6 Celebrities Living with Lupus

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease that develops for no known specific reason. Instead of the immune system protecting a person with lupus, it turns on the patient. Any one can get the disease —  any age, gender or race. Young adult women are most at risk.

With that said, we can almost say that no one is safe – not even the rich and famous. Here’s a list of six celebrities living with lupus who are true fighters and still manage to succeed even when lupus attacks them.


1. Selena Gomez


The actress and pop singer stepped away from the spotlight in 2014, and no one knew why. Rumors swirled that she could be in rehab, but Selena was actually undergoing chemotherapy to treat her recently diagnosed lupus. Even though the young star didn’t talk about it while going through the treatment, when she returned to public life she spoke out. “I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” Gomez told Billboard magazine in an interview.

Since then, the singer has been recovering and learning to live with the condition.

Read more about Selena Gomez lupus diagnosis here.

2. Seal


Everyone knows who Seal is. The soul singer whose most famous song is “Kiss From A Rose,” has been around for a many years. Besides having a powerful voice, there’s something else everyone notices about Seal: his scarred face. Though many imagine the reasons behind the scars, the truth is the scars were caused by discoid lupus erythematosus, a type of lupus that mainly affects the skin, causing serious and painful skin blisters.

Read more about discoid lupus and how it can progress and affect the skin.

3. Toni Braxton


“Some days I can’t balance it [family life and lupus] at all, I just have to lay in bed“. That’s just one the several difficult things about living with lupus Toni Braxton describes. A pop, R&B and soul star, the American singer was diagnosed with lupus in 2014 and since then has been learning how to live with the disease while balancing her personal life and career.

It is challenging when I’m working, I have to put that smiley face anyway or have to do a show and perform an hour or an hour and a half and that’s the toughest part,” Toni said. Even feeling a wreck sometimes, tired, and with little stregnth to put on a show, the singer never cancelled a gig and never let her fans down. “Even if I can’t perform I still figure it out.”

Watch more of this interview where Toni Braxton opens up about lupus, here.

4. Nick Cannon


Nick Cannon is a well-known face in the entertainment world. The current America’s Got Talent host was diagnosed with lupus in 2012. Since then, he has chronicled his battle against lupus through his online videos, in the media, and at personal appearances.

When Nick was hospitalized, he thought he was suffering from kidney disease, but it turned out to be lupus nephritis, a form of lupus that attacks the kidneys and can cause kidney failure.

Watch Nick talk about his life and raise awareness for lupus nephritis.

5. Kristen Johnston


The TV show Bride Wars star was diagnosed with lupus of the spinal cord after visiting 17 different doctors. Her series of misdiagnoses took place because lupus’ extremely extensive range of symptoms leads doctors to take a long time to reaching an accurate diagnose. She underwent chemotherapy treatment and now has a whole new outlook on life. “Every single day is a gift, and I don’t take one second of it for granted,” she said to People.

Read more about living with lupus, diagnosis, and treatment.

6. Paula Abdul


Former American Idol judge, dancer, and singer Paula Abdul, has been living with lupus and complex regional pain syndrome for more than ten years. Abdul stated that the two systemic disorders she has been living with have caused her intense physical pain and fatigue.

Find out more about 13 symptoms of lupus you should be aware of.

Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.