With fans all over the globe and multiple awards and honors under her belt, singer Toni Braxton seems to be living a great life. Braxton has sold over 67 million records worldwide, including 41 million albums. She is one of the highest-selling female R&B artists in history. Braxton has won seven Grammy Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards, and numerous other accolades. In 2011, Braxton was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.. But her health almost cut her fame short.
In 2008, Toni collapsed while performing in Las Vegas. In the emergency room, doctors first thought she’d had a ‘baby heart attack.’ “Microvalves and the small blood vessels in my heart were receiving no oxygen,” Toni recalls. Further testing led to a diagnosis. “The blood work was undeniable,” she says. “It showed I have lupus.”
Toni discovered lupus is a lifelong disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue. It affects about 1.5 million Americans, mostly women, and causes a range of symptoms, from rashes and joint pain to inflammation of the heart, lungs and other organs. “For some, it’s their skin and scalp,” Toni notes. “For me, it’s internal. It loves my heart. It’s like it wants to sit there and say, ‘Hi,’ and hang out.”
Since her lupus diagnosis, Toni has learned to manage her disease with medication and lifestyle changes, including…