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Being a celebrity, surrounded by lights and camera all the time might seem very lavish and idealistic. However, we never know the real truth until we step into someone else’s shoes. A living and inspiring example of this proves to be Selena Gomez who has not only survived a chronic disease - lupus but had also taken upon the task of spreading awareness about it. Lupus is a potentially fatal immune system disorder. In this state, the immune system of the body attacks its tissues thereby distorting organs. It turns into a situation wherein one’s body becomes its enemy. Symptoms include pain or swelling in the joints, fever, hair loss, mouth ulcers, facial rashes and extreme fatigue.
These symptoms vary as per individuals. They can also flare up or diminish by time. Gomez’s journey of lupus began in December 2013 when she was first diagnosed with cancer. She had to stay at a treatment centre and undergo chemotherapy therapy. However, as revealed by her, during that time she was in the midst of her tour which had to cancel. However, as the negative baggage of popularity goes, people started speculating and allegating her to be in recovery for addiction. Selena opened about having to go with such a stigma and remarked, I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.
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.” In 2015, Selena Gomez spoke about her survival battle with lupus and assured her fans that she was “very healthy but felt uncomfortable opening-up about it”. In 2016, however, Selena took a break from social media admitting that she suffered from severe anxiety, depression and panic attacks. These added to the remission of lupus which ended up in her kidney failure. The condition was so severe which led her to undergo a kidney transplant which was offered by her best friend, Francia Raisa. Expressing gratitude towards her friend, Selena remarked in a post, “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much, sis.” After such a painful yet inspiring journey of survival of lupus, Selena Gomez chose to open up about this and set up an example for people who those who are oblivious about it. She beseeched people to sort help for mental illness if they suffer through it so that it doesn’t turn into something as fatal as this. Through her journey of lupus, Selena Gomez is looked upon as a figure of an inspiration that continuous to encourage people to approach health as their top priority.
Written by – Padma Lekhi