Lauren Russell Speaks Up About Her Multiple Sclerosis
Last July, in the midst of The Real L Word airing,
Lauren Bedford Russell was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
As most people's first natural reaction, Lauren was
frightened and shocked to receive such diagnosis at age 31.
The timing was as well quite ironic as the young
reality TV star was at her prime in both her professional and personal life
with a successful show, The Real L Word, airing to record breaking ratings, and
a burgeoning successful relationship with her cast mate Kiyomi McCloskey, lead
singer of Hunter Valentine, who both became the darlings of the show.
Lauren's first MS "episode" manifested
with loss of vision in one eye known as optic neuritis. She has now
regained her vision back for the most part.
For treatment she has been on a daily injection since August
called Copaxone and has not had an "episode" since.
Evidently the scary part about this disease is
that anything can happen, a multitude of symptoms can occur at any time
and Lauren now lives with this all too brutally real reality. But Lauren
is headstrong on being positive about her new health situation,
despite the occasional (human) "what if" moments.
coming out about my recent MS diagnosis and becoming a fervent spokesperson for
Multiple Sclerosis, I hope to turn my personal fight into public awareness
to educate people about the warning signs, raise funds for more research and
overall inspire positive change towards the disease, " says Lauren Bedford Russell, "I
strongly believe in the power of one to make a difference, after all Jack
Osbourne inspired me to go see my doctor as after hearing back in June of 2012
about the first symptoms he experienced, which were similar to mine, I
suspected something was wrong with me. Now I am committed to do the same for
others and plan working with the National
MS Society in every possible way. I've already designed a special bracelet for
my Lyons Fine Jewelry line called POSITIVITY BRACELET with 15% of the proceeds
to be donated to the National MS Society."
MS is fast becoming a hot topic in
the news as more celebrities don't turn a deaf ear to the
disease and are speaking out about it.
Clearly Lauren is not the only celebrity to receive
a diagnosis or to lend her name to raising awareness for the disease, but
she is the first openly out public figure to do so.
As we know, Jack Osbourne recently
came out with MS joining celebrities in the likes of Ann Romney,
Montel Williams, and Richard Pryor, to name a few, who are as well
affected. Also First Lady Michelle Obama, recently spoke about her
father's multiple sclerosis on a recent episode of "The Late Show With
By publicly speaking out about her MS diagnosis,
Lauren hopes to turn her personal fight into public
awareness, using her star-power to inspire positive change in the world.
With Showtime having officially announced the cancelation of "The
Real L Word" last week, we feel Lauren's announcement is timely as fans
were anticipating their favorite character to be returning on the air for a
Lauren gained a tremendous amount of media exposure
in both mainstream and LGBT markets with features on
MTV’s Style, Curve Magazine, People.com, Coco Perez, Riviera Magazine, and Curve Magazine, to name a few, successfully establishing herself as not only one of
the new revelations of the show, but also as an artistically creative, engaging and socially
Beyond being a reality TV star, Lauren is first and
foremost, the master mind behind Lyon Fine Jewelry - a
high-end fashion jewelry company known for its popular Equality & Rock
the Vote Bracelets (sported by the likes of Kelly Osborne, Jason
Mraz, Perez Hilton, Patti Stanger, Cyndi Lauper, Judd Nelson, Kevin Jonas, to
name a few) and most recently, Obama "FORWARD"
bracelets in support of the Obama/Biden tickets and its commitment to LGBT
rights/Equality (10% of the proceeds donated to the campaign).
At the helm of her Lyon Fine Jewelry, Lauren’s goal
has been and still is to create statement pieces to spark conversations
about important social causes and engage people to take action, stand up, speak
up, shout out, and ultimately make a statement to make a difference.
And staying true to that philosophy, Lauren is now taking a brave step by publicly coming out with her
Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
She is taking on a new role speaking out on behalf of those 2.5
million people worldwide (including 400000 Americans) affected with
Multiple Sclerosis, to educate and empower people as well as explain the need
for more research.
According to the National Institutes of
Health, the MS symptoms typically include muscle weakness, numbness or
tingling sensations and problems with coordination and vision. More common in
women, MS is usually diagnosed between age 20 and 40, and symptoms may start
out mild, come and go or become so severe that a person becomes unable to speak
While Lauren is receiving the proper medical
attention and care to deal with her disease, she refuses to play the victim and
is committed to fight and make a difference. She is already scheduled to
take part in the MS awareness week in NY and walk in the Philly MS walk.
However, for Lauren Bedford Russell MS Awareness
isn't just an event in March: it's a way of life; yet a way of life she has
fully embraced (just like her homosexuality) and does not see as a curse. Her
goal is to enlighten people who think otherwise, and help those affected
by the disease as well as their family members & friends understand and
cope with it.
Again, staying true to her professional and
personal principles of using her jewelry to be in the vanguard of social
and political activism, and vigorously championing causes that are close
to her heart, she has designed a special bracelet called "Positivity
Bracelet" - which is orange (MS officially color) cord
braided with a + sign in silver - - with 15% of the proceeds
going to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society / New York City Chapter.
Lauren has the power to carry the message to a
important niche market as not only being a hugely popular and beloved member of
the LGBT community but as well as a young woman taking on, like many others,
the courageous challenge of leading a normal life while battling MS.
The "Positivity Bracelet" is a reminder
for us all of the power of positive thinking in the face of adversity. "What you think you become.” - Buddha.
Lauren Bedford Russell will next appear at the 23rd
Anniversary of Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend held April 3-7 in Palm Springs,
For more information about the "Positivity
Bracelet" go to: www.LyonFineJewelry.com or http://lyonfinejewelry.com/positivity/index.html
My mother has multiple sclerosis and got diagnosed when she was 26. For her to fight so hard to find a cure it is really awesome. We need more people with the passion she has for finding a cure so that we can hopefully find one one day.
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