Millions of people live with rheumatoid arthritis. Some of them happen to be famous. You may be surprised who’s on the list.
The Emmy-winning actress wasn’t herself in 2004, and not because she was playing a role. The Practice star’s hands hurt so badly she could barely hold a pen and she was too tired to run alongside her son as he learned to ride his bike. Eight months and several doctors later, she was diagnosed with RA. “You have to get the proper diagnosis and then the proper treatment,” she told People. “Then you can put it behind you and live a full and eventful life.” Look for Manheim in the ABC drama Stumptown.
Known for her roles on The Middle and Grey’s Anatomy, Bannon was diagnosed with RA when she was just 15. At the time, she could barely get up the stairs because of the pain. She teamed up with the Arthritis Foundation to bring awareness to juvenile RA, and even posted a video of herself administering her daily arthritis shot on Instagram.
American Ninja Warrior features athletes doing extraordinary things, and turns out, the show’s host is pretty extraordinary too. A doctor turned stand-up comic and actor, Iseman is a strong supporter of the Arthritis Foundation and even won Celebrity Apprentice on the charity’s behalf. Iseman manages symptoms through a combination of medication, exercise, and positive thinking. “Changing my mindset has been important,” he told HealthCentral. “So much of dealing with this disease is mental, figuring out how you decide to view it.”
The world-renowned tennis player had just won the 2018 Australian Open, achieving her first Grand Slam victory and reclaiming number-one world status, when she started having debilitating pain and fatigue. Several months later, she went public with her RA diagnosis, leading people to speculate on the future of her career. She continues to compete, saying, “You figure out what to do.” Her strategy: Take it one day at a time.
When the founding member of rock band the Eagles died in early 2016, reports indicated that RA medications may have contributed to his death. (Experts say this is unlikely, but RA drugs do have potential side effects that you should discuss with your doctor.) Since Frey’s death, the Eagles reunited for a North American tour, recruiting country artist Vince Gill and Frey’s son, Deacon, to fill Frey’s spot. At the inaugural show, in Birmingham, Gill acknowledged the lossbut added, “The songs will live forever.”