tumblr_m9oc5hIMsb1qcl2r7o1_1280The reality of life for stars of the show ‘The Real L-Word’ has been a complete whirlwind of controversy, adoration and fame but for some, day-to-day life has been anything but unreal. Two stars of the show have loved the spotlight that the Showtime series brought to their lives and relationship, even when the harshness and reality of disease struck.

Lauren Bedford Russell and Kiyomi McCloskey, who made an appearance in Brisbane last week, met each other during the third and final series of the show and fans loved to follow the pair as love blossomed. Going on a year of being together, neither have any regrets of having their relationship develop on air.

“We really haven’t gone more than a week without seeing each other. We couldn’t be more in love, it’s amazing,” Russell told the Star Observer.

Tragically last year following a health scare where she lost vision in one of her eyes, Russell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 31. Initially Russell didn’t think much of her first ‘episode’ but as her vision failed to return, Russell knew something was awry.

“When I found out what was wrong I was shocked and terrified but after finding out my vision would return, my first thought was to get medication and treatment as soon as possible.”

The disease that progressively damages the nervous system and brain usually occurs in young adults, particularly women. Russell is thankful that she is responding well to medication that are keeping her symptoms relatively at bay, however she is very aware the disease’s impact.

“It’s reassuring that nothing’s happening right now but over time I’ve learned a lot more and there are worries but I’m trying to stay positive.”

One of the exasperating factors about MS that McCloskey struggles with is for the most part, it remains an “invisible” disease that doesn’t manifest physically relative to many others out there.

“It’s frustrating that you can’t see anything on the outside all the time so people don’t realise the struggles that she goes through in her daily life,” McCloskey said.

“If you’re not in a wheelchair, people don’t really take anything seriously,” Russell added.

McCloskey is proud to stand by her partner as she openly becomes a public face for MS and fights for awareness and education.

“It’s really important that her to be in the forefront and being an advocate, as we’re finding out all the time that people really don’t know anything about MS, and we didn’t either.”

Russell has become a spokesperson for the National MS Society in the US and has released a new ‘Positivity’ bracelet from her line of jewellery to help fundraise. She hopes through her efforts she can inspire other young women to be aware of the symptoms.

“I really hope to turn my fight into public awareness to educate people about the warning signs and symptoms, raise money for research and overall inspire positive change towards MS.”

The couple are very happy to be currently touring Australia and they will be following up their amazing Brisbane trip with appearances in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth as well throughout early March. For more information visit www.lick-store.com.

© Star Observer 2014 | For the latest in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also pick up the next Star Observer monthly magazine November 21 or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.