Suffering from adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s Disease means your adrenal glands produce less aldosterone and cortisol. The disease causes you to start feeling tired, fatigued, nauseated, and you even have changes in skin color.
Addison’s Disease is known to affect 140 people per one million in developed countries and includes famous people.
Below are 10 famous people who’ve been diagnosed with Addison’s Disease.
1. John F. Kennedy
Perhaps one of the most famous people to be diagnosed with Addison’s Disease is former President John F. Kennedy.
While he strived to keep his health struggles private, it became public knowledge that the former president got the diagnosis.
The news was relayed when he was visiting London aged 30 in 1947. He’d go on to use steroids leading to osteoporosis.
Kennedy had four unsuccessful back operations from 1954 to 1957 when he was a senator.
2. Anna Power
Anna Power is a British showjumper known for her prowess around Europe. Since her teen years, Power has competed internationally leading top board rankings, and even winning first place.
In April 2011, she was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease, but that hasn’t slowed her down.
Power expressed feeling run down for about two weeks like she had the flu before receiving the diagnosis.
Now, she’s more sensitive to how her body feels and Power strives to adapt accordingly. Proper rest is handy, especially when competing overseas with disrupted daily routines.
3. Sushmita Sen
In 2014, Sushmita Sen was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. She’s spoken about having to take steroids regularly to keep the condition under control.
Most people can work and live normal lives after diagnosis with proper care. However, you might face bouts of fatigue.
Sen, an actress, recently suffered a heart attack and had to undergo an angioplasty. She expressed being shaken up by the diagnosis, and general health issues terming the experience traumatizing.
4. Jane Austen
Addison’s Disease was unknown during Jane Austen’s time. She died in 1817 aged 41 and, sadly, it was a result of her health condition. Austen was an English novelist famous for writing ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
Though there’s no concrete evidence that she had the illness, Austen was the right age to have Addison’s Disease.
5. George Summerbee
George Summerbee was an English professional footballer. He played as a midfielder for 4 football clubs during his career. Summerbee began his professional football career in Aldershot playing alongside his brother.
He succumbed to Addison’s disease in 1955, three years after his contract wasn’t renewed as player-manager at Cheltenham Town.
6. Helen Reddy
Helen Reddy is an Australian-born singer and activist. Many describe her as having a beautiful voice having recorded 18 albums. Reddy is the voice behind the powerful ‘I am Woman’, a 1972 feminist anthem.
She was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease in 1976 aged 35. That inspired the artist to become a patron of the Australian Addison’s Disease Association.
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7. Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Eunice Kennedy Shriver experienced digestive problems before getting diagnosed with Addison’s Disease.
The younger sister of Jack Kennedy was immediately placed on corticosteroids because of her malfunctioning adrenal glands.
One thing about her was she never allowed her health challenges to slow her down. She went on to participate in the Special Olympics, and in 1972 convinced ABC’s Wide World of Sports to televise the event.
8. Giulia Bould
Giulia Bould was unwell for 18 months before she was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease in 2016.
The sports presenter for BBC Radio Merseyside continues to improve in health and shine in her career. She strives to live life to the fullest despite her diagnosis.
Bould ensures she keeps to her appointments and works with an endocrinologist. She’s also big on advocating for better diagnosis of Addison’s Disease as it’s easily missed.
9. Geoff Starling
Geoff Starling is a former Australian professional Rugby league player in the 1970s. He played for the Balmain Club taking part in the Jersey Flegg competition in 1970.
He’d then get selected for the Australian national team in 1971 as Kangaroo No. 459 and the youngest Australian to represent the nation at the time.
Starling got his Addison’s Disease diagnosis in 1974 causing him to lose 19 kg in 4 weeks.
He’d defied diagnosis which put his health in danger and forced him to go for early retirement. He’d attempt a comeback in 1976 after being hospitalized in 1975.
10. Kathy Burke
Kathy Burke is a powerhouse, being an actress, comedian, producer, director, and writer. Her life has vastly changed after her diagnosis with the debilitating illness that affects the adrenal glands.
She’s confessed to almost dying a few times as a result of health complications. The steroid shots have caused her to be overweight, which gets her down a bit. At one point, she became depressed due to her ill health.