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Celebrities - and Why it Matters When They Talk About Ill Health

They're only human, but when a celeb goes public with their woes (health-related or otherwise) we see them in a different light. Living with any kind of illness - whether mental or physical - is tough, so it's no surprise that we feel inspired to tip our hat to anyone who feels brave enough to talk about it.

Arguably, it's easier for us mere mortals to discuss our health on a public forum; we don't have the glare of the media spotlight to contend with and we certainly don't have as many people chipping in with their thoughts and well-meaning advice.

It's vital that celebrities like Selma Blair - who recently revealed she's been suffering with MS for years - speak up, as it helps spread the word about illnesses we may otherwise be on the dark about. Like Selma Blair, former chat show host, Montel Williams also suffers from MS symptoms, and has launched his own foundation to raise money for MS research.

When celebs like Selma Blair and Montel Williams speak up it goes a long way to help sufferers to see that they're not alone - and very possibly gives them a little more confidence when it comes to coping with their condition.

Pushing often little-understood illnesses into the mainstream, celebrities are helping raise awareness - and vital funds - for a whole host of causes. Here are just a handful of stars who are making a difference by speaking up:

Michael J. Fox & Parkinson's Disease

Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox went public with his Parkinson's Disease diagnosis many years ago - and since doing so, he's been involved in the set-up of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. With the goal of curing Parkinson's disease, the site encourages the US public to make donations to the charity - and it's safe to say Michael's stardom has helped the cause reach more people.

Having been diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991, Michael didn't disclose his condition publicly until 1998. He later committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson's research, though, with the New York Times calling Michael "the most credible voice on Parkinson's research in the world."

Thanks to Michael's involvement, the Foundation funds Parkinson's drug development worldwide - and is the largest not-for-profit organisation of its kind.

Sam Faiers and Crohn's Disease

The Only Way is Essex star, Sam Faiers, developed Crohn's disease some years ago. Helping raise awareness of the condition, she's spoken multiple times in the press. She even talks of how the illness improved during her pregnancy, in an interview on Jeremy Vine's show.

 

Nick Jonas & Type 1 Diabetes

Having been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at just 16, singer Nick Jonas has put his all into becoming an advocate for the charity, Beyond Type 1.
Lena Dunham & Endometriosis
Are you a fan of the hit US show Girls? Its star, Lena Dunham, had to have her cervix and uterus surgically removed due to internal bleeding and complications from endometriosis.
While the condition isn't talked about too often in the press, Lena has spoken at length about endometriosis - for the Endometriosis Foundation of America amongst others. Take a look at her thoughts on the condition, here.
Are you suffering from a chronic condition? Have you found that celebrities with a similar illness have helped you better come to terms with a diagnosis, or day-to-day management of it? Let us know by commenting below.

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately.

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