Lupus In The Media: Famous People Living with Lupus

 

Lupus is not a well known disease. It is one of the diseases that many people whisper about in fancy medical shows, but never really talk about until someone they know is diagnosed. When I was a child, I always wished more famous people admitted having lupus, to help bring some much needed awareness to the disease. So I have tried to compile a list of *known people living with lupus. I have derived this information from a variety of sources like newspaper articles, websites etc. I believe this list to be true and accurate. The list below is in no particular order. If you have anyone to add, or delete- please contact me.

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“Famous” People living with Lupus
* Ferdinand Marcos, former Philippine dictator, who died of Lupus in 1989.

* Flannery O’Connor, American fiction writer.

* Hugh Gaitskell, British politician.

* Baseball player Tim Raines has played for six Major League teams including; the Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Florida Marlins. He is considered one of the top leadoff hitters and base runners in baseball history.

* Elaine Paige, British actress and singer.

* Seal, a British musician, had discoid lupus in his childhood.
See All of Seal’s Music on Amazon.com

* Millie, the pet dog of former President George H. W. Bush & Barbara Bush, was diagnosed with discoid lupus erythematosus.

* Charles Kuralt, former anchor of CBS Sunday Morning. Learn More About Charles Kuralt

* Mary McDonough, Actress best known for her role as Erin on The Waltons.

* Actor Ray Walston, probably best known for his portrayal of Uncle Martin on the 1960’s TV sitcom My Favorite Martian and as Judge Henry Bone on the 1990’s television show Picket Fences. Died 2001.

* James “J. Dilla” Yancey, prominent Hip-Hop producer ,died from complications of the disease on February 19, 2006, just three days after his 32nd birthday.

* Kelly Drury, actress and model most notably on General Hospital.

* Inday Ba (also known as N’Deaye Ba), a Swedish-born actress. She died from complications of lupus, aged 32.

* Caroline Dorough-Cochran, sister of Howie D. of the Backstreet Boys, who founded the Dorough Lupus Foundation in her memory.

* Mercedes Yvette (also known as Mercedes Scelba-Shorte), runner-up of season two of the reality television series America’s Next Top Model.

* Sophie Howard, a British glamour model.

* Leslie Hunt, singer/songwriter and finalist of Reality Television show American Idol Season 6.(2007)

* Lauren Schuler Donner, Hollywood film producer.

* Kelly Stone, Sister of Sharon Stone diagnosed with SLE.

* Pietra Thornton, former wife of Billy Bob Thornton and former Playboy model.

* Maurice Young, better known as Trick Daddy, is an American rapper

*Mary Norton – Luxury shoe and handbag designer

*Salimah Mussani – LPGA pro golfer, and Stanford University women’s golf coach who has Lupus

*Nicole Paxson – Lupus sufferer since age 12, she started a cosmetics company focused on raising women’s confidence no matter what their challenges.

*Lucy Vodden – The inspiration for the Beatles’ 1967 psychedelic classic “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” died at age 46 from Lupus in 2009

*Michael Wayne – The son of legendary actor John Wayne, actor/producer Michael Wayne died of Lupus complications in 2003.

*Gigi Garner – The daughter of actor James Garner, Gigi Garner is living with Lupus. James Garner is very involved with lupus awareness and has appeared in lupus awareness campains.

*Cindy Crawford – Cindy is a Drag Racer that wrote “Drag Racing Basics”, and used it as a platform to speak about her Lupus.

*It is highly rumored that Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop” and a constant tabloid subject has Lupus. He was supposedly diagnosed with the disease in 1984, shortly after his hit album “Thriller” was tearing up the charts. But this has never been confirmed by Michael Jackson himself, or his publicist.
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If you enjoyed reading this list, you may also enjoy reading: Lupus in the Media: Television Shows and Movies where Lupus was featured or part of the character or storyline

List compiled by Christine Miserandino and the butyoudontlooksick.com staff, ©
* Please do not copy this list without permission from the author. We encourage linking.

©2010 butyoudontlooksick.com
  • Angelica

    My name is Angelica I am 35 yrs old. …. and I’m JUST finding out that I may have Lupus. I had a DVT and a PE in 2008….. since then I have had episodes of sharp pain during inhalation,I have had two unexplained miscarriages, I have achy joints, I get migraines, I’m aneMic. ……, I (about 2 months ago )had a mysterious funky looking rough patch on my face …….I had never put the figured that these symptoms were all related. ……my doc has been asking me for MONTHS about Lupus running In my family. ……….I just out YESTERDAY that Lupus, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family (on my dad’s side)………….I say this because it’s VERY IMPORTANT to know ALL your family’s medical history. ……….

  • Karla Buckner

    Diagnosed in 2000 at the age of 20 now 35 with a 11 yr old son n suffering 2 MI IN 2006 I am in remission n doing pretty good!!!

  • Chris

    Daniel,

    Your post is 4 years old, but it intrigued me while coming across this article for some research I’m doing for an event. I’ve done quite a bit of research over the years as the disease is hereditary in my family. I was tested a few times growing up as my mother was diagnosed when I was very young, my grandmother not too long after and my great-grandmother passed from the disease. The disease is notably common in women with approximately less than 15% of those effected being men, but that may be low based on it not being tested for on a lot of men. It’s a fascinating disease that definitely needs more attention.

  • Natasha

    Yay! Thank you for sharing this great news! :)

  • Natasha

    Dear Barbara,
    My name is Natalie, im 24. I was diagnosed with Lupus in January 2012. After having Endoxan (cyclophosphamide) therapy i started feeling much better (my Lupus case is quite active and severe). Even though im constantly on high dosage of cell cept, cortison (and since yesterday also on Chloroquine) Lupus got active again 2 months ago. For now its not much fun, hospitals, doctors, pain and its hard to breath (at least no pulmonary embolism this time), BUT i do know that when the activity of Lupus will go down, the pain will also go away. Last year was really great in this sence! I had lots of good days with no pain, where i could travel around the world without thinking about lupus (well, at least not thinking about it too much..better always to remeber about the pills and sun protection :) Now im looking forward for the remission..)
    hope you started feeling better meanwhile!

  • Carmelita

    I was diagnosed in 2010 with SLE and stage III kidney disease, I’m now 31 years of age, married with 2 beautiful kids (had them before i was diagnosed). only through God’s grace can i fight this disease. I believe the word of God that says by His stripes I’m healed and He send His word to heal all our diseases. I’m on medication and seeing my dr on a regular basis. I’m working full time and living life to the fullest because of Gods grace. the joy of the Lord is my strenght. God bless all of u :) Carmelita from Cape Town.

  • StyleStamped.com

    Read about my story with lupus, and life with a kidney transplant at http://stylestamped.com/stylestamped-celebrating-life-with-lupus-and-kidney-transplant/. I’ve had lupus for 22 years now. xoxo

  • Guest

    Selena Gomez has lupus

  • Sarah Jennings

    My heart goes out to all that have this condition. I was diagnosed in 2011, but the Fibromyalgia was diagnosed first. I am a young 51 years and since finding out what was really going on with my health, I have been better able to cope with it. My lupus is hereditary and being this, it explained a lot of health issues I had growing up. It also explained the complications of both my pregnancies. Growing up in the 60’s a person rarely if ever heard of Lupus. I would like to see more involvement in our communities supporting Lupus awareness, if anyone has any information to share, please contact me. God Bless.

  • cordelia

    Hi , I am Cordelia Selwane Seake, living in South Africa in the North West Province. I was diagonised with SLE in 2007 at he age of 28. I am on methotrexate/abitrexate, plasmoquine and folic acid and it attacked my heart in 2011. Its difficult sometimes ,I do not know anyone who is living with the desease in South Africa for support group.

  • Unknown

    There are lots more famous people that are keeping their lupus a secret because it will get them black listed in Hollywood. Very few people will risk working with an actor that is sick with something like lupus. It is sad and sick and wrong that people with lupus are mistreated like that. As if being in pain and on meds is not hard enough we don’t even get a fair chance to work. I’m 16 and just found out I have lupus I’m sad that if I wanted to be an actor while having lupus it would be next to inpossible. Something should be done

  • Barbara Robertson

    I was diagnosed with Lupus a few days ago. I have been very sick the last couple of years, so I’m sad I have it, but happy to have found the diagnosis, to fight this. I have more really sick days, than days that I have some energy to do a few things. And it’s rally hard to breath. Does anyone who has lupus ever feel like they’re getting better, or at least have more well days than sick days?

  • Shelby Marie

    My very good friend was just diagnosed and we are both still in shock and angry but trying to find hope through other peoples stories

  • Regine

    Hi I’m Regine from the Philippines, and I was first diagnosed with SLE in March 2010 (I’m not 17 years old and in 2nd year college). I was 14 years old and in 2nd year high school when that happened. I used to train in badminton, but had to stop because of my diagnosis. I wish I can go back to that life, but my parents wouldn’t let me. They don’t understand what badminton and training is to me. For me, it’s an escape from reality and all my problems. It is like another life for me. It’s my way of exercising and having fun while doing it. I have tried doing other work outs (running, light weights) but I get lazy if it isn’t something I enjoy doing. Nothing can compare to training for me. I wish there was a way I can go back to that. Even if it means a less harsh version of my old training.

  • Esmeralda Juarez81

    Hi my name is Esmeralda Juarez i live in Antioch ca.When i first found out that i have lupas i was in a car rek 5 years ago .Thats when i found out i had lupes .i was in the hospital ill and thier was so much going on .I had lots of Dr that did not know what was going on with me.Thies past years iv bain strugoling with bing silk day and night evryday in pain .Ya im going threw thise but i whant to keep on fighting for my kids .I have 2 kids a boy that is 18 and a doughter that is 10. I had my kids pretty young i was 16 when i had my son know i am 34 years old.Im happy i had my kids young but that was good cuse know i cant half eny its to dangrus for me to half eny more kids.iI sumtimeas wake up and i dont whant to go on i whant to give up but i cant cuse my kids need me .Im in pain becuse i half to get hip surgary one or two of my meds im taking for Lupas damiged my hips both .Thise is what i half to do to keep on living i will do it its hard .I cry evry day im in pain but i whant to keep on living i am not ging to let thise win.Im ging to win .All i can saye it is hard but you can do it.            if you woul like to talk to sum one like me and you have eny ? about lupas we can lurn from eachothier .my Email is [email protected] or you can finde me on face book i would like to meet people like me thanks ESMERALDA JUAREZ                                                                                            

  • Clintsman72

    I found out that I have SLE, I have four wonderful children a husband who is fabulous, and a grandbaby on the way. I will win this fight! My name is Cherie Clintsman, and I was diagnosed in February of 2011.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alicewonders98 Heather Mckay Nyikos

    Hi, I am currently raising money for Lupus in Hanover Park, IL. I work at Denny’s there, and I have met so many people afflicted with this horrible disease. We have been educating People about Lupus, and have been hanging beautiful Butterflies across our walls with names on them  for a dollar each.  I did not know much about Lupus until I met this woman;
    Maureen Renai Faille (keep on truckin).  This woman has been through hell, and back. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you. I may only be one person with a great crew of People, but I am sure there are others somewhere that can do the same. Do not hide, and do not give up!! I will continue to use my voice, and educate people about Lupus!!! 
    Many Blessings,
    Heather Mckay Nyikos

  • Earsel Odom

    I have lupus since I was 16, I am now 43. My name is Earsel Odom.

  • Peque

    Tony Braxton has lupus also.

  • molly

    I agree that we need more people to step out of the shadows and put “faces” to Lupus. It is not just women, it is men and children too. My son was just recently diagnosed with SLE, he is 15. We are currently working on a fundraising event to raise awareness of children with Lupus and how it affects the entire family

  • Terri Lynn

    I read in People magazine that Snoop Dog’s daughter was diagnosted when she was 6 yrs old. Brave little girl!

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  • http://sickmomma.blogspot.com Sick Momma

    I think what saddens me the most about that list is how many of those famous people are dead. It would be really nice to see a list of people who have lupus but are living their lives as well and as actively as possible. But I do understand why those people, especially in show business, would want to keep their health issues as private as possible until their professional lives are impacted.

    So, I’m not clear on when this list was last updated, but I thought there was family confirmation of Michael Jackson having lupus after his death. I guess I’ll go see if I can find a reliable source if my memory is accurate.

  • The Rev. Daniel Beegan

    I too found the number of men with lupus interesting. The friends I have who have lupus are all women.

    But I have fibro, which is also considered by many doctors to be a woman’s disease, as well as related ailments such as IBS and TMJ.

    Father Dan

  • http://bluebirdyliving.blogspot.com Sheila

    Danny, did you know he had lupus? The mask was for vitiligo and lupus sun sensitivity and his nose deteriorating. Other items you mentioned would be needed by a lupus patient in severe pain. MCS and fibro often go hand in hand with lupus, so its very possible.
    I hope we can someday do a list of famous fibro sufferers, but so few admit it right now, until the disease gets better press. Also, actors and celebs keep illnesses quiet for as long as possible or they lose potential jobs. Michael J. Fox is trying to end that.

  • Danny

    I always thought Michael Jackson had MCS and probably Fibromyalgia. Remember his masks, gloves, oxygen chamber, wheel chair occasionally, his terrible backaches and he always ate organic.

  • ANNELLA

    LUPUS HAS BEEN AROUND A LONG TIME PEOPLE ARE JUST NOW LEARNING ABOUT THIS DISEASE. I FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS DISEASE 15YRS AGO WHEN MY MOTHER JUST WENT BLIND WITH NO SIGNS WHAT SO EVER(HEALTH 53YR LADY,NEVER BEEN SICK BEFORE),3MO’S LATER SHE STARTED HAVING STROKES LEAVING DOCTOR’S PUZZLED, THEY COULD NOT TELL ME WHY ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING TO MY MOTHER.SHE BECAME TOTALLY DISABLED. I TOOK CARE OF MY MOTHER FOR 6 LONG YEARS, HAVING TO DO EVERYTHING FOR HER(BATH/FEED/HELP HER USE THE RESTROOM/TURN HER FROM SIDE TO SIDE SO SHE WOULDN’T GET BED SORES). ANYWAY AFTER SHE PASSED AWAY I FOUND OUT THAT MY OLDEST DAUGHTER HAD LUPUS. THAT’S WHEN I FOUND OUT THER ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LUPUS. MY MOTHER HAD THE KIND WHERE HER BONES DETERATED/ALL ORGANS WERE ATTACKED, MY DAUGHTER CAN NOT FIGHT OFF INFECTIONS NOR BE IN THE SUN TO LONG WITHOUT SUNBLOCK. THE DOCTOR’S TOLD ME THAT SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE CHILDREN I AM PROUD/BLESSED TO SAY SHE HAS GIVEN ME 3 BEAUTIFUL GRANDCHILDREN(2 BOY’S,1 GIRL) MY ADVICE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ABOUT LUPUS PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH BECAUSE THERE IS STIL ALOT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT THIS DEADLY DISEASE.

  • http://www.monkichichan.com/blog Lynda

    Hey this is very inspiring!
    Love the lists! Never know these famous people had lupus too and now we know that we do have hope actually!
    Seal?
    Michael jackson?
    Wow… :)

  • Danielle

    I’d like to add Christine Miserandino to the list please :)

  • http://eyeflashes.com Heather

    Interesting how many men are on this list, because I always think of Lupus as being more predominant in women.
    Now we need a “Famous People Living with Sjogren’s Syndrome” list. ;)

  • Deborah Brent

    How about a list of folks who have fibro?