Yolanda Foster Reveals That Both Bella and Anwar Hadid Are Battling Lyme Disease, Too
Last night in NYC, the totally gorgeous Hadid-Foster family appeared at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala where Yolanda, most famous for being on the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, spoke about her struggle with Lyme disease for four years.
Yolanda, who has notably been out of the public eye except for social media postings, is still battling the tick-borne illness and its co-infections, and is scrupulously looking for a cure. Yolanda is using her famous name and following for good to act as an advocate for those struggling with Lyme.
Addressing the audience at the gala, Yolanda said: “I honestly don't have the proper words in my vocabulary to describe to you the darkness, the pain, and the unknown hell I’ve lived these past years. I actually did not live. I just existed in a jail of my own paralyzed brain. This disease has brought me to my knees. Many nights I wish to die. I pray that I will just wash away into heaven, where there will be no pain.”
She also discussed the diagnosis of two of her children, Bella and Anwar Hadid, which was not public knowledge until now.
God had different plans for me. He changed my destiny when my two youngest children, Bella and Anwar, were diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in early 2012, watching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me in my journey, struck the deepest core of hopelessness inside of me, and it’s because of them that I’m motivated to stand here in front of you today.
I don't deserve this award. This award is for Anwar and Bella. This is my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering. I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve. No child should suffer the way that you do … I thank you both for your extraordinary selflessness during this journey. Your unwavering love and compassion has kept me alive and fighting through the darkest days of my life.
I am so sorry for all the important things I have missed in your life these past four years. I used to be a pretty cool, smart, multi-tasking, kickass mom. But all three of you, all three of my children really got short-changed with a dumb blonde in the white robe, that mostly lives her life in bed.
Yolanda, along with other celebrities including Avril Lavigne and Thalia, has been tirelessly searching for a cure for Lyme disease and has said she lost the ability to read and write due to the neurological effects the disease has.
Lyme is an incredibly complicated disease to treat once it enters into the late stages (i.e., if it isn't treated right away) because the bacteria multiply and weave so deeply into every part of the body. The symptoms (including but certainly not limited to fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, heart palpitations, mood changes/depression, anxiety, brain fog, etc.) are similar to that of other conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, Lupus, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, so diagnosis and treatment can take a long time, if ever found.
Currently, most mainstream doctors do not believe in chronic Lyme disease (i.e., if you are treated with a standard course of antibiotics and it doesn't go away/you still have symptoms, you obviously had something else) so patients struggling often have nowhere to go or no affordable and easy treatment. They can feel hopeless, trapped in their own bodies, while being told they're just tired or depressed.
My mom had Lyme disease and went undiagnosed for years, told she had Lupus, fibromyalgia, and a myriad of other similar conditions. Her doctors brushed her off and gave her steroids to “manage” the pain, while the Lyme bacteria continued to invade her body. She was so ill, at times, putting on a bra or using the bathroom became an impossible task.
I'm incredibly grateful for the Lyme-literate doctor (who still has to remain “underground” about her treatment of chronic Lyme patients) who saved my mom's life by giving her an aggressive form of treatment. There were times I thought my mom wouldn't make it to see me walk down the aisle, or have children someday, all because of a tiny tick bite that went unnoticed. It's a frightening reality for thousands of Lyme sufferers all over the country.
I hope that Yolanda, Anwar, and Bella all find peace and good health soon and am very grateful to them for shedding light on the Lyme epidemic.
(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)