A chronic illness diagnosis comes with several challenges, including extensive treatment and stigmatization. According to the CDC, 6 in 10 American adults have at least one chronic condition, and 4 in 10 adults have two or more. This number does not exclude Hollywood, as some celebrities have stepped forward to share their experience of living with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Celebrities may be gorgeous, wealthy, and famous, but they are still human, which means they are vulnerable to illness just like the rest of us. They also suffer from chronic ailments that have an impact on both their daily lives and their careers.
There are many special cases that can inspire you a lot. Instead of seeing their sickness as an obstacle on the way to success, many Hollywood celebrities consider it one of their signatures. It even helps them become more outstanding in the entertainment industry. They take advantage of their weaknesses to make their performances more unique.
Sounds interesting, right? We have gathered 17 celebrities whose chronic illnesses couldn’t stop them from becoming more famous. Let’s check out the pictures below.
#1 Michael J. Fox
Though he would not share the news with the public for another seven years, Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991 at 29. His first symptom was a pinky twitch that he experienced while filming “Doc Hollywood”. He not only consistently performed in series like “Spin City”, “The Good Wife”, and “The Michael J. Fox Show”, but he also established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Since its foundation in 2000, the group has raised nearly $1 billion for the illness.
Will.i.am has confessed that he suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but revealed that he thinks it works well for when he needs to be creative. He said that “One thing I learned about ADHD is that it’s hard to keep your attention, you can’t sit still, and you’re always moving and thinking about a whole bunch of things.”
For many years, Bono has been wearing sunglasses even when indoors. Speaking on BBC1’s Graham Norton show, he explained that for the past 20 years he has had glaucoma, a condition that can make eyes more sensitive to light.
#4 Sarah Hyland
Hyland was born with kidney dysplasia, a condition in which the kidneys don’t fully develop in the womb. She had over 15 surgeries in all for her kidney condition. She recently said that she “doesn’t remember” filming many “Modern Family” episodes even when she was “asleep.” She was really severely ill at the time, as she was due to have a second kidney transplant from her brother. Sarah has also shared her disease openly.
#5 George Clooney
In 2005, while filming Syriana, George Clooney fell off a chair and cracked his head open. After three weeks in the hospital, doctors finally concluded he had torn his dura — the outer layer around the spinal cord. He had a successful operation on Christmas that same year, but he now suffers from chronic pain as a result of the accident. He claims it affects him three times every week on average.
#6 Anthony Anderson
Source: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images
For 47-year-old Anderson, the diagnosis came in 2001. And though he knew he had some changes to make, he wasn’t quick to make them. A wake-up call came when Anderson’s father passed away a decade ago from a pulmonary embolism following several complications from type 2 diabetes. He took a number of lifestyle risks, such as increasing his physical activity and improving his nutrition. As part of his “Get Real About Diabetes” illness awareness campaign, Anthony’s diabetes diagnosis was even put into an episode of “Black-ish”.
#7 Kim Kardashian
In 2011, Kim Kardashian was diagnosed with psoriasis. She tweeted in 2018: “I think the time has come to start a medication for psoriasis.” I’ve never seen it like this before and I can’t even cover it at this point. It’s taken over my body. ” In one episode of KUWTK, Kim even contacts a “Medical Medium” for guidance on holistic methods to treat her psoriasis.
#8 Lena Dunham
Source: Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images
In Vogue’s March issue, Lena Dunham shares the deeply personal story of her decade-long struggle with endometriosis in a moving essay called “Losing It.” And in a blog post for The Lenny Letter, she recalled that “a few days of every Girls season, I would come into work with that telltale stomach pain, nausea, and inability to move a muscle.”
#9 Selena Gomez
Gomez has been open about her health struggles since revealing her lupus diagnosis in 2015, being upfront about the impact the autoimmune disease has had on her health, career, and quality of life. In 2017, Gomez revealed via Instagram that she’d received a kidney transplant as part of her ongoing treatment for lupus. She was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2020. Selena told ELLE US that her desire to help others was what got her through her greatest struggles. While suffering from her lupus diagnosis, she’s recorded two albums—“Revival” in 2015 and “Rare” in 2020.
#10 Daisy Ridley
“Star Wars” star Daisy Ridley has continued to endear herself to real girls the world over, opening up about her years-long struggle with endometriosis on Instagram. She wrote, “At 15, I was diagnosed with endometriosis.” When she was cast as the lead role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she experienced a particularly bad flare-up. She told ELLE Australia, “I was in my flat going nuts, and then my skin got really bad with the stress of it all, and I hadn’t been well—I had holes in my gut wall and stuff—and we were trying to figure out what to do with that because I’d felt poorly.”
#11 Pete Davidson
Around the age of 17 or 18, Pete Davidson was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He told the High Times in 2016 that marijuana had helped him manage his stomach problems. “I wouldn’t be able to do SNL if I didn’t smoke weed,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to do anything really. My performance is not high and has gone awful. It’s awful for me because I don’t feel well. ”
#12 Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey was diagnosed with Bipolar II disease in 2001, but she didn’t tell anybody until a 2018 interview with People. “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she said. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
#13 Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin has battled Lyme disease for a long time. His initial round of symptoms was the most severe. He said to People, “I really thought, ‘This is it, I’m not going to live.’ I was alone. I wasn’t married at the time. I was divorced from my fiancé. Alec and Hilaria are always on the lookout for tick bites on their kids.first wife. I was lying in bed saying, “I’m going to die of Lyme disease,” in my bed, and “I hope someone finds me and I’m not here for too long.”
#14 Lil Wayne
Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty Images
Lil Wayne has been hospitalised after suffering multiple seizures. After a publicized health scare he went through in 2013, where he had three seizures in a row, he told a radio station, “This isn’t my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh seizure. I’ve had a bunch of seizures. Y’all just never hear about it.”
#15 Gina Rodriguez
Rodriguez has Hashimoto’s disease—a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, muscle aches and weakness, depression, and memory lapses. In 2018, she told SELF Magazine, “To the core of my being, I know what it’s like to feel like there is no way I can win this, so where do I even begin?” After years of rebelling against her body, she finally began to put more care into her health routine and found balance in her everyday life.
#16 Nick Jonas
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16. In 2015, he helped found the organization Beyond Type 1. According to its website, this organization “aims to change what it means to live with chronic illness.”
#17 Bella Hadid
Top model Bella Hadid, 24, who revealed in 2016 that she suffers from Lyme disease. She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012, together with her younger brother Anwar, 21, and their mother, Yolanda, 57. In a blog post, her mother Yolanda shared that Bella “had to give up her lifelong dream of having a professional riding career, and a shot at the Olympics, due to her severe symptoms and inability to ride. This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her.”
Last year, Bella Hadid posted an Instagram Story about the “invisible” disease and how it affected her daily life, with symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, insomnia, nausea, joint pain, weight gain and loss.