MS is fast becoming a hot topic in the news as more celebrities don't turn a deaf ear to the disease and are speaking out about it.
Clearly Lauren is not the only celebrity to receive a diagnosis or to lend her name to raising awareness for the disease, but she is the first openly out public figure to do so.
As we know, Jack Osbourne recently came out with MS joining celebrities in the likes of Ann Romney, Montel Williams, and Richard Pryor, to name a few, who are as well affected. Also First Lady Michelle Obama, recently spoke about her father's multiple sclerosis on a recent episode of "The Late Show With David Letterman."
By publicly speaking out about her MS diagnosis, Lauren hopes to turn her personal fight into public awareness, using her star-power to inspire positive change in the world. With Showtime having officially announced the cancelation of "The Real L Word" last week, we feel Lauren's announcement is timely as fans were anticipating their favorite character to be returning on the air for a fourth season.
Lauren gained a tremendous amount of media exposure in both mainstream and LGBT markets with features on MTV’s Style, Curve Magazine, People.com, Coco Perez, Riviera Magazine, and Curve Magazine, to name a few, successfully establishing herself as not only one of the new revelations of the show, but also as an artistically creative, engaging and socially conscious entrepreneur.
Beyond being a reality TV star, Lauren is first and foremost, the master mind behind Lyon Fine Jewelry - a high-end fashion jewelry company known for its popular Equality & Rock the Vote Bracelets (sported by the likes of Kelly Osborne, Jason Mraz, Perez Hilton, Patti Stanger, Cyndi Lauper, Judd Nelson, Kevin Jonas, to name a few) and most recently, Obama "FORWARD" bracelets in support of the Obama/Biden tickets and its commitment to LGBT rights/Equality (10% of the proceeds donated to the campaign).
At the helm of her Lyon Fine Jewelry, Lauren’s goal has been and still is to create statement pieces to spark conversations about important social causes and engage people to take action, stand up, speak up, shout out, and ultimately make a statement to make a difference.
And staying true to that philosophy, Lauren is now taking a brave step by publicly coming out with her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.
She is taking on a new role speaking out on behalf of those 2.5 million people worldwide (including 400000 Americans) affected with Multiple Sclerosis, to educate and empower people as well as explain the need for more research.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the MS symptoms typically include muscle weakness, numbness or tingling sensations and problems with coordination and vision. More common in women, MS is usually diagnosed between age 20 and 40, and symptoms may start out mild, come and go or become so severe that a person becomes unable to speak or walk.
While Lauren is receiving the proper medical attention and care to deal with her disease, she refuses to play the victim and is committed to fight and make a difference. She is already scheduled to take part in the MS awareness week in NY and walk in the Philly MS walk.
However, for Lauren Bedford Russell MS Awareness isn't just an event in March: it's a way of life; yet a way of life she has fully embraced (just like her homosexuality) and does not see as a curse. Her goal is to enlighten people who think otherwise, and help those affected by the disease as well as their family members & friends understand and cope with it.
Again, staying true to her professional and personal principles of using her jewelry to be in the vanguard of social and political activism, and vigorously championing causes that are close to her heart, she has designed a special bracelet called "Positivity Bracelet" - which is orange (MS officially color) cord braided with a + sign in silver - - with 15% of the proceeds going to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society / New York City Chapter
15% of proceeds benefit National MS Society
Lauren has the power to carry the message to a important niche market as not only being a hugely popular and beloved member of the LGBT community but as well as a young woman taking on, like many others, the courageous challenge of leading a normal life while battling MS.
The "Positivity Bracelet" is a reminder for us all of the power of positive thinking in the face of adversity. "What you think you become.” - Buddha.
Lauren Bedford Russell will next appear at the 23rd Anniversary of Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend held April 3-7 in Palm Springs, CA.