Bella Hadid's dreams of competing in equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics are shattered due to Lyme Disease

Published January 27th, 2016 - 01:58 GMT
Bella won't be able to compete in equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics due to Lyme Disease. (File photo)
Bella won't be able to compete in equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics due to Lyme Disease. (File photo)

Yolanda Foster has written a blog post defending her children Bella and Anwar, amid questions about their Lyme disease diagnosis.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star penned a strongly-worded post after watching the latest episode of her reality show, which saw some of her co-stars discuss Bella, 19, and 16-year-old Anwar's health.

Yolanda, 55, who was diagnosed with the debilitating disease herself in 2012, explained the severity of Bella's condition has meant she's had to give up on her 'lifelong dream' of competing in equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics.

In the blog entry posted on Tuesday evening under the heading 'I Have Nothing To Prove,' Yolanda explains that both her children have been receiving 'extensive holistic treatment ever since' their diagnosis three years ago.

She also points out that 'it's very common for multiple family members to be affected by Lyme disease,' and adds that she believes all three of them contracted the bacterial infection, which is spread to humans by infected blacklegged ticks, when they lived on a horse ranch in Santa Barbara for a decade.

It was during this time that 19-year-old Bella developed her love of horse riding, a passion her mother shares. 

But while Bella told Porter magazine in October that she was working toward representing the USA in equestrian events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer, Yolanda has revealed her daughter has had to shelve her dream.

'Bella had to give up her lifelong dream of having a professional riding career and a shot at the Olympics due to her severe symptoms and inability to ride. This was the biggest heartbreak of her life and an extremely sensitive subject for her,' Yolanda wrote.

The teenager is instead focusing on her blossoming modelling career, with Yolanda praising her 'resilient' daughter as she 'makes a name for herself in the modeling industry while she struggles with symptoms of chronic Lyme every day.'

'It's day by day, one foot in front of the other. When there is a good day, you soak up that moment. Those "good selfie" moments are captured because they're a gift,' the proud mother added of her own reaction to the disease. 

Yolanda signed off her post with a congrats to both Bella and her older daughter Gigi who both walked the Chanel runway during Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris on Tuesday. 

'Cheers to my girls on an amazing couture week in Paris… I can't wait to be front row sometime very soon,' she Yolanda wrote.

Yolanda posted a photo on Instagram on Tuesday showing Bella, 19, receiving a treatment for Lyme disease with an IV in her arm while they both reclined in bed, writing in the caption:

'Watching my brave babies stuffer in silence in order to support me in my journey has struck the deepest core of hopelessness inside of me.'

Bella has had a hectic schedule this week as she told her Instagram followers that she had travelled across the channel after her Paris show for a photoshoot in London. 

'Just touched down in London for a few hours to shoot with two of my favorite humans,' the model wrote alongside a selfie with her team. 

Meanwhile, Yolanda's blog post on Tuesday night also saw the reality star and former model hit back at her RHOBH co-stars for discussing her children's health on the series.

'I have nothing to prove and know that my journey is public due to the job I've chosen as a Housewife, but I can't accept something so delicate as my children's health being talked about in such a way,' Yolanda wrote.

'I know I'm not the only mother who would speak to this… It's one thing when your integrity is doubted, spoken of behind your back, but it strikes another cord when it's your children. 

'Shame on those who think it's OK to spread rumors and provoke doubt about something so heart wrenching,' she added after her ex-husband, and Bella's father, Mohamed Hadid slammed claims that he said his children don't suffer from Lyme disease. 


When you find your dad out...Happy Birthday PD

A photo posted by Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) on Nov 22, 2015 at 12:24am PST

Mohamed, 67, set the record straight on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live following Tuesday's episode of Yolanda's show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, during which Lisa Vanderpump claimed Mohamed had told her Bella and Anwar didn't have the debilitating disease.   

Talk show host Andy Cohen read a statement from Mohamed - who also is the father of top model Gigi Hadid - addressing the matter. ‘I can only imagine that my response to a question asking how my kids are doing with ''fine'' was misconstrued,’ read the statement.

‘I have too much respect for all five of my children to speak about them publicly in a restaurant or otherwise. I will not speak further on something that should now be put to rest,' the statement said. 

Yolanda, who was diagnosed with the debilitating condition in 2012, first revealed Bella and Anwar's diagnosis during a speech at the Global Lyme Alliance Gala in New York in October, telling the audience her 'babies have been struggling in silence' with the disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected blacklegged ticks, which are found in woodland areas and on pets. When ticks bite into human skin, the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi infects the person’s body.

Sufferers usually experience a circular rash, muscle pain, joint pain and flu-like symptoms after infection. And left untreated, the infection can spread to the joints, heart and central nervous system. 

By Joanna Crawley

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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