Toni Braxton is battling lupus, the singer revealed Tuesday (Nov. 16), while raising awareness of the autoimmune disease at the 8th Annual Lupus LA Bag Ladies Luncheon.
Braxton shared the news while accepting a Women in Achievement award, telling the audience, “Today I’m going to talk about it because I’m a survivor and I’m here, and I don’t want to lose hope.”
“Take a look — this is what lupus looks like,” Braxton said. After the event, the singer admitted on Twitter that revealing her struggle with the disease was “a big moment for me. It was a tough decision to come out about it. But it was such a relief!”
Video: Toni Braxton at the Lupus Bag Ladies Luncheon
During the luncheon, Braxton also received words of support from pop star Lady Gaga, who disclosed earlier this year that she had tested borderline positive for lupus. “Toni, your strength is admirable,” Gaga wrote in an ad placed in the event’s program. “As a woman whose family has been affected by lupus, I understand your struggle and have you in my thoughts.”
Braxton, who filed for bankruptcy for a second time in October, also suffers from an inflammation of the heart lining known as pericarditis and had a benign tumor removed from her breast in 2008.