90 Day Fiance Stars Who Live With Medical Conditions

The following article includes descriptions of self-harm.

"90 Day Fiancé" debuted in 2014 and gets more popular with each passing year. The hit series features the stateside romantic journeys of couples who have previously been engaged in long-distance relationships. The premise of the show is to witness what happens once they are together full-time in the United States after receiving a coveted K-1 visa. Will they marry or break up within the 90-day time period that is triggered upon disembarking from the airplane? While some of the couples have met each other in person prior to applying for the K-1 visa, many of these romances have been conducted completely online prior to meeting for the first time at the airport. Since it first hit TLC's schedule, viewers have gotten to know many couples, including those featured in a number of spinoffs. "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way," "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days," and "90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After" are just a few of the series spawned by the original. 

Some of the couples have been featured in more than one cycle, and as such, viewers are invested in their lives well beyond their initial appearances on the shows. They have followed the stars' personal stories via social media and magazine features, etc. Among the many facets that keep fans interested are the personalities' health struggles. These include dealing with rare autoimmune illnesses, seeking treatment for mental health struggles, cancer, and more. 

Mike Berk has ADHD

Mike Berk entered the "90 Day Fiancé" universe on Season 5 of "90 Day Fiance': Before the 90 Days" when he traveled to Colombia to meet his love interest, Ximena Morales Cuellar. The couple, who initially met while Ximena was working as a webcam model, had a rocky relationship almost from the start. Mike, who came across as a fairly mild-mannered suitor, started to irk Ximena almost immediately due to what she considered his questionable personal hygiene practices. 

Citing Mike's behavior as "super gross," Ximena described her disgust to a friend on an episode of the show via a telephone conversation. "He throws clothes everywhere like a kid. He'll let out a fart in front of me. And he burps on top of you. So, it's like, 'Oh no!'" Mike, who attributes his habits to attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), offered an explanation. "It's not that I'm doing it on purpose, it's just sometimes I get ... for example, say the clothes are on the floor, I forget that they're there, and I forget to put them in the washing machine," he said. "It's almost like a learning disability. It has something to do with the brain." According to one expert, poor hygiene is not uncommon among those with ADHD. It is likely due to several factors, including a lack of awareness, being distracted, forgetfulness, and an inability to understand the negative consequences that it may bring about (via Psychology Today).

Loren Brovarnik has Tourette Syndrome

Loren Brovarnik (née Goldstone) joined TLC's hit franchise "90 Day Fiancé" in Season 3 after meeting Alexei Brovarnik on a trip to Israel. The two are now married and currently have three children together. Their story was so popular that they got their own spinoff, "Loren & Alexei: After the 90 Days." After enduring negative viewer reactions to involuntary movements on camera, Loren decided to share that she had been diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Tourette Syndrome. The condition often manifests in visible symptoms like uncontrollable tics, movements, and vocal outbursts. After revealing her diagnosis, she became an ambassador for the Tourette Association of America and was even featured on the show delivering a speech about her personal experiences with it. 

Initially worried about revealing the diagnosis, she is relieved that it's no longer a secret. "I'm ticking in front of you, I'm twitching in front of you. I don't care because it's part of me," she told People. She also reports that she feels much more confident and is happy to be involved in destigmatizing the condition. "People have called me an inspiration, but I don't look at myself like that in any way, shape, or form. I had a platform. And I suffer with it, and I wanted to bring awareness to it that people don't really understand. I don't scream. I don't curse involuntarily," she said. "I twitch, I tic. There's a lot more that goes into it."

Big Ed Brown has Klippel-Feil Syndrome

"Big Ed" Brown entered his TLC era on Season 4 of "90 Day Fiancé: Before The 90 Days" when he was courting then-girlfriend Rose. Since then, he has been featured in several cycles and is set to participate in another of the network's spinoffs, "90 Day: The Last Resort" along with current flame Liz Woods, with whom he will attempt to work out ongoing relationship struggles. 

When Big Ed first appeared on the show, viewers were quick to notice his small stature, barrel chest, and what appears to be a very short neck. Big Ed has addressed his unique physique on the show and shared his history of being bullied about it. "I have a condition called Klippel Feil syndrome. I have a shorter-than-normal neck. ... And people all my life, they've always just stared at me, like, 'What's wrong with you?' And physically, there's nothing wrong with me," he told People.

Klippel-Fiel syndrome is a rare bone disorder in which two or more of the vertebrae in the neck are abnormally fused together as the result of a genetic mutation in genes that are involved in bone development. People with this diagnosis may have a short neck with a limited range of motion and what appears to be a low hairline in the back. Currently, there is no cure, and treatment focuses on managing symptoms that can include chronic pain, hearing and vision challenges, and more. 

Deaven Clegg's son has been battling cancer

Deavan Clegg made her debut on the first season of "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way" as she was preparing to leave her home in Utah to go live in Korea with the father of her second child. The relationship would not last, however, and Deavan eventually returned to the United States along with her daughter from a previous relationship and their young son, Taeyang. 

Just after Taeyang's third birthday, the reality star took to Instagram to share some devastating news. Along with a photo of her toddler playing in a hospital setting with what appears to be a chemotherapy port on his chest, she wrote a caption that read, in part, "I'm overcome with so much emotion and devastation to announce that my beloved son Taeyang who just celebrated his third birthday last month, was just diagnosed with childhood cancer, b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia just a few days ago. He has already undergone multiple procedures and started chemotherapy treatment just two days ago." 

This type of cancer is the most common in children and originates in the bone marrow. Fortunately, almost all children recover from this diagnosis. Treatment includes several phases of chemotherapy and may also include a stem cell transplant. A complete cure is usually achieved in 2-3 years. At the time of this writing, Clegg has had a third child with her fiancé, Christopher "Topher" Park. 

Kalani Faagata has been very candid about mental illness

Kalani Faagata was first featured on the sixth season of "90 Day Fiancé" when she embarked on her romantic journey with Asuelu Pulaa, a fellow Samoan she met while vacationing there. The couple currently lives in the United States and is parents to two young boys. Since coming into the public eye, they have experienced a variety of marital issues that range from financial problems to Kalani's frustrations regarding Asuelu's dedication to parenting. At one point, Kalani even consulted with a divorce attorney. 

These stressors have taken a toll on Kalani's mental health, which she shared via an Instagram post. "I haven't felt like myself lately. I can feel myself going deeper and deeper into depression, to a degree that I haven't seen for a few years. It's scary that I've worked hard on correcting habits and ideas that took me to those places, only to have them pop-up out of nowhere. The majority of people in my circle are feeling the same way. Maybe it's being stuck in quarantine? Maybe it's the stress of uncertainty in almost all aspects of life? Whatever it is, I hope it ends soon, 'cause this s**t sucks. Just a friendly reminder to take care of your mental health, friends, especially with everything going on in the world."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org

Ashley Martson has lupus

Hairdresser Ashley Martson appeared on Season 6 of "90 Day Fiancé with her Jamaican love, Jay Smith. The couple had a tumultuous relationship and were finally divorced in 2021, but the Pennsylvania resident is still dealing with health challenges related to her diagnosis of lupus. At one point, she shared the details of her medical history via Instagram in an effort to dispel rumors that had been swirling about her health. 

The reality star also reported an incident where she was rushed to the hospital after being found unresponsive in her home. "The ambulance took me to the hospital where it was found that I am in acute kidney failure due to lupus. I will begin dialysis shortly," she shared (via People). Lupus is an autoimmune illness that is usually caused by a combination of one's genetics and environment. It can affect major organs like the kidneys, lungs, and heart, to name just a few. Though there is no cure, it can be managed through the use of medication, and most people are able to live long, healthy lives after receiving a diagnosis. If Ashley's Instagram account is any indication, she appears to be thriving as the owner of Martson Hair Company. Recent posts indicate that the salon just celebrated its two-year anniversary. 

Stephanie Matto has aplastic anemia

Stephanie Matto made history when she was one-half of "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days'" first same-sex couple. Even as she planned her trip to Australia with the goal of meeting Erika Owens, however, her mother fretted about Stephanie's physical vulnerability due to her diagnosis of aplastic anemia. Officially diagnosed in 2017, she took to YouTube during the pandemic to explain how she had been affected by the illness. She said in part, "I had a severe form of the disease, it was actually bordering on very severe, and because my case was so severe, I was immediately admitted to the National Institute of Health, where I began to participate in a research trial using a new medication. Unfortunately, that medication did not work for me, and unfortunately, I did not have a viable match in the bone marrow registry. A transplant is the only known cure for aplastic anemia."

Stephanie had another health scare in 2022 when she took to selling "fart jars." Yes, dear reader — they are exactly what you imagine them to be. Unfortunately, the demand for her pungent offerings required her to consume an extreme diet that did not agree with her. She landed in the hospital after experiencing symptoms of what she thought was a heart attack. It turned out that she had a serious case of gas created by the foods she was eating in order to expel enough flatulence to produce her product. 

Kris Foster has narcolepsy

In what was perhaps one of the most peculiar relationships ever to play out on "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way," Kris Foster and Jeymi Noguera, who appeared together on Season 4, never seemed to agree on anything. During their short and stormy relationship, the two frequently offered wildly divergent versions of even the most mundane occurrences. Married just nine days after Kris' arrival in Colombia, the couple's love story quickly fell apart at the seams, and they have since divorced. From the moment she landed, Kris' medical conditions were of paramount concern for both of the women. Viewers learned not only that Kris would have to have neck surgery at some time in the future that would render her bedridden for a year but that she also had a condition called narcolepsy which causes her to fall asleep suddenly and without warning. Prior to her appearance on TLC's franchise, she made a post about the condition but didn't offer any further insight into her own dealings with it. 

Though she referred to her condition more than once during the season, Kris was never shown having an episode. "Every day is a battle," she said (via Starcasm), describing how others can get upset when she falls asleep without warning. She also divulged that it affects her memory. Though there is no cure for the condition, narcolepsy can be managed with medications. 

Ariela Weinberg has struggled with anxiety

Ariela Weinberg was a seasoned traveler by the time she met her future husband, Biniyam Shibre, who hailed from Ethiopia. Featured on Season 2 of "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way," the couple lived in Africa for a period before relocating to the United States. Following viewer speculation, about the scars on Ariela's arms, the reality star decided to address them head-on and admitted that they were self-inflicted by way of a method that is commonly referred to as "cutting." "I had a tumultuous adolescence as so many others have had. I started questioning the world and my life from a young age. I could not find peace with myself nor the world I was living in. And this was my answer at the time. I will make a video elaborating on it and how I came to change," she said on her Instagram Stories (via Distractify)

Cutting is often engaged in as a way to deal with emotional pain, sadness, anger, or distress. Though it may bring about some momentary relief, it is oftentimes short-lived, and the distress often returns along with feelings of guilt about having injured oneself. Getting proper treatment can help with recovery and learning how to deal with overwhelming feelings in a healthier way. 

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org

Jen Boecher has an eye condition

Fans were first introduced to Jen Boecher on Season 4 of "90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way" when she traveled to India to be with the object of her affection, Rishi Singh. Her frustration with the relationship grew as she learned that Singh hadn't told his traditional family about his intentions to marry her due to the fact that she is several years older than him. Viewers had other questions about Jen, however, and these focused primarily on her unique gaze. The reality star took to Instagram to dispute rumors that her droopy eyes are indicative of a drug problem. 

"There's a ton of memes, but at this point, I'm just laughing at them because I find them really funny," she said in the video post. In the comment section, she specified that she had a condition called ptosis, which causes one or both eyelids to droop. One can be born with ptosis or acquire it from aging or an incident that damages the nerves that control the muscles in the lid. If vision impairment is occurring, there are surgical options. 

Alina Kasha has diastrophic dysplasia

Alina Kasha and Caleb Greenwood explored their long-distance romance together on Season 5 of "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days," but the former quickly found herself in hot water when some offensive old social media posts were discovered. The use of blatantly racist terminology resulted in the newly minted-reality star being summarily fired by TLC. She attempted to lessen the damage with several responses, including this one, reported by Page Six: "I saw a lot of people on social media using [the N-word], so I thought it was like 'bro' or 'fella,' but I was wrong. Again, my deepest apologies to those who were hurt by my words"

Prior to the debacle, Alina had made some admirable inroads for the little people community as well as those with disabilities — both of which she is a member of. Diagnosed with a type of dwarfism called diastrophic dysplasia, she was seen both walking and using a wheelchair as needed. This is a genetic condition that is inherited when both parents contribute an abnormal gene, and it results in shorter stature and skeletal abnormalities. Lauded for nurturing a musical career and refusing to allow her condition to inhibit her goals, she was gaining a legion of fans who admired and supported her. "I don't think the disability is a problem. In many areas of my life, I try to do everything, really," she stated (per ShowBiz Cheatsheet). 

Kim Menzies has debilitating arthritis

San Diego resident Kim Menzies was cast on Season 5 of "90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days" with the object of her affection and 90 Day universe fan-favorite Usman "Sojaboy" Umar. Usman, a Nigerian musician, had been featured in a previous cycle of the show with (now-former wife) Lisa Hamme. Viewers were ever-amused by Usman's apparent attraction to older American women and watched with fascination as they explored their romance in his home country. 

Though the age gap was polarizing for some, viewers also wondered about Kim's unique gait, which made it appear as though walking was painful for her. It turns out that her stride was affected by her time in the military service. "Say what you want about me on the show or past, but my military service is very special to me. For those that are so concerned, I was in the Army from 1989 to 1996 until I was in Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia from August 1990 until July 1991," she wrote in an Instagram post (per InTouch). Her time in the army required her to jump out of planes, and she suffered a dislocated hip twice, which resulted in arthritis (per Soap Dirt). Arthritis is caused by swelling and tenderness in the joints, and nearly 60 million Americans have it, which is why it's the most common cause of disability in the United States. 

Yve Arellano has a heart murmur

In yet another tumultuous May/December romance, Yve Arellano and Mohamed Abdelhamed's fraught relationship was featured on Season 9 of "90 Day Fiancé," Yve, a New Mexico-based healer, brought her love interest to the United States on a K-1 visa to see if they could find happily ever after. During the course of the season, viewers watched the couple's troubled relationship play out amidst his demands that she adopt his strict Muslim lifestyle. The relationship deteriorated, and amid accusations of domestic violence and cheating, Yve ultimately filed for divorce. The devoted mom's challenges include raising a son who is diagnosed with both autism and Down Syndrome and dealing with a health condition of her own. 

The reality star took to Instagram to talk about living with a heart murmur and how it affects her. The post read in part, "I was born with a #heart #murmur & sometimes have had #tachycardia or get it when I have #allergic reactions. I put on a pretty face, but yes life has been quite stressful. #stress also inflames my #lungs so at 10-12,000 ft things happen. My blood pressure was super elevated for me, so yikes!!"  Heart murmurs are caused by rapid or turbulent blood flow. They can be congenital or acquired and can be both harmless or indicative of a serious heart condition.