Celebrities may be highly regarded in the society as among those influencing global change through their opinions on critical issues on foreign policy, the environment or healthcare, however, a number of them suffer series of health issues in which some of them may be open enough to disclose to the public while a few others may choose to keep a secret.
Among the most common health challenges suffered by these celebrities is the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). FAS, as it is popularly called is a severe form of the fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sometimes known as FASDs that often occurs in a person whose mother was engaged in alcoholic drink during pregnancy. Mothers who engage in high alcohol intake usually pass some quantity to their fetus through the placenta thus, preventing the fetus from getting the needed nutrition and oxygen for the growth of its vital organs. This can cause severe damage to the baby in the womb, unknown to the mother. The situation is usually worse with expectant mothers who are heavy alcohol drinkers.
Common Symptoms and Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome often affects the growth and brain development of an unborn child. It can go further to damage other parts of the child’s body such as the eyes, lips, fingers, or toes. Meanwhile, most of the commonly noticed symptoms may include a small head, learning disabilities, heart problems, mood swings, kidney defects and abnormalities, problems with seeing or hearing, problems in thinking, speech, movement, among many other conditions.
Some of these deformities may not be easily identified or discovered even during a close contact with the affected patients, but the fact still remains that most famous individuals across the world suffer from this disorder. Most of them are dealing with it using drugs or surgical operations while some others have little or nothing to do to correct it. Here, we shall be revealing some of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome celebrities. Apparently, some top celebrities and popular figures you may never know suffer from this health condition or group of conditions.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Celebrities
Bernard Sanders, popularly known as Bernie Sanders, is a famous US politician and a notable celebrity best known for his services in the political sphere of the United States of America. He is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from Vermont.
Sanders was born on September 8, 1941, in the small city of Brooklyn, New York City. His father, Elias Ben Yehuda Sanders was born to a Jewish family while his mother, Dorothy Sanders (née Glassberg), was born to a New-York based Jewish immigrant parents from Poland and Russia.
Sanders is reportedly suffering from different illnesses including gout, hernias, diverticulitis, and a cyst on his vocal cord. He is also said to be among the millions of Americans who are victims of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). These conclusions were drawn taking a look at his lack of impulse control, beady little eyes, and poor social skills. He was said to have suffered this from birth as a result of his mother’s intake of dangerous alcoholic drink when she was pregnant with him.
During an interview with the media, Sanders who rarely talks about his family, particularly his mother, revealed that he grew up from an averagely rich family with his father being a paint salesman while his mother was a “stay-at-home mom”. Sanders also revealed that while he was young, his parents always fought because of lack of money. His mother later died at the age of 46 after suffering from a failed heart surgery following a rheumatic fever.
Since her death, Sanders has remained on the forefront of those campaigning for aid to support those suffering from FAS. In facts, it’s been reported that about 42% of his political supporters are victims of the Fatal Alcohol syndrome. The prominent politician has built his political platform on addressing the effect of the severe FAS symptom on millions of American citizens. He maintained that his mother was part of those who fundamentally shaped the way he hopes to bring change to the nation.
The American born actor, producer, and activist is one of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome celebrities. He was born on October 28, 1974, as Joaquin Rafael Bottom; his father’s name is John Lee Bottom and his mother is Arlyn Bottom. Although he was born into a Christian home, Phoenix, alongside his siblings, River, Rain, Liberty and Summer appeared to have had a rough upbringing with a mother who probably was into much alcohol intake.
A closer look at Joaquin’s face will reveal a scar that goes from his lip up to his nose. It is called a microform cleft lip, a facial and oral malformation that occurs in a child during the first weeks in their mother’s womb. Born in a financially unstable household, Phoenix is one of the numerous Americans suffering from FAS which is now widely considered as the most common birth defect in the nation.
The microform cleft requires no corrective surgery since it rarely brings damages, the appearance of the scar does not in any way affect his abilities as an actor which has, in turn, earned him several international attention.
From the early 1980s when he professionally ventured into acting, Phoenix has gradually polished his skills to become a refined actor. His appearance in such renowned films as Gladiator helped in his rise to fame in the entertainment industry. Phoenix was also a victim of alcoholism. In April 2005, he was checked into rehab to be treated for alcoholism. He was even engaged in an accident as a result of his alcoholic behavior. He was one of those who supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries.
Reese Witherspoon is a popular American entrepreneur, actress, and producer who has earned several awards for her active roles in the movie industry. The awards she has so far earned include an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. She is best known for taking a role in the drama series The Man in the Moon as well as the 1999 American Black comedy-drama film titled Election, among other films.
Born on March 22, 1976, in Southern Baptist Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana, Witherspoon’s original name is Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon and her father’s name is Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, a former medical student at Tulane University while his mother’s name is Mary Elizabeth “Betty” (née Reese).
The Hollywood star has a thin upper lip, malformed cranium, and difficulty in learning which are classic signatures of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Some of her physical deformities which also include behavioral attitudes like a rapidly changing moods and lackluster personal hygiene are her birth defect. But despite these shortcomings, Reese has never failed to remain focused on her dreams of becoming a phenomenal actress.
It’s been rumored that Witherspoon’s mother was into excessive alcohol drinking when she was pregnant with her. Reese is also rumored to be an excessive alcoholic like her mother.
SCOTS DJ Peter Bowers is one of the few celebrities who has been bold enough to speak about their health challenges not minding the stigma attached to it. Speaking during an interview with BBC Scotland documentary, the renowned DJ revealed how he struggled with learning difficulties and loneliness after doctors diagnosed him with FAS, thanks to his mother who was a heavy alcohol drinker. He said not only was he faced with learning challenges while growing up, he also had to suffer from the challenge of not being with his parents at the time he needed them the most.
When asked about what he feels about his mother’s action, he emotionally said: “I was 10 when I found out Mum had died because of the drinking and I think she’s up there now looking over me, saying that she’s sorry”.
Notwithstanding the health challenges, Peter has been able to rise above the effect of his predicament and has been able to semi-independently make something good out of his life. Supported by charity C-Change, Peter is at his best in his career as a DJ.
Born James Eugene Carrey on January 17, 1962, the Canadian-American comedian and actor is indeed an inspiration to all FAS victims all around the world. Despite being hit by severe deformities of his joints, causing his lurching mannerisms, Carrey has been able to convert his challenges into entertainment gold making some involuntary facial contortions, and uncontrollable sporadic seizures that have now helped in his rise as one of the famous comedians of his time.
While pointing at his mother’s excessive alcohol intake during pregnancy, Carrey also credits his success as an actor and comedian to her. Carry happens to be one of those with severe symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrom who also has refused to be defined by it. Today, he is a household name as he continues to make millions of his fans laugh through his insuppressible erratic motions and comedic abilities.
The Native American Flutist, Morgan Fawcett has taken it upon himself to educate women on the need to help stop the spread of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The teenager who is also a renowned public speaker was diagnosed with FAS and to help those in the same health challenge as him, he founded a nonprofit organization called One Heart Creations which he dedicated to giving both pregnant mothers and unborn children the healthiest lives possible.
The young Alaska native travels around the country to raise awareness on FASD, and he uses his personal narrative to spread the word. He often mentions his family and his flute as the two key things that helped him overcome his health condition. He was born with no hair on his head, underweight and undersized. He also had a persistent case of eczema and a clinical failure to thrive.
Is the Indian actor one of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome celebrities? He may not have disclosed to the public the reason behind his deformed finger, but there are rumors that his deformed thumb may be caused by his mother’s excessive alcohol drinking during pregnancy. Although this is not yet confirmed, the handsome Bollywood star who has been voted three times as the sexiest man in Asia by US weekly Eastern Eye has six fingers on one hand, he also confirmed that he had speech and learning difficulty while in school which made him feel abnormal among his peers.
Hrithik who often refer to his deformed finger as “beautifully imperfect”, once noted that his “piece of ugly” is part of what made him famous.
The English actor Daniel Jacob Radcliffe is also among those whose learning difficulty is arguably linked to FAS. Notable for his role as Harry Potter, Daniel has been diagnosed with partial dyslexia which is a learning disorder that involves difficulty in reading. Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language. Some, however, argue that the young actor could be suffering from a fatal Alcohol Syndrom associated with maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Patients suffering from FAS and dyslexia both have a common neurological disorder that affects motor skill development. Daniel Radcliffe has suffered this learning issue for his entire life. He said until now, he still has trouble tying his shoelaces.
The American singer and actor, Scott Leo “Taye” Diggs is another celebrity born with extra body part rumored to be possibly caused by maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The Private Practice star revealed during an interview with The Talk that he was born with an extra finger on each hand. Although he made no mention of what led to the appearance of the 6th fingers on each hand, he revealed that his mother asked the doctors to remove them while he was still a child.
America’s renowned singer, record producer, bassist, entrepreneur and TV personality, Randy Jackson was born on June 23, 1956. There are speculations that Jackson could be among the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome celebrities. The speculation follows a report about the American Idol Judge’s severe illness as a toddler.
Jackson is said to have been suffering from severe diabetes which he has been dealing with even as an adult. As a child, Jackson struggled with obesity. He started out at 350 pounds and through a gastric bypass surgery in 2004, he was able to shed a good amount of weight. But then, one cannot really tell if his health issues have anything to do with FAS.