Gigi Hadid Praises Sister And Mum For Raising Awareness Of Debilitating Effects Of Lyme Disease

'We are so proud of you.'

17/10/2016 11:39

Gigi Hadid has shared a touching Instagram post dedicated to her sister Bella and mum, Yolanda Foster, for their work raising awareness of Lyme disease.

The cause is close to the family’s hearts as both Bella and Yolanda suffer from the disease, along with Gigi’s youngest sibling Anwar. 

Gigi shared a photograph of her sister and mum over the weekend, with the caption: “So proud of my mamma and sissy for sharing their battle with Lyme Disease to spread awareness!”

The duo helped to raise a staggering $2.7million (£2.2million) at the Global Lyme Alliance gala, which will go towards finding better diagnostic testing for the disease and, hopefully one day, a cure. 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. 

It is often characterised by a bull’s-eye rash, however many people will not seek medical help and can go years before being diagnosed.

According to the NHS, more serious symptoms may develop several weeks, months or even years later if the disease is left untreated or is not treated early on. 

These symptoms can include: pain and swelling in the joints (inflammatory arthritis), problems affecting the nervous system, heart problems and inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Bella and Yolanda have dedicated a lot of time to raising awareness of the little-known illness, which resulted in Bella being honoured by the Global Lyme Alliance.

In a speech delivered at the gala, she said: “My teenage years were taken from me. I was forced to start homeschooling [in] my second year of high school, which of course I didn’t want to do because I’d rather go hang out with my friends, go to parties.”

She added that she even had to give up her dream of becoming a showjumper, because she “didn’t have the brain power to ride horses anymore”.

“I know what it feels like to not want to get out of bed from bone pain and exhaustion and days on end of not wanting to socialise or be around people because the anxiety and brain fog just isn’t worth it,” she said. 

In a separate speech, her mum Yolanda said she was “grateful and proud” of Bella for “understanding the higher purpose of her journey” and for speaking openly about it to bring awareness to others. 

She added: “I promise you I will find a cure. And I thank you so much for standing up for what’s right and for joining us in a fight for a Lyme-free world. And, my love, just remember you are not alone.”

Sharing another photograph of her sister Bella on social media, Gigi gushed: “We are so proud of you.”

[H/T Hello Giggles


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