Celebrities Living with Long-Term Disabilities: Lyme Disease

Celebrities Living with Long-Term Disabilities: Lyme Disease

This is the second blog post in our series on Celebrities with Long-Term Disabilities. Click here to read the first post in the series, on celebrities with Diabetes

While most people think of bringing bug spray to ward off mosquito bites, many forget about the higher risks that can come from other insects, such as ticks. We’ve written about Lyme disease before, and one of the many challenges of this illness is the difficulty to diagnose and to define symptoms.

Lyme disease is a borreliosis caused by borrelia bacteria spread by ticks from infected animals to human hosts. The time between early infection to Chronic Lyme can pass quickly, which is why early detection is critical; however, the symptoms vary from person to person and usually appear as the flu, making it difficult to recognize.

102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango 2013 Concert at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on May 11, 2013

There are many cases of Lyme disease, but one of the more recent and famous is singer Avril Lavigne, who announced her illness in 2014. “I had no idea a bug bite could do this,” said the singer in interviews. “I was bedridden for 5 months.”

Another well-known case is Yolanda Foster, a former model and cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She had her experience with Lyme disease well documented on the reality show and continues to be a spokesperson and advocate for those who have the disease. She even reached out to Avril when the singer’s diagnosis first came to light.

There are other popular celebrities who suffer from this illness, such as Ben Stiller who was tentatively diagnosed in 2010 and Richard Gere who was reported with the disease in 2000.

When dealing with Lyme disease, as with many other health issues, It is important to know that you are not alone and that there are resources available – medical, legal and emotional – to help you or your loved ones through their journey.

Sources: Canlyme, Fox News Health, Healthy Canadians

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