BY ROBIN DIX
It’s so important that celebrities with fibromyalgia come forward to help enlighten the public and promote awareness of the disease. They give a voice to fibromyalgia sufferers and promote awareness in ways that typical patients can’t.
Here are just a few of the stars that have spoken out about fibromyalgia over the years:
Michael James Hastings
Also known as Captain Mike on the TV series The West Wing, Hastings was diagnosed with FMS around 30. Not only has he been able to raise awareness but he has helped raise millions of dollars for those organizations that are working towards finding more effective treatments and a cure.
The “controversial” Irish singer with the shaved head, Sinead O’Connor took three years off from music in 2003 to deal with her FMS and spend time with her kids.
Guest was a successful model in the 1990s and was very popular in England. She continues to stay optimistic even though FMS has taken its toll on her body. She says her husband is her support system and she’s hopeful not only that a cure would be found, but that she could resume her modeling career.
Known for his many roles in Hollywood blockbusters (including The Dark Knight Rises and Shawshank Redemption), Freeman has also been an outspoken spokesperson for fibromyalgia.
Also known as Erin Walton from the popular TV series The Waltons, it took 10 years before McDonough was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia. In her book Lessons From the Mountain, she touches on her years of pain and her diagnoses.
An English army nurse and Red Cross pioneer, Florence Nightingale’s best known for her role in modern nursing and hygiene practices. Although she displayed the symptoms of FMS and chronic fatigue, there was no name for it back in the late 1800s.
Flannery made the role of Stephanie Forrester on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful famous. She took a medical leave in 2007 to deal with her fibromyalgia. Even though she’s returned to the show, she still struggles with her symptoms, and like all patients, takes it day by day.
Hamlin was a singer with Rosie and the Originals; their most famous song was “Angel Baby.” She stopped performing in 2005 due to advanced fibromyalgia. She passed away on March 30, 2017 at the age of 71.
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