YES! Lauren Shuler Donner, A -list producer of Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire and X-men series among others, lives with Lupus. What do you KNOW?
After years of hiding this illness ( as well as breast cancer) , she’s “come out”. “I was afraid no one would hire me, and I also felt it was deeply personal. It was nobody’s business. Now, of course, my feelings have changed.”
What changed her feelings? I haven’t a clue but it’s a good thing. Those of us with chronic illness — who know what it’s like to fear we won’t get hired or lose our job because of illness — can only benefit from this public declaration. Ms. Donner is right that it was nobody’s business but I, for one, am glad that she no longer feels that way. By making this news public, she’s letting the world know that even with chronic illness, she could get her job done…. and then some.
As another blogger in StateandLake said, It is the only way we can learn, be inspired, and find ways to overcome or at least live comfortably with our ongoing ups and downs.
Most of us won’t accomplish what Lauren Shuler Donner has. Nor would we try.
But if I could interview her, I’d ask her:
Lauren, What do she think helped you achieve what you did? Did you have a boss that allowed you to have a flexible schedule? Were you able to pick and choose when you could work? Were you able to take time off when you needed to? How did you get through a day when you felt like crap? Was there anyone who mentored you around balancing work and bad health?
I have a hunch the answer would be NO to those questions and that Ms. Donner probably was fortunate enough – for whatever reasons – to be able to work through her difficult times with illness. It’s safe to say that she only “came out” once she was solidly established.
I am not criticizing her or her timing. I’m delighted that she took this very personal risk. But here we go again – a woman (and probably a man would have take the same approach) afraid to say the truth about physical health out of fear that people would make assumptions.
As I said, hooray that she has told her truth. It’s tiny steps to change attitude about what people with chronic illness can do and what they need to do it What’s it going to take to change the environment we work in?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com