In a speech at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala in New York City, former model and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Foster, 51, accepted an award for her work in trying to find a cure for Lyme disease since being diagnosed in 2012. But her acceptance speech came with a big revelation—that two of her children, Anwar and Bella Hadid, were also suffering from the disease.
According to Us Weekly (opens in new tab), the reality star told the story of how her two youngest children have to fight the same, often crippling condition that she herself struggles with still to this day: "Many nights I wish to die. I pray that I will just wash away into heaven, where there will be no pain," she admitted in her speech. (Lyme disease affects not only the body, with joint pain and inflammation, but can also cause neurological problems.)
"God had different plans for me," she said, as her three children (including Gigi Hadid) looked on. "He changed my destiny when my two youngest children, Bella and Anwar, were diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in early 2012. "Watching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me and my journey struck the deepest chord of hopelessness inside of me, and it's because of them that I'm motivated to stand here in front of you today."
"I don't deserve this award—this award is for Anwar and Bella. This is my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering," she continued. "I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve. No child should suffer in the way that you do."
This—and Selena Gomez's revelation of her struggle with Lupus (opens in new tab)—should remind us all that you never know what someone else is fighting. Let's all be a little kinder to one another, shall we?
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Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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