Raven Shares Her Experience With Her Illness On 'Big Brother 19'

Monty Brinton/CBS

Raven's been a background figure for most of Big Brother 19 so far, and it seems that she's enjoying her summer in the house more than anyone else. While the other houseguests are paranoid, anxious, stressed-out caricatures of their usual selves, Raven has been spending her time lounging in the sun and wearing a perpetual smile on her face. She revealed in the July 16 episode that her sunny disposition isn't accidental, it's a response to a life-threatening disease. Raven's disease doesn't stop her from playing Big Brother, and it hasn't stopped her from enjoying life.

Raven has been teaching the houseguests and America about Gastroparesis, described by WebMD as "a condition in which your stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion." To combat her illness, Raven has a pacemaker that helps her body continue to function. The threat of death seems to be a very real thing in Raven's eyes, but it seems she's been able to conquer that fear and turn it into the ability to find joy in life. In her time in the house, Raven has managed to find a showmance partner in Matt, bring awareness about her disease to others, and enjoy a summer of sun and fun. All in all, it sounds like a pretty fine way to spend a few weeks.

Raven's disease is a very real problem for her (as evidenced by the visible pacemaker in her stomach), and also seems to be a problem for some other houseguests as well as fans of the show. Some houseguests seem to suspect that Raven is causing fans to sympathize with her solely because she has an illness. Raven can't help that she has an illness, and if she could choose between not having Gastroparesis or having Gastroparesis and getting sympathy, she would almost certainly choose the former. Raven is making the most of her life, despite her constant hardships, and that alone proves that she as strong as (if not stronger than) her fellow houseguests.