Fans of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have watched Yolanda Foster fight an exhausting battle against chronic Lyme disease, a tickborne illness characterized initially by a rash, headache, fever, and fatigue, and later by possible arthritis and neurological and cardiac disorders.
But we found out last night, at the very first Global Lyme Alliance gala in New York, she's not alone in her struggle.
While accepting the "Power of One" award, the 51-year-old mother of three revealed that her 16-year-old son Anwar Hadid and 19-year-old daughter Bella Hadid also have the medical condition.
"When my two youngest children, Bella and Anwar, were diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in early 2012, watching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me in my journey, struck the deepest core of hopelessness inside of me," she said, according to People.
Introducing her mother to the stage, Gigi, Foster's eldest child, extolled the "honest, unapologetic, and raw" way she "portrayed Lyme disease on social media and on the show" ever since being diagnosed:
"I remember when she was going into the first season of filming, she said to me, 'I don't know why this show was brought to my life, but for some reason, I think it will lead to something bigger,'" the 20-year-old said.
Foster dedicated her award to Anwar and Bella:
This is my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering. I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve. No child should suffer the way that you do ... I thank you both for your extraordinary selflessness during this journey. Your unwavering love and compassion has kept me alive and fighting through the darkest days of my life.
She then apologized to them for the times her disease has impeded her from being the best mother she could possibly be. But, she said, when she's too weak to physically be by their side, she's always with them spirit, keeping a close eye on them with the help of social media.
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