Celebrities like Selena Gomez and Nick Cannon have spoken out about their battles with lupus


With all of May being Lupus Awareness Month, we’re showcasing famous faces dedicated to spreading the word about the realities of the autoimmune disorder. For those who don’t know, lupus is a disease that, simply put, causes the body to ambush itself. According to the Mayo Clinic, the body’s immune system will attack its own tissues and organs. “The inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.”

With symptoms ranging from fatigue to joint pain to a butterfly-shaped facial rash, lupus is often difficult to diagnose due to its similarities to other diseases. Most cases of lupus are not fatal, and some are quite mild. Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus, but modern treatment has made living with the disease more manageable.

Being immunocompromised and living with a disability (especially today) can be a journey of isolation. Given this, we praise celebrities like singer/actress Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building) and actor/TV host Nick Cannon (Drumline) for bluntly sharing the ins and outs of their battles with lupus. Shining a light on often invisible ailments helps normalize them. Not only that, but a little education can go a long way. This is what Selena and Nick have shared about their personal experiences.

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Selena Gomez has shared her story with the intention of uniting the lupus community and helping others.

“My lupus, my kidney transplant, chemotherapy, having a mental illness, going through very public heartbreak — these were all things that honestly should have brought me down,” Selena told Elle in an intimate interview. Selena has been publicly open about her lupus diagnosis since 2015.

“Every time I was going through something, I was like, ‘What else? What else am I going to have to deal with? You’re going to help people,'” she explained. “That’s really what kept me going. There could have been a time when I wasn’t strong enough and would have done something to hurt myself.”

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We can only imagine what it is like to feel that your precious body, your beloved temple, is letting you down while the world is crumbling around you. Selena has not only been honest with fans about her diagnoses, but she has also been open about her symptoms and “life or death” treatments. Due to her lupus nephritis diagnosis, the “Lose You to Love Me” singer received a kidney transplant in 2017. Her best friend Francia Raísa (How I Met Your Father) was a brave donor angel.

Selena credits France with saving her life. Along with kidney failure, Selena has also dealt with arthritis and blood pressure irregularity. She promises to support and empower her community.

“That is why I am committed to the Lupus Research Alliance. So that none of us are alone, especially the young women I grew up with and heard many, many stories,” Selena said during a 2017 speech at the Lupus Research Alliance. Breaking Through Gala.

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Selena founded her makeup brand, Rare Beauty, in 2020. Not only is the brand message and range of shades inclusive, but a portion of its proceeds goes to the Rare Impact Fund, which aims to “help people to access mental health services. And her stunningly stylish packaging is handicap-friendly! Selena really is weird.

Nick Cannon is grateful that he can “be that voice and use [his] celebrity for proper conscience.”

Nick, the creator of Wild ‘n Out, was diagnosed with lupus in 2012. Over the past 10 years, he has “laid the foundation both mentally and physically to rebuild the life” he nearly lost due to the misunderstood disease. He started with sudden shortness of breath, swelling, and pain. You can imagine Nick’s shock when the doctors informed him that his kidneys were failing.

“After a decade of close calls, blood transfusions, chemotherapy and hospitalizations, I’m still moving forward,” Nick said in a video shown on his short-lived talk show The Nick Cannon Show. “Throughout this journey, I had to change everything about the way I live my life, and it wasn’t easy.”

Having documented his health crisis and journey, Nick tells the camera, “It’s the last place you want to be, man. The doctors tell you that you could die.

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Source: Instagram/@nickcannon

Like Selena, Nick has used his celebrity status to help others battle lupus. According to People, Nick has worked with the Lupus Foundation of America and participated in the Washington, DC Walk to End Lupus Now in 2014.

On a racier note, Nick has been widely criticized for having seven different children with four different baby moms, and he has an eighth baby with a different woman (model/actress Bre Tiesi) on the way. How is this related to lupus? Nick can explain…sort of.

“I’m probably going to die sooner than most people…so let’s fuck all night! So why use condoms? Maybe I won’t be here tomorrow!” he told Howard Stern in 2017 while discussing his battle with lupus. Well, everyone processes pain in their own way.

The Lupus Foundation of America has stated that approximately 1.5 million Americans have some form of lupus. Other famous figures like Toni Braxton and Seal have been open with their struggles. They also used their platforms to highlight the truths and misconceptions about lupus. For anyone facing serious health issues, it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone in this world and that other people can relate.


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