Yolanda Foster has revealed she's not the only one in her family who is battling with Lyme disease.
Two of her three children, Bella and Anwar Hadid, have both been diagnosed, Foster revealed at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala in New York City on Thursday.
The Real Housewives star was honored at the gala, and when she gave her speech, she explained, "When my two youngest children, Bella and Anwar, were also diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in early 2012, watching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me in my journey, struck the deepest core of hopelessness inside me."
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection contracted by black-legged ticks, which infect humans through their bites. Symptoms include muscle pain, a circular rash, joint pain and flulike symptoms. If untreated, the infection can affect the heart and central nervous system.
With this high-profile family all contracting a disease that was previously thought not to be genetic, scientists are now back to the drawing board to come up with an answer for why her children have both been diagnosed as well. It is theorized that Lyme disease might be transmitted in utero.
Foster, unfortunately, was not diagnosed within the first year she contracted the disease, which has resulted in its lingering effects. If caught early, it is generally treatable. Long-term symptoms can include arthritis, meningitis, limb numbness, facial paralysis, memory problems and even heart failure.
"This award is for Anwar and Bella. This is my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering," Foster added in her emotional speech.
"I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve," she said. "No child should suffer the way that you do."
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