One of the worst things about suffering from a disease like lupus is that a person feels very alone. Despite the fact that nearly a million and a half others have this disease it is not a glamorous disease and does not get the media play that comes from having celebrities interested in it.
There is no Michael J. Fox to speak for it as he does for Parkinson’s disease. There is no Jerry Lewis to run telethons as he has for decades for muscular dystrophy. Yet if we take look around there are many celebrities, actors, singers, athletes, models and authors who have this disease. Perhaps if some of them would be a little more public about it there would be more done to find a cure.
At the very least known that others out there have the same condition will help to make the lupus sufferer feel less isolated. Mary Elizabeth McDonough who played Erin on the Waltons has lupus. She feels that the leaky silicone breast implants she had are at the root of this disease developing. She has had the implants removed.
James Yancy, known to millions as J Dilla died last year of complications from lupus. He was only thirty two. He had spent two years on dialysis because his kidneys had been badly damaged by lupus. He was a very well-known and respected music producer.
Millie the Dog
Lupus was brought into the public eye by a book written from the White House. No, it was not about a president or even first lady with lupus but their dog. Yes, dogs can get lupus too. This dog belonged to former president Bush and his wife Barbara. Her name was Millie and she lived with lupus for many years, even had puppies with no difficulty.
Millie, with a little help, wrote a book about what it was like to live with lupus. It inspired many. She has since died of old age. One of her descendents, Spot, is the current dog living at the White House. But, he is a male and so is highly unlikely to develop the same disease issues.
Singer Seal has made no secret of the fact that the scars he has on his face are from a childhood episode of discoid lupus. He also suffered from hair loss because of it. Unlike systemic lupus erythematosus, which is the most common and most severe of the lupus diseases, discoid lupus is more likely to affect men.
So many others in the celebrity world have experience with this illness. Actor James Garners daughter has lupus, Richard Dreyfus first wife had a flare-up after giving birth to their first child, Mercedes Yvette, who was the runner-up on Americas Next Top Model in the second season has lupus as does Sophie Howard who is a top British model.
Michael Jackson has discoid lupus. There are many famous people or these close to them who deal with this disease. Now all that is needed is for it to be talked about more publically to encourage more research towards a cure.