When you think of celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Shania Twain, Selena Gomez and Tom Hanks, you never stop and think “chronic illness”. With time, they have all brought their personal health issues to the light and are sharing their story with the world. We now know that Lady Gaga suffers from fibromyalgia, Shania Twain with Lyme disease, Selena Gomez with lupus and Tom Hanks with type 2 diabetes. They all have shared how their chronic illness has changed their everyday life, the daily struggles of dealing with their particular chronic illness and how it affects their ability to perform.
Tom Hanks and his actress wife Rita Wilson have made a lifestyle change in how and what they eat. Tom and Rita are committed to daily exercise. Hikes and walks are some of their favorite activities. With a positive attitude and healthy goals, they both believe that they can control his diabetes and not let diabetes control him. Tom Hanks spreads the message of dealing with type 2 diabetes at any opportunity.
Lady Gaga’s early September announcement that she was canceling her tour due to fibromyalgia really put the disease in the spotlight. Lady Gaga took to social media to reveal to her fans that she would not be able to perform due to her fibromyalgia related trauma and chronic pain. This took everyone by surprise. The Little Monsters (common name for Lady Gaga fans) know that she is the ultimate performer and to having to cancel shows due to her fibromyalgia sends a powerful message about how difficult it is to live with this chronic illness. When Lady Gaga went public, there were many fibromyalgia sufferers who responded to her with empathetic posts via social media.
Shania Twain has also shared the story of her struggle with Lyme disease and how it almost destroyed her singing voice. She informed her fans of the hard-fought battle she has had with her health and the effects of her illness. In interviews, she explains that her long break between performing was because of Lyme disease and the toll that it had taken on her vocal chords. Lyme disease is another chronic illness that is very often misunderstood by people. Someone suffering from the illness may appear intellectually lazy, careless about others and moody. Shania Twain has shared how all her years of suffering in silence had a drastic and negative effect on her life. Sharing her story with the world about Lyme disease has helped her as well as others.
Selena Gomez’s recent low profile had her fans wondering. She has always been very vocal about her diagnosis with lupus and the struggles that come with this chronic illness. Recently, she underwent a kidney transplant and took to Instagram to share a post-surgery photo.
It’s easy to think that people who live a glamorously, famous lifestyle could never be diagnosed with a chronic illness but it’s important to remember that chronic illness can target anybody. We must support each other and be more understanding and empathetic to the struggles that chronic illness sufferers deal with every day.
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