Being a parent is no easy task, and it becomes more difficult when a child has health problems.
Some celebrity parents are using their public platforms to raise awareness about illnesses, like Mandy Moore did when she announced her son Gus’ diagnosis with a rare skin condition or Tori Spelling sounding the alarm on the dangers of mold.
“The idea of celebrity often comes with a following, a fan base, a fortune — sometimes — and a sense of obligation,” Doug Eldridge of Achilles PR explained to Fox News Digital.
“As a parent, you never feel more hopeless than when something is wrong with your child — especially when it comes to illness or injury. The real ‘power’ of a celebrity isn’t measured in their ability to sell tickets or push products, but in providing hope and fortifying faith in times of doubt and desperation.
“The connection that celebrity forms with their fans and followers — by showing vulnerability, virtue and family values — far eclipses the filters and facade of the red carpet persona.”
Other parents, like Jaime King and Michael Bublé, have shared inspirational stories of their children’s survival through intense treatment.
“That sense of real, raw relatability provides a level of brick and mortar connection that trumps the most compelling aspirational marketing campaigns,” Eldridge said. “You’re no longer looking up to them, you’re walking side-by-side with them on the same difficult journey.”
And while a celebrity’s care for her children may come under scrutiny, Kathy Fielder, president and CEO of Kathy Fielder Design, told Fox News Digital parents, moms in particular, show incredible strength sharing their family’s stories with the public.
“Moms get a hard rap at times it would seem. Celeb moms maybe get the worst of it all, and they, in my opinion, try incredibly hard to be amazing mothers,” Fielder said.
“All kids get scrapes, scratches and bruises. The difference is when you are in the limelight and everyone judges your decisions and how you handle your kids and their obstacles. From what I have seen over the past few years, Hollywood moms are some of the best and most committed moms I’ve seen.”
Read on for the famous moms and dads who shared their children’s health scares and journeys and often found connection with their fans and followers in the process.
“This Is Us” star Mandy Moore recently revealed her 2-year-old son, Gus, was diagnosed with Gianotti-Crosti syndrome, a rare skin condition that causes a blistering and itchy rash in children, according to WebMD.
She shared images on her Instagram story explaining the toddler woke up with a mysterious rash.
“Went to urgent care. Pediatrician. Dermatologist. Pediatric dermatologist. All the while, he smiles and carries on like the rockstar that he is,” Moore wrote.
The actress and singer, who also has a 9-month-old son, Ozzie, with husband Taylor Goldsmith, said doctors finally diagnosed Gus with Gianotti-Crosti syndrome.
“There’s nothing to do but a steroid cream and Benadryl at night. And it could last 6-8 weeks. Ooooof. Anyone ever experience this?” she wrote on her social media with a photo of Gus’ legs covered in red patches.
The 39-year-old concluded with a relatable comment on the challenges of parenting.
“All of that to say, this parenting thing is weird and hard and sometimes you feel so helpless (and yes I’m ever so grateful it’s only an itchy skin condition),” she wrote. “Kids are resilient and as long as he’s smiling through it, we are a-okay.”
“Glee” and Broadway star Lea Michele welcomed her son, Ever, with husband Zandy Reich, in 2020, and earlier this year shared that he had been hospitalized for an undisclosed “scary health issue.”
“Today was a hard day. As parents, we have to be strong for our kids. But sometimes you just want to break down and cry,” she wrote on a photo she shared to her Instagram story in April.
She added that she had been crying in the hospital bathroom, but that her son was “such a champ and is going to be ok.”
Later that month, she spoke with People at the Time 100 Gala and revealed he’s still recovering.
“Ever’s doing good. He’s doing well,” she told the outlet. “We still have a little bit of a long road ahead of us here, but he’s doing well, thank God, and healthy.”
Tori Spelling shares five children with husband Dean McDermott: Liam, 16, Stella, 14, Hattie, 11, Finn, 10, and Beau, 6.
In May, Spelling revealed they had all been suffering from exposure to mold in their rented home.
In an Instagram post, she detailed their experience, writing, “Kids will be kids but when you have your youngest (10 and 6) so sick they are sleeping all day and say they feel dizzy even standing I knew something bigger was going on.”
She added that an inspector found “extreme mold” in the house.
Spelling said they planned to vacate the home as quickly as possible and sought advice from followers.
“Has anyone been thru Mold sickness? The deeper dive I do online sadly I see how common this is,” she concluded the post.
In later social media posts, she also asked her followers on social media where to find a specialist for a particular scan due to the mold exposure.
She also requested legal advice from the community, writing, “Does anyone know how to find a major great MOLD lawyer in CA that can help our family? Our troubles are next level with our mold problem and the house that’s been slowly killing us for 3 years.
“My kids and I are so sick and can’t get well and our family needs help. Overwhelmed,” she added. “We do need to start with an amazing lawyer who can guide us through this.”
Michael Bublé shares four children with his wife, Luisiana Lopilato: sons Noah, 9, and Elias, 7, and daughters Vida, 4, and Cielo, who will turn one this month.
When Noah was just 3 years old, the family announced he had been diagnosed with cancer.
“We are devastated about the recent cancer diagnosis of our oldest son Noah who is currently undergoing treatment in the US,” Bublé and his wife shared on Facebook. “We have always been very vocal about the importance of family and the love we have for our children.”
Bublé immediately put his career on hold to focus on his son’s care alongside his wife.
In 2018, after Noah had gone through treatment, Bublé appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” during the “Carpool Karaoke” segment and shared his and his family’s emotional journey.
“That was it, my whole life ended,” he said, recalling when he learned of the diagnosis.
“Basically, they said it wasn’t great, and so we just took it day by day,” he added, struggling to answer through tears.
He revealed his entire family, including his sister and parents and his wife’s parents, all moved to be with them during Noah’s treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“We just had the best doctors, and God, thank you Jesus Christ, God,” he said
“I’m not OK,” he admitted when asked how he was handling everything. “When this all started, I became the strength to somehow pull us and lift us and to be positive. When they got it out, and the chemo was done, and they said ‘We did it,’ ‘We’re good, he’s OK,’ I just fell. My wife picks me up now.”
Bublé made a plea to viewers at the time to donate to Stand Up to Cancer near the end of the video.
Jessie James Decker and her husband Eric Decker share sons Forrest and Eric and daughter Vivianne.
In 2021, Decker shared that Forrest, her youngest, had been to the hospital multiple times, but it finally resulted in some answers.
“Went to the hospital again last night. 3rd time in 6 weeks. Every time he gets a tiny cold he starts wheezing and his oxygen levels drop and heart rate goes up,” Decker shared on social media. “Ultimately I’m being told he has Asthma even though he’s pretty young to diagnose.
“It’s scary to watch his vitals drop, hear his grunting and see his chest struggling so much to take a breath. After he threw up for the 3rd time (I think from coughing so much) ( no fever) I knew it was time to take him in,” said the singer. “They gave him stronger meds and treatments and watched him through the night. Going to see an allergist to see if maybe something is triggering the attacks.”
Decker also thanked her fellow mothers on social media and asked for some guidance on how to best help her son.
“I’ve had some amazing advice from fellow insta moms that I genuinely appreciate. So thank you. It’s that kind of mamas helping mamas community on here i really appreciate. So I just want to know from this post if any other parents have experienced this? Other than an allergist and a specialist did this go away for your babies? I wonder if he’s now allergic to pet hair?” she wrote.
Model and actress Jaime King is a mother to two boys with ex-husband Kyle Newman — James Knight and Leo Thames.
King struggled with fertility and suffered her own health issues, including endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, before being able to conceive both children.
In 2016, the “Sin City” star revealed Leo Thames had undergone “a major heart surgery,” as she put it to People.
She told the outlet she wanted to share her family’s story because she “knew how traumatic the experience was, how much [post-traumatic stress disorder] I had afterwards, and the trauma that I was experiencing before it.
“It’s because I didn’t know anybody that had gone through it and I didn’t have people to talk to.”
King found out while 20 weeks pregnant with her son that he had TGA (transposition of the great arteries), “a serious, rare heart problem in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
The surgery was successful, but King recalled feeling alone during the process and wanted to share her family’s story in the hope it would help others.
“I have a voice and I want to use that voice on behalf of my son — and I know that my son would want that. He’s so strong. He’s such a fighter. He’s unbelievable,” King told People at the time.
“I’ve gotten thousands of letters from people, and now I have a real community of people to talk to.”
Leo’s godmother, who happens to be Taylor Swift, made a large donation to the hospital where he was treated, and King later penned a tribute to the singer for her generosity and noted she was one of the few people who knew what was happening at the time, visiting the family in the hospital.
King wrote, “It made us realize that silence cannot connect other parents & people going through these issues. TS knew that by giving back in this way would be the greatest gift one could give to us, to Leo Thames and to all of those with congenital heart issues.
“Our gift back is to share our story that anyone that is going through this is not alone, we understand & want to stand up to bring awareness in the greatest way possible. Leo Thames is the strongest, healthiest boy because of this team. He will live a full and whole life & never have to look back.”
Usher is a proud dad to four children. He shares sons Usher “Cinco” V, 15, and Naviyd Ely, 14, with his ex-wife Tameka Foster, as well as a daughter, Sovereign Bo, 2, and a son, Sire Castrello, 1, with his longtime girlfriend Jenn Goicoechea.
Cinco was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2014 at 6 years old.
The following year, Usher spoke at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Promise Ball fundraiser event, sharing his admiration for his son.
“A child that every day has to prick himself and has to be cautious of what he eats and also to carry this disorder around; that really is the type of bravery that we all aspire to have,” Usher said, according to People.
“I want to be supportive not only as someone who’s vying for a cure, but also as a father who has a child who’s experienced a lot of highs and lows.”
Usher has continued to be involved in raising money for diabetes research.
At a 2017 event for JDRF, Usher said, “I now live with that reality — the agony of what I have to deal with alone. I feel like I’m a disappointment to my child. If he’s too high, is it something that I did? Is it something I could have done better?”
That year, he also missed out on the One Love Manchester concert, a benefit for those effected by the bombing attack on Ariana Grande’s concert that year.
On social media, Usher, who had been scheduled to perform, explained his absence.
“So happy to see that last night’s concert in Manchester proved that love always prevails,” he wrote on Instagram, per Billboard. “I would have loved to be there but It was my son’s first day at Camp Kudzu, one of the few summer camps for kids living with diabetes. This was an important day for him and for myself as a proud father. Stay strong U.K.”