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Today I want to shed some light on some famous faces that share the struggle of living with chronic invisible illness. These fellow spoonies are important because they have the opportunity to be advocates and spokespeople for those of us who don't have a platform. I also think it's fascinating and important because celebs often have the resources to try treatments and therapies that are too expensive for most of us, or that we don't have access to, so they in some terms are on the edge of the frontier with more experimental healing - remember critical caps on (there are unfortunately plenty of famous people taking advantage of the world of the chronically ill by selling expensive supplements and lifestyle treatments as cures) - which could bring to light treatments that might work to help symptoms or resolve disease.
Another important benefit to seeing celebs with illnesses is it can make us feel less alone - and if they're particularly good advocates, they give us hope.
Laura Hillenbrand - The author of Seabiscuit and Unbroken, severely disabled by ME/CFS, she wrote one of the most popular articles in The New Yorker - A Sudden Illness about her experience with the illness. She dedicated Unbroken, "For the wounded and the lost."
Cher - Has previously called her illness "Epstein Barr Virus" on the Ellen Show, but has recently referred to it as ME/CFS. She's had trouble with her fatigue and post exertion malaise since the late 80's. Cancelled shows due to her illness have been big in the tabloids, but always refer to a "mystery virus". “My experience was that it was really a physical illness — but it does make you depressed as well ... Boy, it was devastating for me.”
Actor Jon Campling (Harry Potter Death-eater) is a huge advocate for ME Research through InvestInMe on behalf of his wife with ME/CFS.
East Enders / Love Actually's Martine McCutcheon opened up a few years ago about her decade long battle with ME/CFS, and an additional video here about what she's been doing to try to recover.
Royal Harpist Claire Jones recovered from ME/CFS and received treatment from The Optimum Health Clinic and shares her story here.
American soccer star Michelle Akers suffered with ME/CFS as she was in the height of her pro-athlete career -FourFour Two wrote in 2016: The greatest women's player in history -- she's No. 1 on our list of Americans -- continued to star for the U.S. women through 2000, despite battling chronic-fatigue syndrome. Later that year, she was named Women's Player of the Century by FIFA. The National Soccer Hall-of-Famer today runs Michelle Akers Horse Rescue & Outreach, Inc., a Georgia nonprofit dedicated to saving horses.
Lady Gaga recently opened up about her chronic pain, and while the diagnosis is vague, her recent posts have been in support of everyone struggling with chronic conditions.
Morgan Freeman has Fibromyalgia as well as Sinead O'Conner and comedian Janeane Garofalo.
I'm including Chronic Lyme Disease diagnosis' here because many people with Lyme are often diagnosed with ME/CFS first - the symptoms, lifestyles, and healing protocols are generally the same or very similar.
Alec Baldwin, George W. Bush, Ben Stiller, Amy Tan and Richard Gere are listed here.
Shania Twain recently opened up about her 14 year battle with Lyme Disease Here
Avril Lavigne shares her frustration with an initial diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and then Lyme Diagnosis here.
I hope this has helped - the visibility and knowledge of these struggles will only help to move research and advocacy forward.
Other Spoonies Like Us
Lena Dunham's writing on her struggle with Endometriosis is extremely relatable.
Selena Gomez's diagnosis with Lupus lead her on a difficult journey spoonies can relate to.
Modern Family's Sarah Hyland has found her strength in confronting people who judge her looks based on the symptoms and side effects she has from multiple illnesses related to kidney diseases.
Kim Kardashian has been open about her Psoriasis and how she's learned to live with it.
See you for our LAST DAY tomorrow!
See Day 1 for the full Table of Contents
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