Famous People Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

famous people with Rheumatoid Arthritis


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) doesn’t discriminate; it affects people from all over the world, rich or poor, celebrities or not. 

Some of the most famous people in the world are affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis. Let’s learn about how they fight Rheumatoid Arthritis every day and what their approach to facing this chronic condition is.


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

famous people with Rheumatoid Arthritis

First, let’s understand what Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). This is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues, particularly the joints, but also other organs. While RA primarily affects women, it doesn’t discriminate against men. 

The most common signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling of the hands, feet
  • Morning stiffness
  • Dryness of the eyes and mouth
  • Low-grade fever
  • Fatigue

5 Famous people with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Danielle Collins: A Tennis Prodigy

Danielle Collins, a rising star in the tennis world, shocked her fans when, in 2019, she announced that she suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis. For a while, Danielle did not know what was happening with her body. When she received her diagnosis, she felt relieved, as finally, her symptoms were validated.

Daniell told her fans that: “As a professional athlete, you are constantly reminded that your body is your temple. My health is the utmost of importance to me, and I’m ready to take on the fight of Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

Danielle made many changes in her diet, training schedule, and even her playing schedule to adapt to her body’s needs and fight Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Terry Bradshaw: A Football Legend

Terry Bradshaw, a four-time Super Bowl champion and iconic quarterback for the Steelers teams in Pittsburgh, PA, was also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

Terry became a strong advocate for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and he took a leadership position in the American College of Rheumatology’s Simple Tasks campaign for Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month (RDAM).

Terry warned people that Rheumatoid Arthritis had nothing to do with age, saying, “You don’t have to be an old athlete like me to wake up with sore joints…as most of those conditions don’t have anything to do with age” and he gave then a piece of great advice “I approach every day, every morning, the same way: jacked up!”

Paula Abdul: The Dancing Queen

Paula Abdul is a singer and a wonderful dancer who has captivated the public for many years. Paula was diagnosed with both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. However, she did not know for many years what was happening, and when she finally found out, she said: “I just wish I had known about RA earlier.”

Kathleen Turner: A Hollywood Icon

Kathleen Turner is a legendary Hollywood actress well known for many roles like Peggy Sue Got Married or The War of the Roses. Kathleen was also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. When she speaks about her journey with Rheumatoid Arthritis, she encourages people to explore their options. Kathleen said, “It is important to me that people know they have options so they can get some relief from this debilitating disease.”

Caroline Wozniacki: A Tennis Champion

Caroline Wozniacki is well known for her success in tennis. After she won the Australian Open in 2018 and became the No. 1 player in women’s professional tennis, Caroline announced that she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

She said: “I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed,” she said. “I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even brush my hair or brush my teeth. After seeing many physicians, she discovered she suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis. “In the beginning, it was a shock. That’s what I’m known for, and suddenly, you have this to work with.”

Despite this, Caroline was determined, and she is fighting Rheumatoid Arthritis every day.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Lessons of Resilience

All of these famous people have not only battled Rheumatoid Arthritis, but they have used their channels to raise awareness about the disease and empower and inspire other people. They emphasize that despite being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis can be a shock, an earlier diagnosis, a better understanding of the disease, and all the therapeutic options available today are key in fighting it. This disease is not unbeatable.

If they can fight Rheumatoid Arthritis, you can do it as well. If they were able to find the support that they needed, you are able to find that, too.


There is hope for those living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. With the right approach, support, and access to various treatment modalities, you can lead fulfilling lives despite the challenges posed by this autoimmune disease

If you need help, Rheumatologist OnCall is here to help you overcome the challenges of a new Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis and will also tailor the therapy to your specific need. We combine a holistic approach incorporating diet, exercise, and mindfulness to minimize your need for many medications.


All content shared on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medicine. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment regarding your specific medical needs. We don’t represent that any of the products or services offered through this site are safe, appropriate, or effective for you. We advise you to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider regarding personal health or medical conditions. If you know or suspect you have a medical problem, contact a qualified healthcare professional immediately. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

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