You’re Not Alone! 7 Celebrities with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often considered an “invisible illness” since its symptoms are most often indiscernible to the outside observer. For those suffering from it, the lack of visible symptoms can be frustrating as it can lead others to conclude that our illness is not real and that our symptoms are “all in our head”. This lack of understanding can leave us with an overwhelming sense of loneliness and despair.
So anytime we see an article about fibromyalgia or hear of someone famous who suffers from it – we get a little excited. Not because we think an article will cure us or because we like to see others suffer – but because it means our “invisible illness” becomes a bit more visible to our families, friends, co-workers, etc. The more visible it becomes, the better our chances of being understood and believed.
So we decided to pull together a list of 7 celebrities who we know have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Despite their diagnosis, they – like you and I – have continued to fight and live life to the best of their ability…
1. Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is one of the most well known celebrities with fibromyalgia. As an actor, Morgan has been in award-winning films such as Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, Invictus and more. In 2012, he revealed he has fibromyalgia in an interview with Esquire magazine.
2. Michael James Hastings
If you watched the television series The West Wing, you’ll recognize Michael as “Captain Mike.” At the age of 30, Michael began to experience some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and after numerous visits and tests he was finally diagnosed with the illness. To this day he an advocate for fibromyalgia awareness and finding new ways to fight the disease.
3. Susan Flannery
Most famous for her role as Stephanie on the popular soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, Susan Flannery eventually left the show in 2012 because of her fibromyalgia. She still continues to play a role in the entertainment industry, when possible. She has been involved in producing as well as directing when her health allows.
4. Rosie Hamlin
Rosie Hamlin was the lead singer for the popular 1960’s group Rosie and The Originals. She discussed how fibromyalgia has impacted her life in a 2004 interview with Fibromyalgia Awareness magazine. At age 59, she began to experience pain in her shoulders and back and was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. To this day she is taking her fibromyalgia one day at a time, experimenting with different therapies and treatments.
5. Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo is a stand up comedian that has starred in various television shows, including as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Most recently, she co-hosted Air America Radio’s show The Majority Report. She continues to play a role in entertainment and uses humor to help cope – even poking a little fun at her fibromyalgia in some of her stand up comedy routines.
6. Frances Winfield Bremer
Frances Winfield Bremer is an American author, as well as wife of the former administrator of Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III. Both she and her husband have been outspoken advocates for fibromyalgia sufferers. In 2007, she was appointed as a spokeswoman for the National Fibromyalgia Association. Through this role, she and her husband have helped bring greater visibility to fibromyalgia.
7. Mary McDonough
Mary McDonough is best known for her role as Erin Walton from the popular television series The Waltons. As is the case with many suffering from chronic pain, Mary suffered for years before finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In her memoir Lessons From the Mountain: What I Learned From Erin Walton, Mary details her struggles with pain as well as her body image issues as a young actress in Hollywood.
Whether you’ve suffered from fibromyalgia for years or were only recently diagnosed, knowing you’re not alone can help sustain you through difficult days. As awareness of this painful disease spreads – we hope that so too will the understanding and compassion of the loved ones of those afflicted. How has awareness of fibromyalgia helped your family and friends to be more understanding of your situation? Share your comments on our Facebook page.