Singer Toni Braxton has opened up about her recent health scare surrounding her battle with lupus and is spreading the word on the importance of kidney health, as the nation observes Lupus Awareness Month.
“As someone living with lupus, raising awareness during #LupusAwarenessMonth means a lot to me. One thing people may not know is that lupus can affect the kidneys. The truth is that up to 30% of people living with lupus nephritis (that’s when lupus attacks the kidneys) may experience kidney failure. For my followers who are living with lupus and lupus nephritis, I know we get tired of going to the doctor’s and getting tests done…but it’s worth it, because it can help prevent further kidney damage,” Braxton recently shared via her social media accounts.
The multi award-winning artist has partnered with Aurinia in the #GetUncomfortable campaign to help spread awareness about the disease, which occurs as a result of your body’s immune system attacking its own tissues and organs.
“I’d like to encourage everyone to #GetUncomfortable with me and do things for their kidney health that may not be fun, but are important. Visit www.GetUncomfortable.com to learn about the signs of lupus nephritis, find a doctor, and take action,” she continued to advise via the post as she shared that she was excited about the partnership.
Braxton, who was diagnosed with lupus 15 years ago recently sat down with daytime talk show host Sherri Shepherd to talk about her recent emergency surgery and the Get Uncomfortable campaign.
“I had a little scare about six months ago. I get emotional talking about it every single time. I gotta get past it. Having lupus, it affects a lot of your vital organs. It’s starting to affect my kidneys. It can affect any organ in your body and this time it’s affecting my heart,” Braxton said.
She recalled one of her doctor’s visits during the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct a test– a visit she says she had been quite reluctant about.
“Finally, I went and came to find out I had to have a coronary stent put in. I would’ve had a massive heart attack and I would not have survived, if I had not gotten that test. Like immediately, I did surgery…the main artery was eighty plus percent blocked,” Braxton told Shepherd.
She said she had no idea that this was happening since she was extremely sad due to the sudden passing of her sister Traci Braxton.
“My heart was aching, and I just thought, you know, I’m sad because I lost my sister and I thought I’d be ok, that it would pass, but it was more than that”, she said.
Holding back tears, Braxton shared that she would not have survived had she not gone in for that doctor’s appointment.
The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that about 1.5 million Americans have lupus, with an estimated 16,000 new diagnoses each year.
This is in addition to millions of people worldwide who reportedly have some form of the disease.
Lupus Awareness Month provides an opportunity for the lupus community to come together and join in efforts to spread awareness about the physical, emotional and economic impacts of lupus as well as to raise funds and garner support.