Bright Side
Bright Side
Bright Side

15 Celebs Who Got Famous and Successful Despite Their Severe Illnesses


Celebrity life is very much different than the life of ordinary people. It looks like it’s more carefree and bright but no one is safe from disease and to succeed, you have to cope with difficulties. Famous model Bella Hadid has to be put on a water drip before photoshoots. Kim Kardashian shared on her Instagram that the best Christmas present was to win over psoriasis that she’s been fighting for many years.

Bright Side gathered a list of famous people who haven’t given up and have succeeded despite their constant battle against serious health issues. When they opened up about their health problems, they played an important role in helping other people cope with their illnesses.

Lady Gaga

In 2017, Lady Gaga opened up about her fibromyalgia. In 2013, she had spoken out about severe pains she was experiencing all over her body but she didn’t know the reason for them.

“I want to help raise awareness and connect people who have fibromyalgia. We can all share what helps and what hurts so we can help each other,” the singer wrote on her Twitter page.

People diagnosed with fibromyalgia suffer from problems with sleep, muscle pain, increased fatigue, loss of memory, and lack of concentration. Almost 4% of the population has this disease.

Marilyn Monroe

There’s always been a lot of speculation swirling around Marilyn Monroe. For example, some contemporaries claimed that her amazing “dancing” walk was due to an inborn defect: one leg was shorter than the other. To hide this she moved her hips when she walked. Others have said that she would make one of the heels on her shoes shorter to make her walk smooth and sexy.

She also suffered from psychological problems as well: she had bipolar disorder that caused insomnia, periods of euphoria, and anger. Her psychological state also had a negative impact on Marylin’s work and filming process.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is someone who earns millions of dollars in her sleep and is used to getting the most exquisite presents. But the best present she’s ever gotten was for Christmas 2017. It was the near win over psoriasis that she’s been fighting for many years. “OMG, my psoriasis is almost gone! I received the ’best’ Christmas present!!” the star wrote on her Instagram.

For many years, Kim has followed a special diet, moistures her skin with cortisone cream, and in periods of stress, she goes through a course of injections.

Norman Reedus

The star of The Walking Dead TV series could rightly be heralded as a cyborg. After a car accident in 2005, the actor lost his left eye. The bones of the left part of his face were shattered. During the operation, he got 4 metal pins inserted and a part of his left eye socket was replaced with a titanium plate.

Bella Hadid

In 2015, Bella Hadid was diagnosed with a serious illness: Lyme disease. Her mother and brother suffer from the same disease caused by a tick bite. The illness manifests in many ways including headaches, muscle pains, weakness, fever, tiredness, and it can also cause paralysis, insomnia, and depression.

Almost every day Bella is put on a water drip and takes antibiotics. She has had to reschedule or cancel photoshoots quite often because of her bad condition.

Lil Wayne

Famous rapper Lil Wayne has had great success in his career despite the fact that he suffers from epilepsy. According to him, his mother taught him to “tame” the disease. In 2017, the rapper was urgently sent to the hospital after 3 seizures.

“I had seizures before, but this time it got really bad. I could even die, so I had to call an ambulance. They don’t happen by accident, they were caused by constant stress, exhaustion, and lack of rest,” said Lil Wayne in one interview.

Selena Gomez

In 2015, the singer was diagnosed with lupus — an autoimmune disease that is revealed by a rash, fatigue, and joint pain. Selena has regular panic attacks because of the disease. She even canceled her tour shows to do chemo.

After a course of chemo, her condition got better but some complications occurred and she needed to have a kidney transplant. In 2017 her friend Francia Raisa gave her kidney to Selena.

Charlie Sheen

In 2015, the actor opened up about having HIV. “It’s hard to write these 3 letters. It’s a life-changing moment,” he said. HIV damages the cells of the immune system which is why HIV positive people find it hard to fight infections and diseases.

Today proper treatment allows people with HIV to lead a normal, healthy life. The actor is sure that positive HIV status isn’t a curse but a new possibility and challenge. It’s an opportunity to help others and become a better version of oneself.


Singer Sia doesn’t like to talk about herself and her personal life is a constant battle. After she moved to London at the beginning of her musical career, she had to deal with her boyfriend dying in a car accident. And then she became addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Around the same time, she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease which is characterized by muscle weakness, irritability, and lethargy. In 2010, she had to cancel several shows because of her poor health.

Jack Osbourne

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne’s son said that he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012 when he lost 60% of his vision in one eye. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that damages the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Jack created a charity fund to try to help people with the same disease and believes that it isn’t a “death sentence.”

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid suffers from Hashimoto’s disease. It’s a chronic autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed and doesn’t respond to treatment. The model lost weight in recent years and haters blamed anorexia and drug addiction.

“Over the last few years, I’ve been properly medicated to help symptoms including extreme fatigue, metabolism issues, and my body’s ability to retain heat. I will not further explain the way my body looks, just as anyone, with a body type that doesn’t suit your ‘beauty’ expectation, shouldn’t have to...” the model wrote on her Twitter.

Gerard Butler

At the age of 10, Gerard underwent surgery for complications from an infectious disease. As a result, the actor has partial hearing loss in his right ear and suffers from tinnitus in both ears. Butler says that he could thank his condition for his famous crooked smile as it became his characteristic feature.


Back in the 90s, the singer was diagnosed with the Epstein—Barr virus: the human herpes virus strain that often provokes cancer. It’s accompanied by chronic fatigue, depression, and mononucleosis. Cher’s been battling the disease for many years but continues to work hard despite it. In 2014, she canceled her concert tour and promised to continue her shows as soon as she gets better.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

The actress has a serious form of scoliosis and believes that it developed during childhood when she used to carry a backpack on one shoulder. Sarah never gave up and her condition was improved by gymnastics and regular Pilates training. She always says that she loves her body despite this serious problem and she often wears backless dresses.

Jamel Debbouze

Famous French actor Jamel Debbouze almost always keeps his right hand in a pocket. The thing is, Jamel injured his hand when he was 14. He and his friend were in a hurry to catch a bus and ran over the metro rails. They didn’t notice an approaching train. They got hit with a train moving at 90 mph.

After the accident, Jamel’s right hand had atrophied and hasn’t developed since then, making it impossible to use. This injury, however, didn’t influence the actor’s future career: first, he gained success in the radio and TV business and then starred in movies. Today his movie list is at more than 50 films and counting, including the ones that he produced himself.

What do you think about these celebs’ determination? Do you think they did the right thing when opening up about their problems? Share your opinion with us in the comments.

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