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Celebrities with links to Lupus

Cindy Frey

Cindy Frey, wife of Glen Frey (formerly of the band the Eagles, deceased 2015), has lupus.

She said "Lupus has been raging through our population of young women, cutting short the opportunity for them to reach their full potential, often it targets the very driven woman who has so much to give. Lupus LA has been a front-runner in the fight to cure this disease by raising funds for research and supporting patients."

Selena Gomez

In 2015 Selena Gomez said she was receiving chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lupus. Concerns about her health were first raised in 2013, when she cancelled a tour of Asia and Australia.
She later sought treatment at the Dawn at the Meadows rehab facility, with her representatives denying she was dealing with substance abuse. But the singer has revealed her break was "really about" her lupus diagnosis, adding: "I could have had a stroke."

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Kristen Johnston

After months of experiencing a ‘mysterious illness’ Third Rock actor Kristen Johnston was diagnosed with lupus myelitis (a type of Lupus that afflicts the spinal cord).

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Ian Harding

Actor Ian Harding appears as Ezra Fitz in the USA TV series, Pretty Little Liars. He’s also a huge animal rights activist and raises money for lupus in his spare time.

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Backstreet Boys support Lupus research

Howie Dorough

"A little over three years ago my sister Caroline died of lupus," says Howie. "After the funeral, the band was supposed to do a big concert in South America. Everyone was telling me I should go, that Caroline would have wanted me to go because she loved our music and was so proud that I was doing what I loved." So three hours after burying his sister, Howie was on a flight to South America.

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Dale Dedrick

Paralympic Equestrian Dale Dedrick was diagnosed with Lupus during her time at the University of Michigan causing her multiple joint deformities, muscle weakness of an inflammatory nature, and significant heart disease. She retired in 1992 as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine.

Dale took part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Shannon Boxx

Shannon Boxx was diagnosed with lupus in 2007 when she was 30 years old. At the time she was playing for the U.S. National Soccer Team and had begun feeling extremely fatigued; regular training sessions left her with joint pain and muscle soreness. 

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Nick Cannon

America’s got talent presenter and ex husband of singer Mariah Carey, announced in 2012 that he had lupus nephritis.

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Julian Lennon

Julian Lennon became a Patron of the St Thomas' Lupus Trust in December 2010.

His schoolfriend Lucy Vodden had lupus and sadly passed away in 2009 aged just 46.

Lucy was the inspiration behind the Beatles classic 'Lucy in the sky with Diamonds'.

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Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga's Aunt Joan died of lupus complications. In an interview for the Times she was asked if she had been tested for lupus and said: “Yes. but I don’t want anyone to be worried.” She did not actually reveal if the tests were negative or positive. She has since confirmed that her test shows she has ‘borderline’ lupus in an interview with Larry King 2nd June 2010.

Toni Braxton

Singer Toni Braxton announced she has lupus.

While accepting a Women in Achievement award at the 8th Annual Lupus LA Bag Ladies Luncheon, she told the audience:

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Oleta Adams

In 2011 Grammy nominated singer Oleta Adams told of how she had suffered from lupus for ten years. She said "Lupus has affected every area of my life. We need to bring attention to this disease to further research and development of new treatments for individuals with lupus".

Michael Jackson

From CBS News ”It reveals a rare court affidavit detailing several skin conditions that Jackson treats including Jackson’s use of a powerful bleaching cream called Benoquin, because, according to his maid, “he does not like being black and he feels that blacks are not liked as much as people of other races.”

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Snoop Dogg & family

Snoop Dogg has credited his daughter Cori's battle with lupus with bringing the rapper closer to his wife Shante, insisting the life-threatening illness helped to save their faltering marriage. Snoop admits the turning point in their relationship came when young Cori was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder in 2005 - and her subsequent health battle made the hip-hop star and his wife realize they had to stay "together forever".

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Questions about his facial scares still persist. The scars were caused by a disease called lupus which Seal suffered from when he was a child. The particular strain of lupus Seal deals with causes blistering especially around the facial area, which when ruptured cause deep scarring. When questioned about his scares, Seal had often eluded to mystical or spiritual causes. In the late 80's, Seal began singing with various bands and on his own - eventually meeting producer, Adamski.

Seal and Adamski collaborated on the track "Killer" which shot to number 1 in England”.

Will Smith

Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are big supporters. Jada's high school friend and cousin have both been diagnosed with lupus. Her aunt, Karen Evans, almost died from complications of lupus.

Terri Seymour

Terri Seymour has revealed that she suffers from the disease lupus. Simon Cowell's ex-girlfriend said that she was diagnosed as a teenager but felt that the condition had made her appreciate her life even more.

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Mary McDonough

Mary McDonaugh, best known for her role as Erin in the Waltons suffers from Lupus and when interviewed states that she thinks having breast implants in 1984 triggered the lupus as the symptoms started shortly afterwards.

She played the part of a lupus sufferer having a kidney transplant in the programme ER in 1997. Mary told her story to the Campaign Director of the St Thomas’ Lupus Trust and it has since appeared in our newsletter and on our website.


Beethoven — It was suspected that Beethoven had lupus. The following was written about him: “Beethoven may well have had the specific form of immunopathic disease known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which typically commences in early adult life with a fever accompanied by mental confusion. Typical symptoms are destructive rash ('lupus') and redness ('erythema') of the butterfly area of the face. Any of the immunopathic disorders may occur, notably colitis. The excellent life-mask of 1812 shows an elongated atrophic scar particularly suggestive of Lupus. The portraits clearly show flushing of the cheekbones and nose. Beethoven's high colour was frequently commented on and may have aroused suspicions of heavy drinking”. Larkin, 1970

Kelle Bryan

Kelle is a Patron of the St. Thomas’ Lupus Trust, her story has appeared in many publications such as Cosmopolitan and the Daily Mail. Kelle, formally of the girl band ‘Eternal’ has lupus and has been treated by Professor David D’Cruz of the Louise Coote Lupus Unit at St. Thomas’ Hospital. Kelle had a baby boy Regan, born in October  2011 (Lupus Awareness month!).