For over a decade now, we’ve watched The Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Briana Culberson evolve.
She went from an optimistic and energetic high school student — who loathed being under her mother’s thumb — to a confident and responsible career woman and a loving, caring wife and mother who always puts her family first. We’ve watched her become, as Andy Cohen puts it, the only voice of reason in the RHOC universe, and we’ve rooted for her every step along her life’s journey.
But we’ve also watched in despair as Culberson struggled with health issues that caused her and her mom, Vicki Gunvalson, so much heartache. Years ago, Gunvalson buckled under the weight of the possibility that Culberson could have thyroid cancer, and over the past year we watched the family once again struggle as cancer was ruled out.
In the finale for RHOC Season 11, it was confirmed that Culberson’s issues all root back to lupus — a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues.
We’re so happy that Culberson finally knows what has caused her ailments over the years, but being that lupus is a chronic illness, we know that she still has a good fight ahead of her. It’s not fair, but we know that if anyone can overcome lupus, its Culberson.
And it doesn’t hurt that she has her strong-willed mama in her corner fighting for her. Remember back in July when Gunvalson ordered a full-blown “witch hunt” to track down the Oklahoma doctor she felt had harmed her child?
“Two things: You don’t mess with my family, you don’t mess with my money. My family is my everything, and I’m gonna find this doctor. He was going to kill my daughter. So, when I do find him, I’ll probably pull him up against a wall and tell him what I think of him,” she told Entertainment Tonight in July, via Bravo. “I want to go on a witch hunt for him.”
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.