Celebrities with Lyme disease (and what they're doing about it)
Ticks are not picky when choosing their prey, making every human equally susceptible to tick borne illnesses – including major celebrities. We put together a list of stars and their experiences with their diagnoses, their Lyme disease symptoms, and what they are doing for tick-borne disease prevention and education.
Justin Bieber is the most recent celebrity to announce his battle with Lyme disease. His experience has been reported on by top media outlets, alongside the announcement of his documentary series, recently released on YouTube. Bieber struggled for several years, enduring depression and hopelessness as doctors couldn’t pinpoint his symptoms to Lyme disease right away.
Bieber later posted on Instagram announcing his Lyme disease diagnosis is paired with chronic mono (mononucleosis) and his symptoms affected his “skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.”
To get a deeper look at his experience with Lyme disease, including his journey from diagnosis to treatment - watch his docu-series on YouTube.
Avril Lavigne left the public eye for nearly four years during her struggles with Lyme disease. Lavigne has said that she “accepted death and could feel [her] body shutting down” in the years she spent fighting the disease. Although she wrote her song “Head Above Water” about her diagnosis and fight against Lyme disease, she says she does not want to talk about her illness, but rather raise awareness of the severity of Lyme disease.
Lavigne founded The Avril Lavigne Foundation to support individuals with Lyme disease and other illnesses and disabilities. The foundation partners with Global Lyme Alliance and LymeLight Foundation to provide people with the right resources to prevent Lyme disease, recognize symptoms quickly, and get the proper treatment.
Yolanda and Bella Hadid
Yolanda Hadid, of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and her model daughter, Bella Hadid, both suffer from Lyme disease. Yolanda has opened up about her “invisible disease” and how it caused her to contemplate taking her own life due to the symptoms like severe pain. Other Another Lyme disease symptom she faces is brain fog and word retrieval.
Bella Hadid also struggles with the disease on a daily basis. Her mother has said that Bella dreamed of a professional horse riding career that would take her to the Olympics, but her symptoms were too severe to continue. Bella recalls her Lyme disease symptoms included extreme exhaustion, memory loss, brain fog, and temporary vision loss.
The Hadid family spent many years living on a horse ranch, and they attribute the disease to that time period, as both Bella and her brother, Anwar, suffer from the tick-borne disease.
Yolanda has written a book on her personal journey with Lyme disease, “Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease.” Her goal of this book is to educate the public and to give readers hope.
In 2017, actor Alec Baldwin opened up about his Lyme disease diagnosis for the first time since his 2011 announcement that he had contracted the disease. He said he was bitten 17 years prior and was treated, but then suffered from another bite. Baldwin describes his Lyme disease symptoms as “black lung, flu-like symptoms, sweating to death in my bed,” and they appeared every summer for five years.
Similar to Yolanda Hadid and Avril Lavigne, Baldwin feared for his life and was sure that he would die from Lyme disease. Now, he is active in the Lyme disease prevention community and has spoken as the Bay Area Lyme Foundation LymeAid benefit in California.
Canadian country-pop star, Shania Twain, revealed that her Lyme disease symptoms left her unable to sing. She contracted the disease in 2003 and started to experience symptoms of Lyme disease immediately, including dizziness, loss of balance, and dysphonia (a disorder that affects the vocal cords). Twain has since been working on non-surgical ways of restoring her voice.
Lyme Disease Symptoms Are Different for Everyone
If you have been bitten by a tick or suspect you might have come in contact with one, go to the doctor immediately. The quicker a tick bite is treated, the less likely you are to contract a tick-borne illness or suffer from Lyme disease symptoms as severe as some of these celebrities have experienced.
The only way you can prevent contracting tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease, is by preventing tick bites. Ranger Ready picaridin bug spray protects against ticks for 12 hours after proper application.
By using Ranger Ready, you can be sure to Be Bite Free in 2020.