Yolanda Foster Opens Up About The ‘Unknown Hell’ Of Lyme Disease, Reveals Bella And Anwar Suffer, Too [Video]

yolanda foster

Real Housewives reality star Yolanda Foster was spotted on the streets of New York City with daughters Bella and Gigi Hadid, and their boyfriends, Joe Jonas and The Weeknd, reports Us Weekly. Foster was in New York to accept the Power Of One trophy at the Global Lyme Alliance Inaugural Gala, and opened up about her struggles with the “unknown hell” of the disease.

Yolanda showed off her short hair, and looked relaxed and comfortable in a white t-shirt paired with fitted blue jeans. The ensemble was topped with a stylish navy blue blazer, and according to Us Weekly, Yolanda was helping Gigi and Joe search for an apartment on the Lower East Side.

It wasn’t all about the apartment, however. Daughter Bella turned 19, and Yolanda Foster helped the young model ring in her new birthday. Father David Foster also wished Bella a happy 19th at the birthday lunch.

The Foster family also supported Yolanda as she accepted the Power of One trophy at the Global Lyme Alliance gala, held at Cipriani in New York City. Joe Jonas and Gigi Hadid reportedly made their debut as a couple at the gala, reports Us.

The award comes with the reality star’s shocking admission that both Bella and her youngest son, Anwar, both have struggled with Lyme disease since early 2012.

Yolanda Foster has also battled the disease, which daughter Gigi confessed would leave Yolanda bedridden for days and in tears because of the pain.

Yolanda “couldn’t drive, she never wanted music being played,” Hadid admitted, according to the New York Daily News, as she opened up about her mother’s struggles. Hadid confided that Foster “couldn’t watch TV, she would cry herself to sleep because she was in too much pain to come to my volleyball games.”

Because of the pain caused by the tick-borne disease, Yolanda had difficulty with her memory and “couldn’t read a full page of a book without having to return to the top to remember what happened,” according to Gigi.

As Yolanda accepted the award, she admitted that “[w]atching my babies struggle in silence in order to support me and my journey struck the deepest chord of hopelessness inside of me,” as Foster tried to recover from the terrible illness. Yolanda confessed at the New York gala that “it’s because of them that I’m motivated to stand here in front of you today,” as Foster takes a stand against Lyme disease, reports the Daily News.

In her acceptance speech, Foster confessed she didn’t “deserve this award,” and she was without “the proper words in my vocabulary to describe to you the darkness, the pain, and the unknown hell I’ve lived in these past four years,” admitting that she’s inspired to ensure her children, Anwar and Bella, don’t suffer as she suffered.

“This award is for Anwar and Bella,” Yolanda began, stating that it’s “my token and my promise to you that I will not allow you to live a life of pain and suffering.” The Daily News reports that Foster also said that the award is her promise that she “will walk to the end of the earth to find a cure so that you can live a healthy life that you deserve.”

It’s unusual for three different family members to have the same tick-borne disease, but it’s happened before, according to William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, reports Yahoo Health.

Despite three family members having the disease, there is “no information in scientific medical literature to think there is a familial predisposition to Lyme disease,” Schaffner says. The cause is more likely that Yolanda Foster and her children were all three bit by deer ticks, the usual carrier of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

[Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]