from working, as it may cause further strain to her heart, possibly leaving her in need of a transplant.
Braxton went public with her condition in November 2010, during a lupus awareness show. Aside from its damaging effect on her health, the autoimmune disease has also affected Braxton’s financial life drastically, even forcing her into bankruptcy in 2010.
In a 2015 interview, the mother of two admitted she found it difficult to balance it all on some days. Speaking on her struggles, she revealed living with lupus made every day feel like she had the flu.
Yet, she has strived to take it easy, and not let the condition take more from her. Although she’s had health scares since her diagnosis, the songstress has managed to keep her career right on track.
2. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez has greatly raised awareness about lupus in the last decade as she openly battled the disease with fierce bravery. The actress and singer first opened up about her diagnosis in an Instagram post from September 2017.
She documented her struggles, also revealing she underwent a kidney transplant, using an organ donated by her best friend and fellow actress Francia Raisa.
Although the “Princess Protection Program” star has suffered several flare-ups since then, causing her to cancel tours, she remains determined to not slow down.
Gomez manages her condition with the help of chemotherapy, constant monitoring, and taking time off when necessary. Many celebrities, including Braxton, admittedly admires the star’s resilience.
3. Lady Gaga
Although asymptomatic, Lady Gaga tested positive for borderline lupus in 2010. Having witnessed her aunt die of the disease, she knew exactly how bad it could get.
Hence, she remains determined to prevent herself from showing symptoms or coming down with lupus in full force. One way she does that is by taking extra care of herself to ensure she stays healthy. Despite her diagnosis, Gaga believes she doesn’t have the autoimmune condition.
That however has not stopped her from identifying with lupus and raising public awareness about the health condition.
4. Nick Cannon
Another figure from the list of celebrities living with lupus is Nick Cannon. With his fatherhood escapades in the last decade and numerous career ventures, one can’t help but wonder: Does Nick Cannon really have lupus?
How this entertainer, producer, and entrepreneur manages to handle it all while being a father to eight kids beats the imagination. Yet, Cannon has actively fought against Lupus since his diagnosis in 2012.
In fact, he has one of the most severe cases of the condition, with his early symptoms comprising kidney failure and blood clots in his lungs. Opening up about his struggles in a 2016 interview, the rapper admitted the onset of his condition felt “super scary” because until then, he knew nothing about lupus.
He has since changed his mindset, creating awareness about the disease while helping others dealing with it find means of making it a livable condition. His go-to hacks to prevent flare-ups include certain lifestyle changes, diet assistance, and maintaining a strong support system.
5. Terri Seymore
First diagnosed in her early twenties, “Extra” correspondent Terri Seymore is one of the celebrities living with lupus. The former model has been open about her struggles over the years, and how close she came to losing her life.
Notwithstanding, she remains committed to defying all the odds and beating lupus. Her many flare-ups over the years have not been a deterrent for the survivor.
6. Kristen Johnston
Actress Kristen Johnston came down with a rare form of lupus in 2013, forcing her to take a hiatus from her career. The autoimmune condition, lupus myelitis, greatly affected the “Third Rock From the Sun” star’s spinal cord, subjecting her to rounds of chemotherapy and steroid use.
It seems her relentless battle paid off, as the icon announced years later that she’s in remission, a victory only a few ever attain once diagnosed.
The experience gave her a new outlook on life, as the icon, diagnosed at 46, was finally able to break free from years of alcohol addiction. Additionally, she now lives each day, bearing in mind that every breaking dawn is a gift to her.
At the age of 23, English singer/songwriter Seal received the heartbreaking diagnosis that he had a specific type of autoimmune disease called discoid lupus.
The condition, characterized by constant pain and scarring left the icon with visible facial scars which he still sports years later. While he is not so outspoken about his disease, the icon considers his art as a means of channeling his pain and suffering towards something greater.
So far, tapping into that “initial adversity” has shaped Seal into a world-renowned icon.
Other stars like Trick Daddy, Maurissa Tancharoen, Shannon Boxx, and Mary McDonough are making giant strides in the fight against lupus having been diagnosed at some point in their lives.
Notably, Snoop Dogg and his wife have also been active in the fight, funding several research projects since their daughter Cori Broadus’ diagnosis as an infant.
Big names like Michael Jordan, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ian Harding, though lupus-free, have become advocates against the disease. Their selfless contribution to the fight against lupus certainly makes a huge impact in the lupus society, making them deserving of accolades.