Rare diseases sufferers are the unsung heroes who often fall into the shadows behind more common cancers, but some scripted and reality shows are casting a spotlight on them.
In the case of “Real Housewives of Orange County” on Bravo TV, the daughter of Vicki Gunvalson, Brianna, goes candid about her lupus diagnosis on the previous season.
Then there’s the scripted drama on OWN TV, “Queen Sugar,” where lupus is shown through the eyes of a character named Aunt Violet. Both programs showcase the painful back and fourth process of doctors trying to label the disease before reaching the final diagnosis.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system creates proteins called autoantibodies that begin to attack your body. This results in a number of painful side effects including red rashes on the face. It’s often nicknamed “The Great Mimicker” because it may trick you into thinking you have one problem, when in reality, it’s something else entirely.
To learn more about lupus, click here.
This is exactly what happened to Sabrina Nixon who wrote in Chicago Now:
“I was also labeled with Mixed Connective Tissue disease. It was so frustrating during those years because I was hospitalized several times during the process. Thankfully, however, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or SLE, since lupus affected every area of my body.”
During her diagnosis period, not much was known about lupus. She took comfort in television shows and celebrities speaking out about it. Selena Gomez, for example, recently experienced a kidney transplant due to lupus and has contributed to the cause on Lupus Awareness Month (May) and beyond.
Nick Cannon is also very vocal about his lupus nephritis, the same kind that Selena Gomez has, which attacks the kidneys. To read more about lupus nephritis, click here.
Sabrina hopes that celebrities with lupus will use their advantages and platforms to continue to raise awareness and to donate to the cause.