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Selena Gomez’s Birthday Wish Is Something You Might Have Asked For If You Have a Chronic Illness

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Selena Gomez turned 25 on Saturday, and she asked her fans for a birthday gift you may have asked for, too, if you have a chronic illness.

In a tweet posted on her birthday, Gomez invited fans to donate to a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching her chronic illness — the Lupus Research Alliance.

Gomez was diagnosed with lupus in 2013 and first revealed her diagnosis in 2015 after taking a break from touring to undergo chemotherapy to treat the condition. This isn’t the first time she’s advocated for lupus research — earlier this year, she founded the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.

Gomez has also been open about her illness through her music. She wore gauze and the “fall risk” bracelet she had gotten in the hospital earlier this year in the music video for “Bad Liar.”

In addition to donating to research initiatives, there are plenty of other thoughtful gifts you can give a loved one with a chronic illness.

We asked The Mighty’s chronic illness community to share what they’d like to receive as gifts. Here’s what they had to add:

1. “The best gift I ever got was an electric heating blanket! Not having to move the heating pad from sore spot to sore spot was a life saver! Since December, I’ve worn out three of them!”

2. “Money, because I’m unable to make near enough to pay my bills… it puts me at ease and makes me less anxious knowing that a few more bills could possibly be paid.”

3. “FUZZY. SOCKS. I can never have enough. They add so much comfort to my feet.”

4. “It sounds harsh but space. Throwing big parties or having a party drains me. The need to feel like everyone should come by and say hi is very exhausting. So for me peace and space for my birthday is the best. The rest of the year I’m doing this or that or helping here and there and on my birthday I want to do nothing but eat and sleep in peace with out feeling like I am Debbie the downer. My time and space is precious so that’s what I want.”

5. “I got a fleece blanket from a myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) charity called Smile for ME after being nominated by a friend. That blanket has brought me so much comfort I can’t quantify just how much and it gives me the ‘feels’ thinking that she cares enough and the charity cared enough to send it.”

6. “A weekly meal delivery or monthly Spoonie Essentials or ChronicAlly box.”

7. “Comfy clothes that don’t put much pressure on my skin, or gift cards to Barnes & Noble so that I can buy books, because they always help distract me from my pain and they keep me happy (unless if it’s a sad book, but at least I’m not sad because of my fibro.)”

8. “Things unrelated to my illness. The toll put on my body just by putting together is reminder enough that I am always living in pain. I don’t need the extra reminder in gifts. I like gifts that support the things I’m trying to accomplish outside of an illness. Hobbies, goals, career, etc.”

9. “I want clothes that I feel comfortable in, but that also are fashionable. I need something that fits while I’m bloated, sick in the bathroom, can fit over my PICC line, and still make me feel great about myself.”

10. “Company. My chronic illness has me so incredibly isolated, and since I’m single, my depression just gets deeper. It would be nice if someone would come hang out with me.”

11. “Just take me out of the house a good lunch or dinner would be great, cooking is hard and a nice meal out of the house is always appreciated. Most of us are on a low budget and so even a gift certificate to the local pizza place is awesome.”

12. “Kindle gift cards for books, iTunes gift cards for music, and things that make it so I can still do my other hobbies. Tripod for my camera so I can still do photography with my tremors, things like that. I like to forget about my illness as much as possible, especially around holidays when pain is worse anyway.”

13. “I like getting awareness shirts for fibromyalgia and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. I like anything zebra (it’s the ribbon for EDS).”

14. “Food that I can eat is a great gift. Since I have to eat a special diet I always have to make my own food unless we go to a trusted restaurant.”

15. “My favorite birthday gift was a hotel room. I got to sleep in a massive comfy bed, with no loud noises, no kid, no partner, no phone. I slept, took a long hot bath in a massive tub and ordered room service.”

Got a gift option you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below.


Image via Creative Commons/jenniferlinneaphotography

Originally published: July 24, 2017
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