Emily Baines
December 05, 2015 11:03 am

There’s so many ways to be brave: you can rescue innocent people from life-threatening situations,  stand up to schoolyard bullies, turn off that nightlight even though you’re certain there is a monster hiding under your bed. Or, like Selena Gomez, you can open up about your lupus, providing comfort and assurance to all others battling the autoimmune disease.

The 23-year-old singer revealed her diagnosis in October, just before the release of her new album Revival, adding that she had kept quiet about her disease for three years and had even undergone chemotherapy in a treatment center– sparking rumors that she was in rehab for drug addiction.

“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a–holes,'” Selena told Billboard this past October. “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”

Selena reports that she is currently healthy and happy. “It has been overwhelming and the response has been very supportive, which is nice—but it still makes me a little uncomfortable,” Gomez tells Billboard in its December 12th issue. “I waited for the right time to talk about it because I am in a great place and I’m very healthy. I’m not trying to be loud about it: It was time to use my platform to help.”

Lupus currently has no cure and spurs symptoms such as chronic fatigue, fever, joint pain, rashes and chest pain. The ailment, however, can be controlled with proper medication and rest. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, common treatments including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids and other medications—in select cases, Cytoxan, a chemotherapy commonly used to treat cancer, which is used as an immunosuppressant in lupus patients.

Until recently, celebrities with lupus have kept their diagnosis to themselves. We applaud those who, like Selena Gomez, speak out about the disease, standing in solidarity with the average person who struggles with the same sickness. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 1.5 million people in the United States alone have lupus. Selena Gomez isn’t the only celebrity to publicly discuss her disease: Nick Cannon, Toni Braxton, and Lady Gaga have all spoken out their struggles with exhaustion and lupus, and we at HelloGiggles commend their bravery.

(Image via DFree / Shutterstock.com)

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