'Sons of Anarchy' Actress Kristen Renton Opens up About Lupus Diagnosis

Kristen Renton who had a recurring role in Sons of Anarchy, opened up about her lupus diagnosis in a recent Facebook post.

"Living with Lupus for over 8 years now, I understand the struggles that you face with this disease far too well. Yet, Lupus doesn't have to define us.... it can even change us for the better," Renton, 36, wrote on her Facebook page on Monday. "Be kind - you never know the battle someone else is fighting."

Renton shared her message alongside a video about singer Selena Gomez's own battle with lupus. The condition forced Gomez to put a hold on touring in 2016, and was required to get a kidney transplant in 2017.

"As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways," Gomez told fans in 2016. "I've discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges. I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support."

Gomez was recently hospitalized after she became emotional over a low white blood cell count, which could have been linked to lupus. The singer has also struggled with anxiety and depression, and checked into a psychiatric facility on the East Coast.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the body. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, more than 5 million people around the world have the disease and 16,000 new cases are reported each year. With good health care, those with lupus can live a full life.

According to Renton's website, Lupus LA is one of the organizations Renton donates her time to. She also works with Children's Hospital LA, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and The Dream Builders Project. She is also a passionate animal activist and supports several animal rights groups.

Renton most recently appeared in the Lifetime movie One Small Indiscretion. She is best known for playing Ima Tite in 12 episodes of FX's Sons of Anarchy from 2009 to 2012. The character was a porn star who worked for Dendrie Taylor's character, Luann Delaney.

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Renton's other credits include MTV's Now What?, Days Of Our Lives, CSI: Miami, Strictly Sexual: The Series and The Glades.

Photo credit: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images