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Imagine losing your ability to perform the most mundane tasks: brushing your teeth, walking your dog, seeing a sunset.
For many celebrities, simple tasks have become arduous in the face of partial paralysis, visual impairment or memory loss.
But there can be a silver lining when stars go public with their health issues. Dr. Nicole Saphier, a New York physician, Fox News contributor and best-selling author of ‘Make America Healthy Again,’ says this generation normalizes talking about illness in a way that previous generations didn’t. not done.
“It’s hugely important because we’re living longer and suffering from chronic illnesses. By normalizing the conversation, more people will seek treatment and be able to support others.”
Here’s a look at the celebrities who shared their health battles.
ASHTON KUTCHER’S VASCULITIS, A RARE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE: WHAT IS IT?
Ashton Kutcher – Vasculitis
Ashton Kutcher has shocked fans by revealing that a few years ago he lost his ability to walk, hear and see.
In an episode of National Geographic’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” Kutcher shared his battle with the rare autoimmune disease called vasculitis. He detailed the drastic symptoms he battled, adding: “You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone.”
The ‘That 70’s Show’ actor then took to Twitter to clarify that he was “fully recovered” and “moving on”, even planning to run the New York City Marathon in 2022.
Justin Bieber – Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Justin Bieber’s Justice World Tour was underway when the superstar began canceling shows. In a revealing Instagram post, he got real with fans and explained what was going on.
The “Ghost” singer shared that he was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which left half of his face paralyzed.
“It’s pretty serious as you can see,” he said in a video. “I wish it wasn’t, but obviously my body is telling me I need to slow down.”
JUSTIN BIEBER PERFORMS FOR FIRST TIME AFTER WORLD TOUR DATES CANCELLED DUE TO RAMSAY HUNT SYNDROME DIAGNOSIS
Just over a week ago, the 28-year-old performed for the first time since announcing his diagnosis. Shortly after the performance, Bieber noted in an Instagram post to fans, “I missed you.”
Emilia Clarke – Brain Aneurysm
‘Game of Thrones’ actress Emilia Clarke revealed in 2019 that while playing Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, she suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms, causing her irreparable damage.
In an essay for The New Yorker, Clarke detailed the overwhelming pain and nausea she felt in the middle of a workout.
“I said to myself: ‘I will not be paralyzed.’ I wiggled my fingers and toes to make sure it was real,” she wrote. “To keep my memory alive, I tried to recall, among other things, certain lines from ‘Game of Thrones’.”
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Emilia later learned that she had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a type of life-threatening stroke or aneurysm. This led to the actress having her first brain surgery. She said she couldn’t remember her own name when she first woke up, but eventually recovered.
Only a few years later, doctors had to do more invasive surgery after a second aneurysm.
Six years after her second surgery, the actress says she has made a full recovery but is grateful to have told her story.
Melanie Griffith – Epilepsy
Melanie Griffith had seizures, which happened when she was very stressed. After suffering a series of seizures in France, Griffith returned to the United States and later revealed during a Women’s Brain Health Initiative panel, “I was diagnosed with epilepsy.”
Griffith, who was married to Antonio Banderas for 18 years and is the mother of actress Dakota Johnson, said she found relief in medication and also in her divorce.
“I got divorced, which is the real healer for me,” she said.
MELANIE GRIFFITH FIGHTS EPILEPSY, SAYS DIVORCE HELPED RECOVERY
In 2017, the ‘Working Girl’ actress revealed she got an “all clear” from a medical center, which tested her brain and couldn’t find epilepsy.
“I thank God for being in a position where I was able to, like, find out where I could go, it’s the newest high-tech place to find as much information as possible,” she said. declared. “If I was living in poverty with four kids and couldn’t make ends meet and had a fucking breakdown. What are you doing? How does the average person, male or female, get help?”
While access to health care is a different conversation, Dr. Saphier says celebrities publicly discussing their health issues are very helpful to the general public.
“Often when people see someone they ‘know’ talking about a health issue, others who may be going through something similar feel like they’re not alone in their struggle. . It may also encourage others to seek medical evaluation and treatment.”
Michael J. Fox – Parkinson’s Disease
Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 29. Now over 60, he has lived more than half his life with this brain disease. He did not go public with his diagnosis until eight years after his diagnosis.
In a 2020 interview with People magazine, Fox said acting has become increasingly difficult as the disease affects his speech and memory, making it difficult to learn lines.
More recently, the ‘Back to the Future’ actor said in an interview with AARP, “The disease is that thing that’s attached to my life — it’s not the driver.”
In 2000, Fox launched the nonprofit Michael J. Fox Foundation, which strives to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. The foundation has led to more than a dozen clinical trials and therapeutic programs. The foundation is a resource for those who have already been diagnosed or who have just been diagnosed.
Dr. Saphier notes that celebrities sharing their health journeys can bring greater public knowledge of their illnesses.
“Michael J. Fox also announced his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, making it a household name rather than some obscure neurological condition that most people haven’t heard of.”
Selena Gomez – Lupus
Selena Gomez’s battle with the autoimmune disease Lupus reached a frightening climax when the actress underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
Selena’s friend and co-actress Francia Raisa donated a kidney.
In 2015, Gomez shared her diagnosis and revealed she was undergoing chemotherapy in an interview with Billboard.
After her major surgery, the ‘Lose You to Love Me’ singer revealed to Savannah Guthrie on ‘Today’ that she was taken back to the operating room because the kidney was moving in her body. She was operated on for an additional six hours.
Gomez said his recovery period was intense. She was only allowed to walk for an hour a day. However, she says her arthritis went away immediately and there is only a 3-5% chance that her lupus will return.
Charlie Sheen – HIV
In a 2015 interview with Matt Lauer on “Today,” Charlie Sheen said, “Those are three tough letters to take in. It is a turning point in his life.” The actor had been diagnosed with HIV.
The ‘Two and a Half Men’ star said his discovery of the disease “started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches”.
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At the time the interview aired, Sheen’s doctor said her body had “undetected viral loads” of HIV. Sheen says he embarked on a late-stage FDA-backed drug trial that was soon to be approved.
Sheen, who initially didn’t want to be transparent about his illness, had his doubts.
“I now have a responsibility to improve myself and help a lot of other people, and I hope that with what we’re doing today, others will come forward and say, ‘Thank you, Charlie.’ ”