Monday, June 13, 2016

Yolanda Hadid Awarded With Lifetime Achievement Award For Her Chronic Lyme Disease Advocacy!

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Yolanda Hadid has been awarded for her advocacy for the chronic Lyme disease. ProHealth, Inc. is giving the the former model a Lifetime Achievement Award. Read full details below!

"We're honored to award Yolanda Hadid with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her efforts to foster awareness about chronic Lyme disease," says ProHealth Founder Rich Carson, "and for her courage and willingness to share her story publicly, as she also battles to recover from Lyme."

Read the official Press Release below!

"Beautiful, bold and brilliant Dutch-American model and actress Yolanda Hadid, star of the American reality-television show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is more than just a famous supermodel and television personality. She is a tenacious survivor of chronic Lyme disease and passionate advocate for the many millions of people who are battling this serious worldwide pandemic disease.

Those who follow Yolanda in the media know that her journey with Lyme disease over the past five years has been anything but smooth. In addition to being misdiagnosed and mistreated by many doctors, Yolanda has had to contend with ridicule from Hollywood, a recent divorce from her husband David Foster, and incredibly, two of her children also being diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease—all of this while fighting to reclaim her life amidst a debilitating array of symptoms.

Yolanda shares her healing journey on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, as well as in other media such as Twitter. She has also participated in several charity organization events for Lyme disease, including Lyme Research Alliance’s 2015 gala event and Stand4Lyme Foundation's recent Catalyst 4 The Cure Concert. She has supported others in the battle, such as Ally Hilfiger, author of the recently released biography entitled: Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy and Almost Killed Me.

Yolanda, who has courageously gone public with her story, is becoming a light and a voice for millions of people with Lyme who don’t have one. By sharing her story, many more will become educated about and aware of this debilitating disease. This could lead to more funding for research, and ultimately, a shift in the current flawed diagnostic and treatment guidelines set by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and Centers for Disease Control.

It is ProHealth’s honor and privilege to award Yolanda with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her efforts to spread awareness about chronic Lyme disease, and for her boldness, courage and willingness to share her story publicly, as she also battles to recover from Lyme. ProHealth's founder and CEO, Rich Carson, said, "I've been wowed by her incredible courage and the amazing success she has had as an advocate for Lyme disease."

I had the honor of interviewing Yolanda for this award, and as a fellow Lyme disease survivor and author of four Lyme disease books, I realized that her battle is similar in some ways to that of many thousands of others who have been diagnosed with this illness. For instance, many people are misdiagnosed and improperly treated by their doctors. Many have multiple family members infected with Lyme; incur disbelief from friends, family and society about the seriousness of the illness, and often end up losing important relationships because of it.

However, what amazed me about Yolanda was her lack of anger or bitterness toward those who may have mistreated, diagnosed or misunderstood her. I admired her tenacious, matter-of-fact attitude about Lyme disease, and determination to beat it and advocate for others by sharing her story publicly and researching to find a cure.

Chronic Lyme disease is a devastating pandemic, with over 300,000 new cases every year in the United States alone. Because symptoms of Lyme mimic many dozens of other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, ALS and Parkinson’s—to name a few—it can be difficult to diagnose. What’s more, tests miss many cases of Lyme, either because they aren’t sensitive or specific enough, or simply don’t exist for all of the strains of organisms involved in Lyme. This means that most doctors are not equipped to recognize and adequately treat it."

There you have it. Earlier this week, Hadid shared details about her forthcoming memoir, Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease. The book will be published by St. Martin's Press in February 2017, and Hadid  reveals why she felt it was time to write about hr journey with Lyme Disease.

"Once I started to uncover the mystery of chronic Lyme disease and the stigma around it, I felt a strong sense of obligation towards the millions of people suffering from this debilitating disease to share my journey and to be a voice for those who can't be heard," she told The Daily Dish.

"I would hope that anyone who watched or knows about my journey will take the time to read Believe Me as I truly hope it will educate and open people's hearts in order to gain a much deeper respect and understanding of this journey," Yolanda says. "The message here is really about how we can learn to be less judgmental and deal with chronically ill people in a more kind, compassionate and understanding way."

Photo Credit: Bravo

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