Celebrities with diseases

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© MSN Healthy Living // © MSN Health

When it comes to health, celebrities are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. The latest example to make headlines is MTV reality star Diem Brown, who collapsed while filming a new reality show abroad. She was air-lifted to a hospital in New York, where she underwent two emergency surgeries last week.

Some of these famous faces are well known for championing their illness, while others may surprise you. Use Bing to learn more about the diseases that have affected the lives of these actors, athletes, musicians and TV personalities.

--Pamela Boyd, MSN Healthy Living

1 of 29 Andy Kropa/Getty Images; Cindy Ord/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage; Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Diem Brown

Reality star Diem Brown (see photos) became a fan favorite after announcing her ovarian cancer diagnosis on season 12 of MTV's "Real World/Road Rules Challenge," which aired in 2006. She had one ovary, several lymph nodes and part of her fallopian tube removed at age 23, and went on to compete in six other seasons of the physical reality series. Her ovarian cancer returned in 2012, and now, the 34-year-old is battling cancer for a third time.

Bing: She's battling this kind of cancer now
Search: See what she's saying about her fight
Find: The patient-focused charity she founded?

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The basketball great is known for his towering height and trademark "sky-hook" move on the court. But even elite athletes become ill, and in 2009 Abdul-Jabbar went public with his diagnosis of this blood disease.

Bing: What disease does Kareem have that started with symptoms such as hot flashes and sweats?
Search: See how he was honored by the LA Lakers

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Pamela Anderson

The "Baywatch" blonde is best known for her red swimsuit and her tumultuous relationship with ex-husband Tommy Lee (see them together). In 2002, she contracted a disease which she blames on sharing a tattoo needle with Lee. The pair famously had each other's names tattooed on their ring fingers.

Bing: What disease did Pam initially want to keep private?
Search: See which one of her exes she recently remarried
Find: Have you seen her latest hairdo?

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Toni Braxton

This R&B singer rose to stardom in the 1990s with hits including "Un-Break My Heart" (listen to it). Years later, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. In 2008 she competed on "Dancing With the Stars" despite her condition, which causes chest tightness and breathing problems.

Bing: What heart condition does Toni have?
Search: Which reality TV show is she on now?

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Tom Brokaw

The veteran newsman revealed in February that he has this incurable cancer, but remains "very optimistic" about his future. The former "NBC Nightly News" anchor (how old is he?) is now an NBC News special correspondent and continues to work on projects during his treatment.

Bing: What type of cancer is Brokaw battling?
Search: Watch his recent interviews on 'David Letterman'

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Katie Couric

The newswoman and former daytime talk show host (see clips of her short-lived show) is known for her sunny demeanor and quick smile, as well as her devotion to raising awareness for colon cancer. But in 2012, she revealed her own struggle during college with a disorder common to girls and women.

Bing: What disorder did Katie overcome with the help of therapy?
Search: What job did she recently start?

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Missy Elliott

The rapper and five-time Grammy Award winner has written many a hit single (listen to her hits), but at one time this debilitating condition made it impossible for her to use a pen. There's no cure for the disease, but early detection and proper treatment can help minimize the impact.

Bing: What disease made it difficult for Missy to accomplish everyday tasks?
Search: Check out how much weight she's lost

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Michael J. Fox

The actor is well known for his memorable roles on "Family Ties," "Spin City" and "Back to the Future." But for the past decade his most visible role has been as an activist seeking a cure for this degenerative disease. Though he once expressed his concern over whether "sick people [can] be funny," ," he made his TV comeback in the NBC sitcom "The Michael J. Fox Show" (what's the status of the show?).

Bing: What disease was Michael diagnosed with at age 30?
Search: See photos of Michael J. Fox through the years

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Sarah Michelle Gellar

Best known for her beloved portrayal of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (watch clips), this actress and mom grew up with a condition she partly blames on her aversion to wearing both backpack straps as a teenager. She has said she is a fan of Pilates, which helps to relieve her discomfort.

BingWhat condition caused Sarah Michelle to have poor posture?
Search:Which celeb couple did she recently slam?

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