Michael J. Fox, Selma Blair, Danica Patrick and more stars on overcoming health battles: In their own words

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Hollywood stars, including Michael J. Fox, Selma Blair and Danica Patrick, have been outspoken with their health journeys. 

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Blair is battling multiple sclerosis, and Patrick has been candid about her struggles with breast implant illness. 

Dr. David Amron, a dermatologic surgeon, spoke to Fox News Digital about how celebrities publicly sharing their health struggles can impact other people.

“When celebrities and social media influencers share their journeys and struggles with medical conditions and rare disorders it is very impactful to help raise awareness, bring an understanding and reduce stigma,” Amron shared.

Hollywood stars, including Michael J. Fox, Selma Blair and Danica Patrick, have been outspoken about their health journeys.
(Getty Images)

“A celebrity speaking out makes those struggling with similar health concerns feel normal and it brings great attention to missed diagnoses and the importance of a proper diagnosis,” he continued.

Here is a look at a few stars who have been open with their health journeys.

MICHAEL J. FOX REVEALS HE HAS SUFFERED MULTIPE BROKEN BONES OVER THE PAST YEAR: ‘IT’S BEEN A STRUGGLE’

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991.

Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991.
(Jim Spellman / Stringer via Getty Images)

Michael J. Fox, who has battled Parkinson’s disease for the past 30 years, has been candid about his health journey.

Recently, the actor opened up about painful injuries he’s dealt with along with his recovery process. Fox previously labeled 2018 the worst year of his life, but in a new interview he said things “got worse.”

“I broke my cheek, then my hand, then my shoulder, had a replacement shoulder put in and broke my [right] arm, then I broke my elbow,” Fox said of the last year during an interview with People magazine. “I’m 61 years old, and I’m feeling it a little bit more.”

During his recovery, Fox said he struggled with his outlook on life.

“I was never really a cranky guy, but I got very cranky and short with people,” he told the outlet. “I try to nip it in the bud. I always think of these aides who work with me. And I often say to them, ‘Whatever I say, just imagine I said “please” at the beginning and “thank you” at the end. Just take a second and absorb that I might have said that if I was more myself, but I didn’t, so I apologize.'”

Fox is just about healed up and is working on one mission.

“The whole mission is: Don’t fall down,” he said. “So whatever works to not fall down, whether it’s a walker or a wheelchair, a cane, a guy with a belt around my waist holding onto it – I use all those tools.”

Despite the Parkinson’s disease diagnoses, Fox continued acting until his retirement in 2020.

Selma Blair

Selma Blair was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018.

Selma Blair was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018.
(Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for CFDA/Vogue)

Selma Blair continues to share her health journey with fans. The “Legally Blonde” actress was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018.

Despite her diagnosis, Blair recently competed on “Dancing with the Stars.” She exited the competition show after four weeks following her doctor’s guidance.

“This has been such an awakening in ways that I didn’t think would happen in my lifetime,” Blair exclusively told Fox News Digital.

“I didn’t think I’d even have this earnestness in my lifetime to genuinely want to do this and forgetting even my disabilities or my chronic illness.”

Blair got candid about her diagnosis in the 2021 documentary “Introducing Selma Blair.”

Despite her diagnosis, Blair recently competed on "Dancing with the Stars." She exited the competition show after four weeks following her doctor's guidance.

Despite her diagnosis, Blair recently competed on “Dancing with the Stars.” She exited the competition show after four weeks following her doctor’s guidance.
(Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)

“I would like it to be as dramatic as I am. I was told to make plans for dying,” she said in a teaser for the film. “Not ’cause I have MS, because I’m fighting MS.”

In 2019, the “Cruel Intentions” actress admitted she cried after learning of her diagnosis.

“They were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had a loss of control, and there was some relief in that,” Blair told “Good Morning America” at the time.

“Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,” she recalled. “And I was self-medicating when he wasn’t with me. I was drinking. I was in pain. I wasn’t always drinking, but there were times when I couldn’t take it.”

SELMA BLAIR EXITS ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS, CELEBS BID FAREWELL: ‘INCREDIBLY INSPIRING’

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lupus.

Selena Gomez has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lupus.
(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Selena Gomez has been open about her bipolar disorder diagnosis and her battle with lupus.

In 2014, the former Disney star entered a mental health facility shortly after she was diagnosed with lupus and later revealed she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“My lupus, my kidney transplant, chemotherapy, having a mental illness, going through very public heartbreaks — these were all things that honestly should have taken me down,” the actress explained in a 2020 interview with Elle magazine. “Every time I went through something, I was like, ‘What else? What else am I going to have to deal with?'”

Gomez has included her mental health work in her business ventures. In 2020, she launched Rare Beauty in order to “create a safe, welcoming space in beauty – and beyond,” according to the brand’s mission statement. The brand includes the Rare Impact Fund, which raises money for mental health services.

Gomez has been outspoken about her journey in a recent documentary, which was released by Apple TV+ on Nov. 4. The film is directed by Alek Keshishian. 

“My Mind and Me” documents Gomez’s struggle with health, anxiety and depression over the past six years.

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Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021.

Christina Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021.
(Presley Ann/Getty Images)

Christina Applegate revealed she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in August 2021.

“Hi friends. A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS,” she wrote on Twitter at the time.

“It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition,” Applegate continued. “It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a–hole blocks it.”

In a separate tweet she added: “As one of my friends that has MS said ‘we wake up and take the indicated action’. And that’s what I do.”

Applegate has taken fans along for her health journey and recently shared a glimpse into picking out a cane for a “fancy ceremony” in October.

“This will be my first time out since diagnosed with MS,” Applegate wrote alongside a photo of four options. “Walking sticks are now part of my new normal. Thank you @neowalksticks for these beauties. Stay tuned to see which ones make the cut for a week of stuff.”

According to Dr. Amron, “The increased connectivity in today’s modern world with social media, has allowed us to instantly connect with celebrities, and with most diseases and disorders early prevention or diagnosis is key, so when celebrities share their health battles publicly it could inspire other people struggling with similar symptoms to seek treatment. 

“These courageous acts of sharing health battles publicly help propel us forward to acceptance, and development of effective treatments and ultimately cures,” he added. 

DANICA PATRICK REFLECTS ON HER BATTLE WITH BREAST IMPLANT ILLNESS: ‘I WENT DOWN A PRETTY DEEP RABBIT HOLE’

Danica Patrick

Danica Patrick has been outspoken with her health journey after removing her breast implants.

Danica Patrick has been outspoken with her health journey after removing her breast implants.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Danica Patrick has been outspoken about her health journey after she made the decision to remove her breast implants.

The former NASCAR driver went under the knife in 2014 because she thought “it would pull my whole look together and make me feel more feminine and sexy.” However, it wouldn’t be until 2017 that the 40-year-old started experiencing changes in her body, including weight gain, hair loss and fatigue, among others.

According to an interview with People magazine, it wasn’t until early 2022 that the star saw several videos on social media about breast implant illness (BII). BII symptoms have been reported with all types of breast implants and could occur either immediately after surgery or years later. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that some of the most common symptoms associated with BII include brain fog, joint pain, anxiety and hair loss.

Patrick realized that her implants could be to blame for her ongoing health woes that wouldn’t go away. In March of this year, she decided to have them removed. She said the results were instant.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’m probably a six right now,” she explained to the outlet. “But I take better care of myself now than I ever have. Chasing perfection is a dead-end street. Learning how to come home to yourself is a beautiful thing.”

She now hopes her health journey will inspire others experiencing similar symptoms to do the same.

“Trust your intuition,” Patrick said. “Get them removed and see how you feel.”

Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke suffered two brain aneurysms while filming "Game of Thrones."

Emilia Clarke suffered two brain aneurysms while filming “Game of Thrones.”
(Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Emilia Clarke shared her health scare with the world in 2019 after suffering two aneurysms that required brain surgery. More recently, the “Game of Thrones” actress revealed parts of her brain were missing.

“I am in the really, really, really small minority of people that can survive that… There’s quite a bit missing!” Clarke explained on BBC One. “Because strokes, basically, as soon as any part of your brain doesn’t get blood for a second, it’s gone. And so the blood finds a different route to get around but then whatever bit it’s missing is therefore gone.”

Clarke suffered her first aneurysm in 2011, shortly after the actress wrapped filming on the hit HBO show.

In 2013, a surgery to remove another aneurysm doctors had found failed and Clarke was left with a brain bleed.

“I spent a month in the hospital again and, at certain points, I lost all hope,” Clarke wrote in an essay for the New Yorker. “I couldn’t look anyone in the eye. There was terrible anxiety, panic attacks. I was raised never to say, “It’s not fair”; I was taught to remember that there is always someone who is worse off than you. But, going through this experience for the second time, all hope receded. I felt like a shell of myself. So much so that I now have a hard time remembering those dark days in much detail. My mind has blocked them out. But I do remember being convinced that I wasn’t going to live.”

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Fox News Digital’s Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.

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