Bella Hadid has been outspoken about her struggle with Lyme disease, the same disease both her mother, Yolanda, and brother, Anwar, suffer from.
In a new interview, the 19-year-old model opens up about how it has affected her work, and how people react to her because of it.
"People are really mean about it. They always say that I don’t have what I have — but it’s taken a toll on my life since I was 15," she tells Glamour. "I’ll occasionally get comments now like, 'How do you have this disease if you’re working every day?'"
"But I didn’t want it to hold me back anymore. I’m still 19; I still have a life and things to do."
The model, who has walked for the likes of Chanel, Balmain and Marc Jacobs, also described what it feels like to live with the disease.
"It starts with brain fog; for a while I couldn’t put sentences together. I’m really tired a lot. A few weeks ago I had a big campaign shoot that I had to reschedule. It’s hard, but I push through, because at the end of the day, if you’re not working, somebody else is."
Back in June, Bella shared a heartfelt Instagram post describing the profound effect Lyme disease has taken on her mum.
I have seen you in bed, struggling for the past 5 years of our lives, thinking to myself 'why would this happen to such an angel?' I would cry to myself knowing that there was nothing I could do to help and that there were people going against you and what you are/were going through.
Incidents where you would be so sick, not being able to move your bones/body, and I would have to drive you to the hospital at 3 am so I could see you get a shot of something just like every other day you would have to do treatment.
You have been in more doctors labs and testing rooms every SINGLE day, then I have ever seen in my life... To find a CURE for people around the world.”
In the post, Bella also detailed her own struggled with the disease, which she says has prevented her from going to school and work.
I have been struggling with Lyme and other co-infections for the past two years which has debilitated me from riding my horses, going to school, and struggling with work which are all the things I am so passionate about.
You are the only person that would believe me and understand what I was going through. This book shows Kids and adults with Lyme across the world that you are not alone and we believe you!
I love you mommy.
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