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15 Celebrities Who Faced Rare or Chronic Illnesses: From Ashton Kutcher's Autoimmune Vasculitis to Selena Gomez's Lupus

celebrities diagnosed with rare or chronic illnesses
Source: MEGA

Apr. 21 2024, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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Ashton Kutcher – Autoimmune Vasculitis

ashton kutcher autoimmune vasculitis
Source: MEGA

Ashton Kutcher has constantly said in his interviews how lucky he has felt to be alive despite his health struggles.

Ashton Kutcher went public with his battle with a debilitating autoimmune disease, vasculitis, in 2022, more than a year after he started experiencing symptoms.

In the video clip for an episode of National Geographic's Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, he revealed that he had the "weird, super-rare form" of vasculitis.

"Knocked out my vision, knocked out my hearing, knocked out like all my equilibrium. It took me like a year to like to build it all back up," Kutcher said.

He added, "You don't really appreciate it until it's gone, until you go, 'I don't know if I'm ever gonna be able to see again. I don't know if I'm gonna be able to hear again, I don't know if I'm going to be able to walk again. I'm lucky to be alive."

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Bono – Glaucoma

bono glaucoma
Source: MEGA

Bono serves as U2's lead vocalist and lyricist.

U2 frontman Bono notably wears sunglasses even indoors, but the accessory is not only to complete his rock style.

In his interview on BBC1's Graham Norton Show, Bono revealed he has been using shades because of his chronic eye condition — glaucoma. He has struggled with it for over 20 years, making his eyes more sensitive to light.

"I have good treatments and I am going to be fine, "he added. "You're not going to get this out of your head now and you will be saying, 'Ah, poor old blind Bono.'"

Celine Dion – Stiff Person Syndrome

celine dion stiff person syndrome
Source: MEGA

Celine Dion's condition caused her to cancel a world tour last year.

From October 2021 to April 2022, Celine Dion postponed her shows due to "severe and persistent muscle spasms." A few months later, she uploaded a video of herself announcing her diagnosis.

"Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to," said Dion, though she still expressed her desire to return to the industry again. "All I know is singing. It's what I've done all my life, and it's what I love to do the most."

Stiff Person Syndrome has no cure, but symptoms can be managed and relieved through medicines.

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Charlie Sheen – HIV

charlie sheen hiv
Source: MEGA

Charlie Sheen went through different troubles in the years after his debut.

Charlie Sheen confirmed his HIV diagnosis during his exclusive interview on Today in 2015.

"I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths, and very harmful stories that are about threatening the health of so many others, which couldn't be farther from the truth," he explained, per USA Today.

The Two and a Half Men star reportedly learned about his illness after suffering night sweats and headaches. He initially thought he might have a brain tumor but heard HIV instead.

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Cher – Epstein-Barr Virus

cher barr virus
Source: MEGA

Sources claim Cher's 'face throbs for days, sometimes weeks' after procedures.

Cher is just one of the celebrities who have suffered from the symptoms and complications of the Epstein-Barr virus. She disclosed in a 2018 interview with The New York Times that the disease affected her journey in the acting industry.

"I got really sick [with the Epstein-Barr virus]. For two years, I couldn't work. It was terrible. I ended the second year with pneumonia," she opened up. "All these movies offers were coming in, but I had to turn them all down. I was really, really upset about it. And when I came back, I had to work my way back up from the beginning — doing concerts and stuff like that."

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Christina Applegate – Multiple Sclerosis

christina applegate multiple sclerosis
Source: MEGA

Christina Applegate started experiencing symptoms while filming the last season of 'Dead to Me.'

For years, Christina Applegate endured the symptoms of what was later identified as multiple sclerosis until she was officially diagnosed with it in 2021. She reportedly noticed a tingling in her toes while working on Dead to Me's last season, and she soon learned about her condition.

"I noticed, especially the first season [of 'Dead to Me'], we'd be shooting and my leg would buckle. I really just put it off as being tired, or I'm dehydrated, or it's the weather. Then nothing would happen for months, and I didn't pay attention. But when it hit this hard, I had to pay attention," Applegate said.

Her costar, Selma Blair, was also diagnosed with MS in 2018. She reportedly encouraged Applegate to undergo tests.

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George Clooney – Chronic Pain

george clooney chronic pain
Source: MEGA

George Clooney underwent different surgeries through the years due to different injuries.

George Clooney was filming a scene in Syriana in 2015 when he accidentally cracked his head open. He began feeling the pain at the time, but Lisa Kudrow's neurologist brother found out he had a more serious condition at the time.

"We started doing these things called myelograms, where they shoot contrast into your system and you can see what's leaking out. I had a two-and-a-half-inch tear in the middle of my back and a half-inch tear in my neck," Clooney detailed.

"The doctors did these blood patches, where they tie you down to a bed, and you're awake because they have a long needle and need to know if they're touching your spinal cord, and they take blood out and shoot it directly into your spinal column to try to get the blood to coagulate in those spots," he added in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I did about 15 of those over 15 days. It's like getting a spinal tap every day, and you're awake... I thought I was going to die."

Clooney suffered from extreme pain because of his condition, leading his doctors to attempt to fix the problem during surgery in December 2005.

He also took pain management therapy, but he revealed he has still struggled with the lingering discomfort after that.

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Jimmy Kimmel – Narcolepsy

jimmy kimmel narcolepsy
Source: MEGA

Narcolepsy is a type of sleep disorder that makes people feel very drowsy during the day.

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Late Night host Jimmy Kimmel can work more at night because of his narcolepsy, a chronic disorder that causes sudden attacks of sleep.

"Truth be told, I'd rather have narcolepsy than not have it," Kimmel told Esquire. "When I get on a flight to Vegas, I'll fall asleep before the plane takes off and wake up after it's landed. I'm always very close to sleep."

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Kim Kardashian – Psoriasis

kim kardashian psoriasis
Source: MEGA

Kim Kardashian revealed how she could feel relieved during the flare-ups.

In an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2011, Kim Kardashian revealed her psoriasis diagnosis that had been causing her constant pain.

In January, she uploaded an update on Instagram where she showed a close-up of her affected shin.

"How crazy is my psoriasis right now guys? It's like all up my leg. I don't know what's happening. But I gotta figure this out. This is crazy," she said.

The SKIMS founder added in another video, "I usually just have this spot, but now I can tell it's going down my leg and up my leg and all up my thigh. So I just know it's time to figure this out."

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Liza Minnelli – Viral Encephalitis

liza minnelli viral encephalitis
Source: MEGA

Viral encephalitis has led Liza Minnelli to become dependent on a wheelchair.

Liza Minnelli paused her career when she caught the potentially fatal virus, viral encephalitis.

Her physician, Dr. Maurice Hanson, told Reuters (via ABC News) that Minnelli's condition led her to stay in the hospital for days following her eight-day ICU stay due to her hip and back problems.

"She was quite sick and was in very serious condition but is now recovering well and we expect to release her in a few days," the doctor added.

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Michael J. Fox – Parkinson's Disease

michael j fox parkinsons disease
Source: MEGA

Michael J. Fox established a foundation to support the research into the disease.

At 29, Michael J. Fox was already diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. It took him years before sharing it with the public in 1998, but his health issue also inspired him to launch The Michael J. Foundation for Parkinson's Research. In 2023, he revealed the foundation has raised over $2 billion worth of research.

The progressive disorder has no known cure.

Despite his tough battle, he expressed his gratitude to his wife, Tracy Pollan, for being his biggest advocate and partner.

"She's an amazing person and has gone through a lot. It's no small thing," Fox said. "I didn't know what to expect, and neither did she. But she had indicated to me by saying, 'For better or for worse and (in) sickness and in health,' that she was going to hang on and get me through it, or go through it with me. And she has for 30, 35 years."

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Nick Jonas – Type 1 Diabetes

nick jonas type  diabetes
Source: MEGA

Nick Jonas' brothers have always helped him manage his disease during their tours.

Nick Jonas started his battle against Type 1 diabetes when he was 13, and he has used his popularity and platform to advocate for the condition awareness.

"I had to really take my health seriously amidst that and figure out how different things would affect me," he shared. "Throughout all these milestone moments in my life — whether they were good or challenging moments — having access to information (about my blood glucose levels with DexCom technology) has been life changing."

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Pink – Asthma

pink asthma
Source: MEGA

Pink's COVID-19 diagnosis reportedly made her use inhalers again.

For three decades, Pink managed her asthma without the use of her inhaler. However, her COVID-19 bout changed her life again.

"It was terrifying at one point," she told Ellen DeGeneres. "I've had really, really bad asthma to the point where sometimes I end up in the hospital. I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't breathe."

The "Just Give Me a Reason" singer said of her nebulizer, "I couldn't function without it. That's when I started to get really scared."

While she thought she would not survive the health issue, she managed to overcome the "scariest thing" in her whole life.

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Sarah Hyland – Kidney Dysplasia

sarah hyland kidney dysplasia
Source: MEGA

Kidney dysplasia is common in babies.

Sarah Hyland's kidneys did not develop properly in her mother's womb, and it led her to be born with kidney dysplasia. She underwent a kidney transplant when she turned 21 after years of medical treatments, but her body rejected her father's organ after five years.

She then started her dialysis to stay alive before his younger brother, Ian Hyland, donated his kidney and had it transplanted to Sarah in 2017.

"My work is my therapy. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my work. I'm so grateful for my entire family, especially my brother, especially my dad, especially my mom," Sarah continued.

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Selena Gomez – Lupus

selena gomez lupus
Source: MEGA

Selena Gomez also suffers from bipolar disorder.

Selena Gomez revealed her lupus diagnosis for the first time in the October 2015 cover story with Billboard.

"I was diagnosed with lupus, and I've been through chemotherapy," the "Lose You To Love Me" singer, who received her diagnosis in 2013, revealed. "That's what my break was really about. I could've had a stroke."

She continued, "I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy... I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again."

Gomez went on to enter a rehabilitation facility to undergo chemotherapy before her kidney transplant in 2017.

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