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Celebrities’ health, any of our business?

Celebrities are famous and widely known individuals. They inevitably tend to be in entertainment, sports and media rather than in traditional service provision careers.There is quite an obsession with Celebrities and their lifestyles. They are more in the news with mischief, recurrent divorces or new multi-million dollar contracts. And occasionally, they will be in the news regarding their health status.

Celebrities are flesh and blood, just like the rest of us, only lavishly dressed and much better paid. And since they are only human, they too sometimes get sick, injured, or seek medical attention for various reasons. The past few months have not disappointed with celebrities checking into health facilities for a multitude of reasons. Angeline Jolie has had a double mastectomy to prevent breast cancer, Catherine Zeta-Jones checked herself into a mental health facility, and Michael Douglas reignited the sexual connection to some cancers. And closer to home, one of our own succumbed to ovarian cancer not long ago.

Why should Celebrity health problems catch our attention? The main reason is the realization that any of us is predisposed to some illness at some time in our lifetime. As soon as a widely known individual identifies with a certain illness, there is almost a knee jerk reaction from the wider public. The number of women seeking screening for breast cancer increased following revelations of Angeline Jolie’s double mastectomy. This despite already existing and widely publicised advice about such screening. A similar thing happened when our own local hero died of ovarian cancer a while back.

We should resist the temptation to react unrealistically to what befalls people we know. Affliction with disease depends on many factors that include genetic inheritance, environmental factors, our current state of health and much more. What’s important is to constantly review our state of health, be up to date with preventive measures and screening tests, and lead healthy life styles. When that is the case, any headlines about the next Celebrity getting afflicted with a certain ailment should just raise curiosity, not hurried medical appointments.

But some occasional Celebrity health news is good. Well known personalities can raise the profile of certain diseases and how to avoid or contain them. The famous footballer, Pele, has over the years raised awareness about male testicular cancer. Many killer diseases in Kenya could do with ‘Celebrity Ambassadors’, without necessarily waiting for some unlucky individual to get afflicted. We already know the paths that lead to better health, but some reminding now and again does no harm.No matter if such reminding comes laden with celebrity status.

The next time you watch and listen to Celebrity health news, filter out what’s applicable to your circumstances. No reason to panic, most of it will never affect you. Celebrity news will always be sensational, that’s what maintains a celebrity culture.

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Ever heard of anybody who was disease-proof? That means an individual who never falls ill, never needs to go to hospitals, and lives long enough to reach their predetermined life expectancy. Disease-proof may be utopian, but you can take steps that could take you there.
Good health is built every day, over the course of a lifetime, in the places we work, and learn, and play, and pray, and love, and live. Or it isn’t.

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