Lupus is an incurable immune system illness affecting at least 5 million people worldwide. Symptoms include joint and muscle pain and extreme tiredness and the disease is more often found in females.
Since Lupus is considered to be more common than Leukaemia, Muscular Dystrophy and Multiple Sclerosis, it is not surprising that a number of celebrities suffer from this condition. So here’s a list of 15 celebs diagnosed with Lupus, who are still fabulous:
One of America’s greatest fiction authors. Flannery O’Connor was diagnosed with Lupus in 1950 but didn’t let that stop her from creating some of the finest comedy in American Literature. In 2000 she was inducted as a charter member in to the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
American Singer-Songwriter Toni Braxton may have sold over 67 million records, but she still struggles with the everyday effects of Lupus admitting that she sometimes spends the day relaxing in bed.
Paralympic Equestrian Dale Dedrick was diagnosed with Lupus whilst studying to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the University of Michigan. After retiring in 1992 as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine, she went on to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
One of the greatest entertainers of all time. It is thought that Michael Jackson was diagnosed with Lupus in 1983, but he didn’t let any of his medical conditions stop him from getting up on stage and performing from an early age right up until his death in 2009.
English singer-songwriter Seal has won various awards for his musical talents, selling over 30 million albums worldwide. Seal first suffered with Lupus in childhood, resulting in facial scars and hair loss. But he hasn’t let the disease stop him from achieving his goals and becoming a successful singer and songwriter.
Selena Gomez started acting when she was just 7 years old before becoming a pop singer. Last year she revealed that in 2013 she was diagnosed with Lupus and underwent chemotherapy for the condition. Since then, she has continued performing and recording new music and is currently taking a well deserved break from the limelight.
America’s got talent presenter and all round performer Nick Cannon was first diagnosed with Lupus in 2012 after receiving treatment for mild kidney failure. Since his diagnosis he has changed his diet and lifestyle and feels healthier than ever, hoping to show others that Lupus is something you can live with.
Originally a member of girl band Eternal, Kelle became unwell for a period of time before being diagnosed with Lupus. Determined to still make music, she recorded a solo album and promoted it, all whilst recovering from a hospital stay. Kelle is now a patron of the St. Thomas’ Lupus Trust helping to raise awareness of the autoimmune disease.
During her early career Terri Seymour was a commercial model. It was during this time, in her early twenties, that she was diagnosed with Lupus. She went on to become a hostess on the popular show ‘Wheel of Fortune’ before moving over to the States to continue hosting and modelling. In March 2015 Terri Seymour gave birth to her beautiful daughter Coco.
Mary McDonough is well known for her acting role as Erin in ‘The Waltons’, but she is now a spokeswoman for both Lupus and Fibromyalgia after suffering with both conditions herself. McDonough leads a number of workshops and spends one-on-one time with people going through medical issues. She has also written a book detailing her struggles with Lupus and Fibromyalgia and giving words of motivation to other people.
American Soul, Jazz and Gospel singer and Pianist Oleta Adams discovered she had Lupus in 2004. She has never allowed it to stop her from living her life and has continued to sing, including performances at Lupus Foundation of America’s New York City Butterfly Gala.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Although not proven, many historians believe that Beethoven did in fact suffer from Lupus after reading the letters he wrote to his brothers detailing his suffering over the years. Portraits of Beethoven also show the flushed cheeks and nose which could be the butterfly rash that is common with Lupus.
Famous for acting roles in ‘My Favourite Martian’, ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Star Trek’, Ray Walston was incredibly talented. He was diagnosed with Lupus in 1994 but still continued to act starring in 'The Addams Family Reunion' and a movie remake of his hit show 'My Favourite Martian' before he passed away aged 86.
Olympic gold medallist and world cup soccer player Shannon Boxx found out she had Lupus in 2007 but didn’t let that stop her from playing the sport she loves. Boxx has proved that even with a disease like Lupus, you can remain active and don’t have to give up something you enjoy. Shannon also works with the Lupus Foundation of America to help raise awareness of the condition.
Actress Kristen Johnston is most famous for her roles in 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas and The Exes. Since being diagnosed with Lupus in 2013, she has continued her acting career and is set to star in new movie ‘Thrill Ride’ later this year.
To learn more about Lupus or get involved in raising awareness and fundraising, visit http://www.lupusuk.org.uk/