Time For A Check Up: Celebrities Who Are Coping With Serious Illnesses

June 19, 2013  |  
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White coat anxiety is real. If you’ve ever gone to the doctor for a followup after tests, only to be diagnosed with a serious illness like diabetes or cancer, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It can be devastating when you don’t have a clean bill of health. That’s why eating healthily and exercising is so important. But sometimes illnesses just can’t be prevented, no matter how much money or power you have.

We know all too well celebs aren’t immune to illness either. They battle breast cancer, diabetes, and a host of other diseases the same as the rest of us. Perhaps it makes it that much easier to cope with an illness knowing that our fav celeb has had to manage their illness as well. Check out the following stars who are living with serious medical conditions on a daily basis.

T-Boz And Sickle Cell Anemia

Doctors told this songstress from the singing sensation group, TLC, that she wouldn’t live past 30, have kids, or lead a normal life due to her sickle cell anemia. She gawked at the doctor, wondering who he was talking to because he wasn’t telling her life story. T-Boz learned to deal with the pain from an early age, having been diagnosed at the young age of eight. And even overcame a brain tumor many years later.
Sickle cell disease is a rare, genetic blood disorder. Acute pain episodes — or “sickle cell crises” —    are usually treated with pain medication, bed rest, oxygen, and fluids.

Toni Braxton And Lupus

Toni Braxton originally revealed her diagnosis at a lupus benefit. She said, “Lupus medication actually causes most women to gain weight. But we’re still fabulous! I’m going to work it on out.” Corticosteroids—the main lupus treatment can cause weight gain, but exercise can help people with lupus manage their weight.

Robin Roberts And Cancer

After beating breast cancer five years ago, GMA host Robin Roberts was faced with another illness – MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome.  It’s a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia. Roberts underwent a serious round of chemotherapy treatments and then a bone marrow transplant, and although noticeably frail, has fully recovered.


Montell Williams And Multiple Sclerosis

Back in 1999, talk show host Montell Williams shared with the world that he was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. “When the doctor said those three words – You have MS, it hit me like a ton of bricks, ” Williams wrote on his website. Instead of wallowing in depression though, Williams started a foundation, The Montell Williams Foundation, to raise awareness of the disease and promote research for its cure.

Sherri Shepherd And Diabetes

Diagnosed with diabetes four years ago, The View host quickly made some lifestyle changes. She began eating healthily and exercising. And she went from 197lbs to 151lbs. She shared, “I looked at diabetes as my friend instead of looking at it like the enemy.” Shepherd  jokes that her book Plan D is “diabetes for dummies” and outlines a three-step process for healthy eating and living with the disease.

Prince And Epilepsy

One of a kind singer/entertainer Prince revealed to Tavis Smiley that he suffered from epilepsy and had seizures as a child. He said,”My mother and father did not know what to do or how to handle it and did the best they could with what little they had.” He went to his mom one day and told her he wasn’t going to be sick anymore because an angel told him so.

Halle Berry And Diabetes

Beautiful actress Halle Berry was diagnosed with diabetes in 1989. She was 22 then, and became ill while working on the television show “Living Dolls.” She has Type 2 diabetes and manages her illness with exercise and a healthy diet.

Nick Cannon And Lupus

Nick Cannon told the public that his hospitalization for kidney failure was due to an autoimmune disease linked to a “lupus type of thing and no one else had it in his family.” Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body  skin, joints or organs.

Venus Williams And Sjögren’s Syndrome

Talented tennis player Venus Williams confided to the press that she had this autoimmune disease that robbed her of her energy and made it increasingly difficult to compete. Dry eyes and mouth and serious fatigue are symptoms of this disorder due to white blood cells attacking moisture-producing glands.


Missy Elliot And Graves’s Disease

Famous rapper Missy Elliot has been battling Graves Disease for quite some time. At one point, it got so bad that she could not write or drive a car. This autoimmune disease impacts the thyroid and can lead to goiter, fatigue, insomnia, eye problems and more.

Seal And Lupus

The British singer was diagnosed with a rare form of lupus called discoid lupus erythematosus, a type of lupus involving only the skin. This disease resulted in the scarring on his face. It can also cause sores on the face and scalp. People with this disease need to monitor their sun exposure and are super sensitive to ultra violet lighting.

Allan Pineda Lindo And Nystagmus

Known as Apl.de.ap, this Mohawk-wearing singer in the Grammy Award winning group Black Eyed Peas, can’t see. He suffers from Nystagmus, which causes involuntary movements of the eye. This has not, however, stopped him from deejaying, breakdancing and doing back flips. He doubted himself for a long time until he “discovered hip hop.” He weaves around his disorder. “I’m good at shapes,” he says. He familiarizes himself with the stage before performances and visualizes himself on the stage floor.

Jillian Michaels And Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Endometriosis

Fitness guru Jillian Michaels suffers from PCOS, a condition in which the woman’s female sex hormones are unbalanced. It causes changes in the menstrual cycle, skin, weight and small cysts on ovaries. It can also make it extremely difficult to near impossible to  become pregnant. Endometriosis occurs when cells from the lining of the uterus become displaced and grow in other areas of the abdomen or body, leading to pain and irregular bleeding. She eats organic foods and works out on a regular basis to combat her disorder.

Patti Labelle And Diabetes

Grammy award winning singer Patti Labelle thought her diabetes diagnosis meant no more fun in the kitchen when she was diagnosed 14 years ago. She absolutely loved fried chicken and pasta. With a family history of diabetes, she cried when the doctor told her she had the disease. She has since taken hold of her situation by eating all the right foods and exercising. Her favorite cardio is dancing on stage, where she shakes it! The self professed “divabetic” credits keeping her disease in check by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

David Garrard And Crohn’s Disease

Former quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars knew something was wrong when he kept getting sick after eating meals. He was diagnosed with chron’s disease in 2004 and underwent surgery where almost a foot of his intestines was removed.  Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that requires continuous management, including meds, a special diet, and in some cases, even surgery. This condition can truly impact a person’s life, as flare-ups can cause abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, and others uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms.


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