Celebrities You Didn’t Realize Are Living With A Chronic Illness

In the US, 6 in 10 adults have a chronic disease. Celebrities who live with chronic disease can play an important role in raising awareness by being open about their own struggles. Did you know that these stars live with a life-threatening, chronic, or rare disease?

Lil Wayne – Epilepsy

The rapper revealed in March 2013 that he has epilepsy, a neurological brain disorder can cause recurring seizures, violent muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. Back in 2013 the rapper was hospitalized and credited stress and lack of sleep for back-to-back seizures.


Michael J Fox – Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J. Fox, well-known for his role in the Back to the Future film trilogy, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at 29 years old. This progressive nervous system disorder affects mobility. Tremors are common, but the disease also frequently causes stiffness or slowing of movement. Contrary to popular belief, Parkinson’s also affects young people.


Selena Gomez – Lupus

Selena Gomez revealed in 2015 that she has lupus, an inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. In Gomez’s case, lupus harmed her kidneys. “It actually got to a point where it was life or death,” she said. “Thankfully, one of my best friends gave me her kidney and it was the ultimate gift of life. And I am doing quite well now.”


Selma Blair – Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Actress Selma Blair has shared her journey publicly since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). With MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

On Good Morning America, she spoke about finally being diagnosed, stating, “I cried. I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic — they were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control. There was some relief in that, because ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know. I was giving it everything to seem normal.”


Dan Reynolds – Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

The Imagine Dragons lead singer first felt debilitating back pain eight years ago. After consulting with numerous doctors and finding zero answers, Reynolds asked a rheumatologist about AS, a chronic condition that causes joint inflammation. He’s found some relief through yoga and healthy eating, and now advocates to raise awareness through a web-based talk show.

“I couldn’t get on stage. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t sleep at night. I couldn’t perform without standing perfectly still. I couldn’t sit down for more than a half an hour.”

At The Assistance Fund (TAF), we help underinsured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases afford critical treatment. To learn more about our programs for conditions like these, visit https://enroll.tafcares.org/. To help thousands of people who rely on TAF to ease the financial burden of receiving the care they so desperately need, donate online or become a TAF Champion today.

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