Yet another former member of the “Real Housewives” franchise has been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Amber Marchese, who appeared on Season 6 of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” was diagnosed with the chronic illness last week, but she’s determined not to let it defeat her.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Amber opened up about learning she has Lyme disease. She explained that she was experiencing “flu-like symptoms” several weeks ago, and at the urging of a friend, she visited her doctor for testing. The results came back positive for Lyme disease, but she said they “caught it so early that no treatment is necessary.” Her oncologist, whom she is currently seeing due to a previous battle with breast cancer, plans to keep a close eye on the former Bravo reality star. While she will not be undergoing treatment for the disease right now, Amber plans to keep a positive mindset in the hopes that it will help keep the illness at bay.
“If I thought about the joint pain, then the pain increased. When I ignored it, got my butt to the gym, it went away,” she revealed. “I believe in the power of the mind. You are sick if you want to be sick, you are well if you want to be well. That is just the way I choose to live my life.”
Amber is not the first “Housewives” star to battle Lyme disease. Yolanda Hadid (née Foster), who appeared on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” until recently, was diagnosed in 2012 and for several seasons allowed cameras to capture her highs and lows. During Season 6, Yolanda struggled to convince her co-stars that her ailment was legitimate, with many speculating that she may have Munchausen's Syndrome instead. In addition to issues with her co-stars, Yolanda struggled to keep her marriage together. In the final episode of the season it was revealed that she and husband, David Foster, had decided to call it quits. The mother of three later claimed she was blindsided by the divorce but said her illness definitely played a part in their split.
Neither Amber nor Yolanda will appear on forthcoming seasons of “RHONJ” or “RHOBH.” Amber announced her departure from the reality show in November 2015. In a statement released to Us Weekly, the mother of four explained that she and her husband, Jim Marchese, were no longer comfortable sharing details of their personal lives with Bravo viewers. Yolanda quit “RHOBH” on June 15. In a post on Instagram she told followers she had hoped for “a more graceful exit” from the show but planned to use her newfound freedom to focus on her kids and her health. In closing, Yolanda said she was “excited” about her decision to quit “Real Housewives.” The reason for her departure remains unclear, though it is rumored it had to do with a possible demotion.
“RHONJ” returns to Bravo on Sunday, July 10, at 8 p.m. EDT.