Even with 37 million Americans facing chronic kidney disease and millions more living with related ailments, it can sometimes be difficult to put a “face” to the disease. The truth is, kidney disease has many forms and even more faces. From the transplant recipient to the dialysis patient to the millions making proactive choices to prevent the onset or worsening of the disease - each of us has a unique place in the grand portrait of kidney health. And while each of us is as important as the next, there are some portraits you may recognize a little easier than others - these celebrities who are living (or should we say thriving) with kidney disease and related conditions.
Actress and award-winning recording artist - living with Lupus
Between world tours, musician Selena Gomez was diagnosed with a chronic ailment that caused her to cancel concert dates and take time off to focus on her health. The culprit? Lupus. Not to be confused with Lupin (the legendary wizard from the world of Harry Potter), Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes harm to organs and tissues. When it impacts your kidneys, it is called lupus nephritis, which impacts up to 60% of Lupus patients. But with a brand new album and recent work as a TV producer, it is clear that Gomez is not letting Lupus slow her down. In fact, in September 2017, she took to Instagram to reveal that she received a kidney transplant from a friend.
Award-winning Actress and philanthropist - kidney recipient
Not just the big sister in your favorite sitcom, Modern Family, Sarah Hyland is a big face in the kidney health community. After a kidney dysplasia as a young child, Hyland went on to battle the disease for years before receiving two kidney transplants, the first one from her father in 2012. When her body rejected that transplant, she went on to receive a second transplant in 2017 from her brother. But, as many transplant recipients know, kidney disease remains a lifelong battle even after surgery. Hyland has recently come forward to discuss her current health condition, sharing that she has been on bed rest for much of 2017, requiring dialysis treatments and years of anti-rejection medication. The most important health concern of Hyland’s? Staying strong. She’s been focusing on eating well, building muscle, and taking care of her body, mind, and soul. The battle may wage on, but the war is Hyland’s to win.
Diagnosed with diabetes at age 19, Halle Berry has never let her health stop her astronomic success - she’s an OSCAR WINNER after all. While unique from kidney disease, Diabetes is a commonly connected condition - about 30 percent of patients with Type 1 diabetes and 10 to 40 percent of those with Type 2 diabetes will eventually experience kidney failure. Tough numbers for sure, but not insurmountable odds. Berry has long promoted a healthy lifestyle, citing that “being active and healthy” is a key part of managing her condition. Just as any acting role requires research, preparation, and focus - Berry shows how the same dedication to health can help prevent larger issues down the road. If you have or are at risk for diabetes, healthy eating and monitoring your sugar is key - you may not win an Oscar but your kidneys will thank you (and probably The Academy, too).
That moment when diabetes thinks it got the best of you…
Curious about the diabetes and kidney disease connection? We’ve got more info on the risk factors here.