Celebrities and Their Journey in Battling Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition. This disease shows up in different forms, like rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, gout, and lupus. These are all considered autoimmune disorders, in which common symptoms are swelling, stiffness, and joint pains. This disease doesn’t discriminate. It attacks people who are prone to acquiring it, no matter what people do in their lives. Arthritis doesn’t necessarily target older people, as even younger ones could also have it because of a genetic compound. The ache that arthritis brings is tough to deal with most of the time. Still, many people, including celebrities, musicians, and athletes who battle this disease, have managed to live with it, with the help of some medication or physical therapy. If you are one of those who are prone or have been suffering from arthritis, you might find some common ground with these celebrities’ stories on how they were able to cope up with their battles on a daily basis. Please read up on their stories, and hopefully, take it as an inspiration to live one day at a time.


Dorothy Hodgkin is a British chemist who is known for being the third woman who won a Nobel Prize for her work with penicillin in 1964. She was the person behind the advanced technique of x-ray crystallography. Despite the success she had in her 35 years of work of being a chemist, Dorothy was battling rheumatoid arthritis. Her doctor diagnosed her with this disorder at the age of 28. The main symptoms of her illness involved her hands. Dorothy would feel pain in her swollen hands. Despite the problems she experienced, she continued to do her job. In the 1980s, Dorothy kept herself away from the public due to her condition. She also probably had secured health insurance to aid in her battle. Finally, at the age of 84, she passed away. Despite that, we remember her for her outstanding contributions in the field of science that resonates until today.


Doctor Barnard was born in South Africa. He specialized as a cardiac surgeon. Barnard was the first doctor who performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant in 1967. The successful operation of Louis Washkansky led to him being able to regain consciousness and freely converse with his spouse. Barnard was undoubtedly a fantastic doctor, which paved him the way to become the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery’s head in Cape Town, South Africa. Unfortunately, he retired from his position because he couldn’t do any more surgeries when he developed rheumatoid arthritis. Despite that, Christiaan was a famous doctor recognized internationally. However, he had to deal with lawyers three times due to troubles in wedded bliss. He lived for 78 incredible years, before succumbing to an asthma attack in 2001.


Raoul Dufy was a French artist who is most famous and known for making beautiful ceramic designs as well as certain textiles. His style is mainly Fauvist, from which he adapted colorful patterns and schemes. A lot of people recognized his investments in talent and art, to the extent that Paul Poiret, a famous fashion designer, commissioned him for his work. However, in the 1950s, an illness of rheumatoid arthritis was developed in Raoul’s hands. Life magazine featured his showcased work with his deformed right hand. Due to this disorder, Raoul was prevented from painting more works. He would sometimes utilize his left hand, and it wasn’t until doctors treated his illness with cortisone shots that his pain was somehow eased.


Glenn Frey was a musician rock icon who is a co-founder of the Eagles. He played the guitar and the keyboards. But more than that, Frey wrote most of the band’s songs. Shortly after the breakup of the well-loved rock band, Glenn made a successful career as a solo artist. However, in 2000, the musician developed a rheumatoid disease. Glenn rarely spoke about it at the time, but he was already taking medication to ease the pain and for its treatment as well. Sadly, he suffered from stomach ulcers and colitis for 15 years due to his intake of drug treatments. In January of 2016, he lost the intense fight against the complications. Although the medication might have caused him his untimely passing, it also gave him an investment and extension in time to enjoy life even for just a little while.


Golnesa is a reality television star from Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset, who was brave enough to show the documentation of her journey for having arthritis. She is currently 38 years old. But three years ago, we got a glimpse of the pain she was experiencing, which was too painful to watch, given the realistic depiction on screen. In an episode, she had to extract a fluid on her swollen knee because it made walking hard for her to do. GG, as she is fondly called, has also shared her journey with the illness on her Instagram, saying she might look healthy outside, but she has to be tough and conquer the condition. GG is undergoing constant treatment, and with her funds from Shahs of Sunset, she has surely secured great health insurance that would rightfully serve her needs. We can only pray and hope she gets better in time.


Camryn Manheim is a famous actress who is famously known for her role in ABC’s drama The Practice. Camryn was always an open book about her personal life and her opinions, which openly expresses a variety of issues, such as gay rights and the difficulties she’s going through with rheumatoid arthritis. Camryn discovered her illness with moderate RA in the early 2000s. She wanted to let everyone know the daily struggles and difficulties of the people with the same illness. For this reason, she invested a part of her investment money on the Arthritis Foundation. Despite having challenges due to her condition, Camryn didn’t let it become a hindrance for her to continue working and taking care of her son.


Jennie Garth gained prominence for her role on Beverly Hills, 90210 and What I Like About You. She tied the knot with actor Peter Facinelli, but they ended up having to see an attorney after they ended their relationship in 2013. Jennie has three daughters with Peter; one of them had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at a young age of six.

Anyone could just imagine how Jennie handles seeing her daughter in pain and going back and forth to the hospital. However, the good thing about Lola is that though she suffers from constant pain, she has always been a fighter. She is cooperative with her continuous medication and treatment.


Aida is an American actress who is famously known for her appearance on The Sopranos. She was only 12 years old when she developed rheumatoid arthritis, and she had painful memories about fighting with the disease. She has been working now with the Arthritis Foundation to spread awareness about the illness. She was even one of the spokeswomen in the early 2000s pushing the said advocacy. Aida is now 55 years old but is still working in the industry. She’s probably making more investments now to sustain the needs for her medication. Life might be a little bit tough for her, but this did not stop her from pursuing her passion.


Seamus Mullen is a famous chef most popularly known for whipping up exotic recipes. Aside from that, he is no ordinary chef because he had received awards for his excellent cooking skills. Seamus made investments in New York City and London, wherein he owns four restaurants in total. However, this celebrity chef is not a stranger to rheumatoid arthritis. Seamus has been suffering from this disease for quite a long time now. As a chef, he believes that a balanced diet and exercising could minimize the inflammation, but since Seamus is now in advancing age, his RA flare-ups— which hit his right hand, shoulder, left knee, and his hips— continues to rage on.


Sandy Koufax was a former professional baseball left-handed pitcher. His career spanned from the 1950s to the 1960s. Sandy’s career was iconic, making him the youngest player inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, ex-athletes are usually known to be at risk for arthritis disease, so Sandy was definitely not an exception. He developed traumatic arthritis in his left elbow while he was still in his playing days. Having the illness and also barely feeling anything in his hands didn’t stop Sandy from breaking records. His doctors have been considering to amputate a finger of his. Still, this unstoppable baseball force remained unfazed. He finally retired in his career at the age of 30, and now, he is at the ripe age of 84 years old. Though he has arthritis, he doesn’t have to worry about any kind of money loan to sustain his needs.