Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Anwar Hadid 'suffered in silence' with chronic illness since his teen years
Five years ago at the Global Lyme Alliance inaugural gala, Yolanda Hadid gave a speech while accepting an award. While it was known that the reality star had suffered from Lyme disease since 2012, she had revealed that her children Anwar Hadid and Bella Hadid also suffer from it. Anwar, however, has not spoken publicly about his diagnosis. So what we know of his illness has come from his family.
'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star said, "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 inside of me." Anwar's stepfather at the time, David Foster, revealed how Anwar may have contracted the disease as a young child. "They all were around horses their whole lives. They're all equestrians, and they know now that (Lyme disease) is transmitted by horse flies as well as deer ticks, so it's possible they got it by hanging around horses," said Foster.
The disease caused by ticks results in debilitating symptoms such as rashes, fatigue, stiff or swollen joints, severe headaches, dizziness, fever, cognitive decline, neurological problems, and heart problems. With three of her family members suffering from the illness, Gigi Hadid, who has Hashimoto's disease, revealed how that affected her. "Growing up, having three of my family members sick made me very independent. My mom couldn't drive or get out of bed some days, so I took my brother to school with me, or I made lunch," said Gigi. She continued to speak about what it was like to experience her family suffer from such a devastating ailment, "I also felt a lot of guilt for being the one person in the family who didn't understand what they were going through. It's hard when your whole family is in pain and you don't know what to do."
Anwar has always kept to himself even though he comes from a prominent family and is a model himself. In 2018, his mother spoke of his personality saying, "Anwar’s actually kind of shy. Unless I push him into things, he likes to be in the background and do his thing." It seems as though regardless of his mother being public about the illness, Anwar had been suffering for a while. In 2017, his mother revealed in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts, "Anwar... he's OK... He's been treated for two years and he's really good."
May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and it brings an opportunity for Lyme patients, activists and educators to share tips and open up about Lyme and tick-borne diseases. In this column, we highlight the struggles of celebrities and talk about preventive and cure measures.