Bella Hadid may not be on the runway this fall as she undergoes “intense treatment” for Lyme disease.
The 26-year-old model shared a health update on Sunday along with photos from hospitalizations and receiving IV treatments from home.
“The little me that suffered would be so proud of grown me for not giving up on myself,” Hadid wrote on Instagram. “Thankful to my mommy for keeping all of my medical records, sticking by me, never leaving my side, protecting, supporting, but most of all, believing me through all of this.”
The model shared both her pain and gratitude: “Living in this state, worsening with time and work while trying to make myself, my family and the people who support me, proud, had taken a toll on me in ways I can’t really explain. To be that sad and sick with the most blessings/privilege/opportunity/love around me was quite possibly the most confusing thing ever.”
Hadid also wanted to express to fans that she is “okay and you do not have to worry.”
“I wouldn’t change anything for the world,” she added. “If I had to go through all of this again, to get here, to this exact moment I’m in right now, with all of you, finally healthy, I would do it all again. It made me who I am today.”
Hadid revealed she spent over 100 days receiving medical attention for Lyme disease, chronic disease and co-infection in addition to “almost 15 years of invisible suffering.”
“I’ll be back when I’m ready. I miss you all so much. I love you so much,” she concluded the lengthy post.
She followed up with another set of photos showing her dog “Glizzy P. Beans aka Petunia aka Beans” by her side as she received treatment.
Hadid’s update comes after her older sister Gigi Hadid posted a throwback picture last week with her from a previous show they both modeled in. “Can’t wait 4 the comebaccckkkkkk,” Gigi captioned the post on her Instagram Story.
Gigi, 28, later clarified that she did not mean to suggest her sister is making her return to the runway anytime soon.
“Bella just finished a long and intense treatment for Lyme disease. (Didn’t want some to take my post as a promise she’ll be back for shows this next season …),” the “Next in Fashion” judge wrote on Instagram, according to screenshots shared by People and Harper’s Bazaar.
Gigi added: “I’m so proud of her and excited for her comeback whenever she feels ready.”
Hadid was notably absent from the runways of New York Fashion Week in February and Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in July. She also did not attend the 2023 Met Gala in May. It’s unclear if she’ll return to the runway in September when various Fashion Weeks take place around the globe.
The model was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012, her mom Yolanda Hadid revealed at the Global Lyme Alliance inaugural gala in 2015. Yolanda and her son, Anwar Hadid, also have Lyme disease.
“Watching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me in my journey struck the deepest core of hopelessness inside of me,” Yolanda said at the event. “I will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve. No child should suffer the way that you do.”
Lyme disease can severely impact the joints, heart and nervous system. There are more than 35,000 cases of Lyme disease reported annually but the total number, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests, is closer to 476,000. It’s most commonly reported in the upper Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic.
Symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint pain and skin rash. These symptoms can be mild or progress to severe infections that require hospitalization.
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Gigi previously opened up about being Lyme-free.
“Growing up, having three of my family members sick made me very independent. My mom couldn’t drive or get out of bed some days, so I took my brother to school with me, or I made lunch,” she told Elle in 2019.
Gigi added: “But I also felt a lot of guilt for being the one person in the family who didn’t understand what they were going through. It’s hard when your whole family is in pain and you don’t know what to do.”