Michaele Salahi has just announced that she suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological condition she is blaming for her low weight.
As Jeanne pointed out, MS manifests itself in very different ways, and is a painful degenerative condition that can create complications that lead to death. It's enough to make a strong person curl up and hide.
Salahi, however, is going public. Like other figures before her, this is a personal choice. Battling a disease or receiving a death sentence while leading a life in front of the camera is something I can't even imagine for myself. There aren't any rules.
We'll all be watching to see how Salahi uses her platform to talk about MS, and hope she helps the fight against the disease, rather than detracts from the seriousness of the diagnosis.
Perhaps she could look to these other celebrities who lived with a disease as the world watched:
Michael J. Fox
The ultimate role model, Fox not only has kept working, he's become a social activist for other sufferers of Parkinson's disease, and a proponent for stem cell research. Always keeping a sense of humor, he's even managed to brush off big fat idiots who feel the need to attack a man battling such a serious disease.
Her battle with breast cancer kept her from snagging that sweet Parenthood role, but Tierney is back in a new show this fall, and better than ever. Tierney is so incredibly relate-able, and real, she will surely be an inspiration to women who are afraid to go to the doctor for fear of what they will find.
As we celebrate Christina Applegate's pregnancy, it's almost easy to forget the actress battled breast cancer and, for now, has won. Showing us all that life does go on, Applegate is taking on mommyhood after having a double mastectomy when she learned she carries the BRCA gene, which almost guarantees a recurrence of breast cancer.
The British reality star truly lived "Big Brother" style through the last days of her life. As Goody was dying of cervical cancer, all eyes were on her children, her fiance, and even her funeral. While this seemed macabre at best, a study was released surrounding Goody's public battle that showed an increased awareness and likelihood of the public to be screened for the disease.
As we wait to hear how the actor responds to treatment for throat cancer, Douglas is still on duty. In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Douglas reprises his most famous role to date on the big screen, and he's on the press tour, in spite of being in the middle of the battle.
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