When you think of sultry, humble, beautiful,defying all odds; the name Toni Braxton should surface. We all heard her songs such as "Unbreak my Heart", "He Wasn't Man Enough For Me", "I Love Me Some Him" and so many more. Many times anyone in the spotlight is only seen as a celebrity with money, cars, clothes and other material things. 

Toni Braxton is alive and faces issues like many other women do. Toni has a son who was diagnosed with autism, but still manages to stay strong and hopeful. She has a rare heart condition called pericarditis, an inflammation of the lining of the heart and this causes her heart to flutter and she can't consume certain foods. Amongst the aforementioned things , she also has lupus, which is an autoimmune disease effecting more than 1.5 million Americans.  She revealed this at the 8th annual Lupus Bag Ladies Luncheon in Los Angeles. Everyone has a story to tell but when you're a celebrity, only the bad things are mentioned by the paparazzi, the media, the newspapers and magazines.

Sometimes in our life we can help someone that feels that they are "less perfect" or feel that they are alone in their struggles. Being in the limelight and having everyone only find the negative things about you , has to be hard but strengthening at the same time. Understand that money doesn't make sickness go away, but can get you the best doctors and eventually they may not be able to help anymore. If we look at the lives of celebrity entrepreneurs, you will see that each one had a unique journey to their success. I'm not going to discuss her marriage, her reality show with her family, her music career but only to celebrate her as a powerful woman who is living life in spite of her circumstances.

Toni Braxton is active in the cause of autism and continues to support lupus causes as well. In New York City  at The Concert for Autism Speaks, which was a star-filled evening of comedy and music headlined by Bill Cosby, raised more than $1.4 million for Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to increasing awareness of autism andraising money to fund autism research. She faithfully supports Lupus LA and continues to be optimistic about her challenges with this disease.

It shouldn't take a celebrity or a well known public figure for us to give or donate to a cause. When we look around at a neighbor, friend, child or other individuals, we don't know their silent pain. I personally donate to Lupus Research amongst other causes but if you are not aware then how can you give? Take the time to volunteer at a local community center and see how you can help someone today. Toni Braxton maybe beautiful on the outside as well as the inside but remember that she is a mother, surviving lupus, surviving the  pericarditis , caring for a son with autism , managing the media and continues to keep that beautiful smile upon her face.

Don't let anyone tell you that you are alone in your situation because there is always someone that understands. Celebrities just have a title but also have a life that sometimes the story is untold until it's too late.


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