Bella Hadid bravely battled the same serious illness her mom faces everyday
Last night, Yolanda Foster was honored with the “Power of One” award at the Global Lyme Alliance’s inaugural gala in New York. While accepting the award, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star shared with the audience that her two children, model Bella and Anwar, have also fought Lyme disease.
During her deeply personal speech last night, Foster shared the experience of struggling with her diagnosis while her children suffered as well.
“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 in my journey struck the deepest core of hopelessness for me,” she said.
“This award is for Anwar and Bella,” she continued. “This is my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering. I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life you deserve.”
In an Instagram post yesterday, Bella—an 18-year-old rising star in the modeling world—posed along with her siblings, Anwar and supermodel big sis Gigi, and supported her mom’s efforts to raise awareness about the disease.
As one of the stars of Bravo’s flagship reality series, Foster has been outspoken about her battle with chronic Lyme disease. She was diagnosed in 2012, and has shared her treatment and journey with fans around the world. She’s also worked to raise awareness with the #LymeDiseaseChallenge campaign, in which people take pictures of themselves sucking on limes.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria often transmitted by ticks. It can cause fevers, headaches, and exhaustion early on, but if left untreated can lead to heart palpitations and facial paralysis, as well as other complications affecting the heart, brain, nerves and joints. Chronic Lyme disease remains controversial as many doctors and researchers believe the symptoms associated with it to be post-Lyme, and extended treatment options are still being determined.
Although Foster also apologized in her speech for missing key events in her kids’ lives due to her illness, her daughter Gigi reflected on her mother’s journey during an introduction.
“I remember when she was going into the first season of filming [Real Housewives], she said to me, ‘I don’t know why this show was brought to my life, but for some reason, I think it will lead to something bigger’,” Gigi shared. “She realized that she could use this platform of this world-famous television show to spread awareness. She was honest, unapologetic, and raw in how she portrayed Lyme disease on social media and on the show from the second she announced to the world she had been diagnosed.”
(Image via Instagram)