Just Like You: 6 Celebrities Living With IBD
Celebrities seem exempt from all the things that make us human like worrying about the bills, having pores and looking ridiculous on photos that are not selfies. Celebrities also seem to have it easy on the health front – with their personal trainers, diet plans made by top-notch nutritionists that are themselves famous professionals, expensive equipment and every opportunity to make their lives less stressful responsibility-wise, it’s hard to picture them having any health concerns at all.
We at FindMeCure have a history of dispelling this myth by talking about the health issues of the rich and famous. It’s not an attempt on our part to reiterate the boring – and so often untrue – saying that ‘you can’t buy health’ or a way to be gloating over someone’s misfortune, far from it.
By talking about famous people who like any regular Joe or Jane are faced with difficulties and have to figure out ways to overcome their health issues, we’re trying to tell you that you’re in no way alone in your struggles. There is no special group of exceptionally blessed people that you just don’t have the good luck to belong to.
We all experience pain the same and even though in some parts of the world health does cost money, ultimately no one is guaranteed a recovery and we still haven’t discovered the no-fail cure for all ailments.
Now without further ado, we’ll let you know which celebrities share your condition because in a way they really are ‘just like us’.
The former president of the United States John F. Kennedy himself lived with an IBD. some reposts indicate that he suffered from Ulcerative colitis, while others claim it was, in fact, IBS – irritable bowels syndrome.
One thing is certain, however, the man who is still rumored to have had an affair with Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe had to fight a very embarrassing condition behind closed doors. He took strong antispasmodic drugs to control his severe diarrhea.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Another former US president to have suffered from an IBD. Eisenhower was diagnosed in 1956, while still a president, with Crohn’s disease. He was even hospitalized during his presidency in order to undergo surgery, before being re-elected.
For all the pain and anxiety IBD causes, apparently, you can run a country for eight years while fighting your chronic disease and all of the mental distress it brings along. Far from telling you to ‘just be strong’ or ‘get over it’, we’d like you to know that an IBD diagnosis is not a death sentence in the sense that it will prevent you from fulfilling your goals, chasing your dreams and ultimately live a life of service, growth, and satisfaction.
If you’ve ever been worried about how ‘unsexy’ an IBD is, you’re not alone in this. Actress Shannen Doherty famous for her role as Prue Halliwell in the cult TV series Charmed had been keeping her Crohn’s disease secret because, in her own words, it wasn’t very sexy.
Shannen Doherty, however, remained a sex symbol long after that 1999 interview in which she disclosed her health issues, proving that struggling with a chronic disease doesn’t have to take away from your charm and appeal. It’s the way you handle whatever life throws at you that affects how people see you. You can be sexy and still be human with all the embarrassing, ridiculous, sad and vulnerable parts of it.
Athletes can have health issues too and not just of the injury variety. Football player Matt Light who is a three-time Super Bowl champion has battled Crohn’s disease for a decade and told the press that during his football career he couldn’t take most of his Crohn’s medication – corticosteroids which are often prescribed in such cases can lead to disqualification.
Matt Light eventually had a surgery to remove a part of his intestine and how, retired from football, he is dedicated to raising awareness about Crohn’s disease.
If you’re too young to know who singer Anastacia is, you missed out on a pop culture gem. The pop diva was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 13 and had to undergo a surgery to remove parts of her digestive tract.
However, in an interview the singer mostly focuses on the large scar that remained, sharing her fears and concerns that no man could now ever love her, “They’d given me a big scar and no guy would ever want to touch me and love me – or that was pretty much what I thought.” The medicine she had to take to manage her condition made her gain weight and after a producer told her she had to lose it, Anastacia reportedly went on a diet of fruit and fiber.
After the huge flare-up that followed the singer had to gain a new perspective. She says she ‘learned not to be vain’ and treasure her inner qualities more than the ‘outer shell’.
Even rock stars can have an IBD and Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist Mike McCready is proof that the opposite is true as well – people with an IBD can still be rock stars.
McCready says he spent a lot of the time he was supposed to be on stage in the bathroom instead and that he had ‘accidents’ on stage too. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease years after first experiencing concerning symptoms at the age of 21.
Now in his fifties, McCready is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and he said in a statement, “I went public with my condition to show people that despite the disease, you can still have a life and career”.
His message is close to what we would like you to take away from this piece – an IBD doesn’t have to prevent you from chasing your dreams and being an absolute rock star. Sure, Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist spent some songs in the bathroom on tour but he was still there for many of them and we still know him as Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist.