An Apology to Selena Gomez, From a Fellow 'Lupie'
I remember when Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” was on TV. I love that show! It was my favorite! I love Selena Gomez and how sassy she was. During this time, the media said something about Selena Gomez having lupus. I was in shock, because at the time I was a pre-teen who had lupus. I was super excited that someone famous has what I have. She understands the difficulties of lupus. It made me really happy because there is not a lot of media coverage for lupus like there is for cancer. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
After a couple of years, there was no talk about Selena and lupus, which made me very upset because I really felt like all the Lupies needed someone in the media to be an advocate for lupus.
But in 2015, Selena released an album called “Revival.” The album was a comeback after she took a break from music for her health. Of course, I bought the album and I read the little booklet that came with it. She didn’t mention lupus, but I felt the album was a battle song for lupus awareness. In a Billboard interview, she said she been through stuff and it tested her as a person. The album helps her feel in charge and realized who she is. I was very happy and I listen to “Revival” almost every day.
Then for the past three years, I was on chemo for my lupus. It has been a crazy roller coaster. I have been in and out of the hospital so many times. I almost died twice. But I’m still fighting. Just as Selena is fighting. These past three years, Selena has done interviews about being on chemo, raising money for lupus, and recently she got a kidney transplant for her lupus.
I’m writing this because at the start of the media mentioning Selena’s health, I wasn’t happy because she wasn’t being an advocate. But now as an adult I understand why Selena didn’t go too public with her health. It’s because it’s her health, her business, and her journey. Everyone with lupus goes through it differently. No two cases are the same. When I came out of remission I was really depressed. I had to do chemo again and I didn’t want too. Plus, the timing was off as usual. I just started college and my “not too bad but serious” health was gone. I was really sick.
So, Selena, even though you don’t know me, I am very sorry for my feelings. I am sorry for the media pressuring you about your health. I now know what it feels like to not like your body. Now, I understand why when I was a pre-teen your health wasn’t in the media. But, I am super proud of you. It takes a lot of courage to go public with your health. Especially when society doesn’t really understand lupus. You go, girl! I hope your recovery with the kidney transplant goes smoothly and don’t give up. Lots of love, from a fan who is fighting with you!
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Lead photo courtesy of Selena Gomez’s Facebook page