British billionaire and philanthropist John Caudwell has offered his support to Justin Bieber after the pop star has recently been diagnosed with Lyme disease,
Caudwell said the condition could be “heartbreaking” for people suffering from it.
On Wednesday, Bieber confirmed his diagnosis through an Instagram post, explaining that skin complaints that led to speculation over drug use were actually due to Lyme disease, which also affected his brain, energy, and overall health.
Caudwell, who along with his family, received the diagnosis of Lyme disease in 2014. He described the disease as “nasty” and “worse than demoralizing… incredibly debilitating.”
The philanthropist said, “[those afflicted] appear perfectly fine but inside they’re absolutely screaming—mentally and physically screaming–and going through hell. The stories I’ve come across since campaigning [around] Lyme disease are absolutely heartbreaking and sometimes whole families are suffering the most atrocious symptoms.”
Caudwell, who co-founded the mobile phone retailer Phones 4 U, has been fighting to Lyme disease raise awareness.
He said, “During the early days, I had to fight to get through the day, [suffering a] huge lack of energy, brain fog, and memory issues.” He considers himself lucky.
“For others, Lyme disease destroys people’s lives completely,” he added. “Some people are not able to get out of bed … people are complete and utter invalids.”
Caudwell explained that he was able to minimize the symptoms of Lyme disease by controlling his diet. However, he cautioned that the medical profession is left debating on how to diagnose and treat the condition at earliest.
He said, “What we desperately need is a test that’s conclusive and says, ‘Yes you have Lyme disease.’ And that’s stage one of trying to improve people’s lives. Once we know someone’s got Lyme disease and the medical profession aren’t left debating it, we can find out more about which treatments work the best.”
“We’re a long, long way from that, unfortunately. It does take a long time to get the medical profession to recognize what a lot of us already know,” the businessman added.
Caudwell said he has “tremendous empathy” for the pop singer and all the people who have been suffering from Lyme sufferers.
“I know how destructive it can be. [But] concentrate on your diet,” he added. “Don’t rely on the medical profession–they don’t have an immediate cure–[and] look at everything you can do to build up your immune system.”